“Excuse me, can you please tell me where can I find Ms Shalini.”
“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” A voice from behind, left Meena startled.
“Oh yes, I am Meena…I had sent you …” Meena started off, but topped midway, when she saw the face…
” Is it really her?” she wondered.
The other lady looked on, perplexed…
“Am sorry…actually you look too familiar. By any chance, are you from Sophia college, Ajmer?”
“Yeeees” it was Shalini’s turn to get shocked.
“Shalu, you didn’t recognise me… this is Meenu” Meena shouted with excitement. Shalini couldn’t believe her ears…her friend Meenu…after all these years, here in Minneapolis. Oh, how could she not recognise her. But then, who could she see that shy and timid Meena, in this dynamic lady, that stood in front of her!
Their conversation was cut short by an urgent call for Shalini, who was managing this entire conference on behalf of her organisation. Meena also took her seat amongst the delegates.
Shalini and Meena were the best friends at college… inseparable, till one day Meena suddenly left and never returned.
It was a packed day, leaving no chance, for them to connect again, until dinner.
“I’ve missed you so much. Why did you just disappear?”
“I didn’t intend to …before rushing home that day, I wanted to speak to you, but you were in a class. I left, thinking, that I would anyways be back soon. But, that never happened!”
After a deep breath, she continued, “Dad had been arrested! He had been on the trail of some powerful criminals. And, just when he was about to break the racket, he was framed under charges of corruption. After he was released on bail, life was never the same. Mom tried to keep things normal, but the humiliation was too much for the ‘honest officer’ and one day, he just gave up and committed suicide!
“Oh…” uttered Shalini, still under shock.
Meena tried to ‘blink’ away her tears and continued “That day, Mother resolved to get him justice. The simple home maker, suddenly turned into a warrior, guarding her fort and taking on the system. And, after a two-year battle, she finally won”.
“Wow…but that must have been quite a struggle”.
“Well, I’ve come to believe, everything happens for a reason. The Meena, that you see today was born out of that struggle. I do miss Dad, but what I like to remember is, my Mother’s journey- the fact that she chose to face it and fight it!
It was time for them to leave…so with a promise to catch up over the weekend, they both parted.
That night, Shalini, returned to her room, a changed woman… “Yes, everything happens for a reason, just like this meeting today” she thought. The meeting had infused a new life in her. She was now ready to face her own battle, back home – something, she had been running away from!
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