Few months back, I met one of my friends (not going to name her). She is the most daring and hardworking girl I know. In her early twenties she left her home, was on the verge of a suicide, then she started her own venture and I must say she fought her way through and is successful today. After a long time we were catching up, so we had lunch together and saw a movie. After all the fun time, she started sharing her future plans, how she wants to live closer to her parents and she plans to leave Bangalore in a year or so.
“You know Aastha, Pune is where I want to move. It’s closer to my home town. I can take a trip to home on every weekend. With the money I have, I cannot afford a house in Bangalore. May be, in Pune I would be able to afford one. Would you also move to Pune?“, and there was a pause. I did not think she was waiting for an answer. I reluctantly replied to her, “No, I won’t be able to move to Pune. That is far for my home town and not even a direct flight. I am afraid that is not an option for me. Bangalore is fine. At least for now. The only thing is I don’t know if I can afford to retire in this city. It is too expensive. Anyway, that’s for a later point of time in life. Let’s see“.
“OK. Then you buy a house in Bangalore, I would buy one house in Pune. That way, we can still stay at each other’s place when we travel. I don’t know yaar, I don’t want to get married. I am not ready yet. In case, if I don’t get married, you are still going to be there for me right? I can stay with you right if I feel like it?“, there was a sense of fear in her eyes.
“Of course, you are always welcome to stay at my place. If you don’t want to get married, then you don’t. Period. Don’t succumb to any pressure from anyone. I see where you are going with this conversation. You are worried about future, the fear of uncertainty. There is one thing I want you to remember. No body is going to make you the center of their world apart from parents and partner. Partner is a very important role in every person’s life. It might sound simple to not have one, but in reality it is very difficult. There would be no go to person to have a conversation, crack a joke or dine out. Well, both of us became aware of how it would be due to lockdown, thanks to the pandemic. If you are not choosing to marry, that should be solely because you don’t want to. Not because you won’t be able to share a house with me or hangout with someone else etc. That’s stupid. If you find the right person and are ready, then you should marry. You should not think about me at that time. I am not your responsibility. Likewise I might move on too. No matter what happens we stay friends, and are a phone call away always. You have been through a lot. I don’t think I would have handled things the way you did with so much patience and perseverance as you did. You would buy a house and decorate it the way you like it. Take it slow. Take it easy. Everything would fall in place.”, I hugged her and left from her place.
A couple of conversations over phone after this and she was all fine. I don’t know if I have helped her, but in many ways, I have found answers to the questions that were lingering in my mind. I could not express the worries I have with anyone, because I thought they would be brushed. Who and why would they care was always the thought. May be, I had a better insight into the worry she had, and it helped. Otherwise maybe, I would have also made a more general, “Come on. You would be able to buy a house and settle down, don’t be stupid” kind of an answer. Most of the times, if we listen with patience, acknowledge their feelings and be there, that’s all a person who is vulnerable needs.