I think I would have killed myself if I had been to Mumbai and not visited one of my dearest friends from University.
Aakriti and I clicked with each other on the first college trip we took together and since then, corridor chats, sarcasm and restaurants were never quite the same. From then on, I have never not called her my Iron Butterfly. Why? Well because the woman is sheer brilliance not just because her wit has me in splits but also because of the way she cherishes her friends and their quirks. Her talents leave me speechless as does her gentle yet firm understanding of my personality. Her strength is inspiring as is her determination and confidence. She knows how to pick me up and well…at times let me sink just because she knows I need to drown before I learn to save myself. She kept me distracted when I got my second tattoo, held my hand each time Simba (my dog) fell terribly sick and made sure, I didn’t lose my love for poetry.
We had a tradition while we were in University. Every other weekend, after we would be done with classes, we would head to the back lawns, sit on one of the rusty benches and have conversations that seemed endless. Mind you, all of them were heavily doused in sarcasm. It’s a thing we do, okay? We would also head out to try different restaurants. Aakriti being the food connoisseur, would choose the restaurant and we would have a gala time, enjoying sumptuous food and of course, alcohol.
Needless to say, reuniting with her, had us following all these to the letter. Meeting her, I realised, just how much I had missed her. From the moment we sat down, having hugged each other for quite some time, the craziness kicked in. Food and alcohol came and went, hours passed by and we didn’t realise, not once. From careers to friends to reminiscing about old times and discussing the future apprehensively, books to music to new tattoos, we chatted about it all.
As Aakriti put it, “So what, yes we were in a long distance friendship, but I never had to doubt or second guess the nature of our friendship. I always knew you were there, somewhere, but there, just as I knew I was there. We didn’t have to text or talk all the time, but we always knew what was going on and we knew that when that day would come, when we’d meet again, we’d pick up right where we left off. So I’ve never been concerned.”
Where and what did we munch on during this much longed for reunion?
Well, we met at Jamjar, a place extremely close to where we both were living. We met up for lunch and I gorged on food like a monster, after way too long a time. I think it had a little to do with four-five (?) double Jack Daniels I had downed, but I am not too sure.
For starters, we decided on Melted Queso and Crispy Bacon Fries along with a plate of Butter, Chilli Garlic Prawns. Once we had polished them off, we asked for our mains. I decided to try something different instead of always zooming in on the Pastas. While Aakriti went for Fresh basil pesto spaghetti with mushrooms and bell peppers, I chose the Mushroom and spinach stuffed Chicken. I was close to licking my plate clean, the food was so delicious. Once we were done with the mains, we decided to pamper ourselves with dessert, although it was more to do with balancing out the alcohol we were consuming so very rapidly. Aakriti convinced me into trying the Spiced poached Pear and Brownie Sundae. It was divine. Let’s just keep it at that.
Also, as a side note, each time my drink arrived, for some weird reason, I would confuse the stirrer for a straw. Each time and each time, Aakriti found this hilarious and had to keep aside her freshly brewed beer, since she was too busy laughing…at me.
With bellies full and minds a little woozy, we decided to meet up again, over the weekend, when Aakriti would be reciting poetry at an art exhibition. I think I volunteered to attend even before she invited me. What can I say, I love the woman’s poetry.
If you wish to check out her poetry and delicious recipes, (another feather in her cap) check out her blog here !