Vedashree Khambete Sharma
My People – Tibet
As I said when I first mentioned her on this blog, my friend Tibet has nothing to do with the country or its politics. If she did though, she’d probably forget all about it. Because the thing about Tibet, apart from the fact that she’s hands down the most instantly lovable person I’ve met, is that her memory is legendary. And I mean this in a very Barney legend-waitforit-ary kinda way.
There are a dozen Tibet stories that defy common human imagination.
Like the time she got off at Churchgate station and tried to take a cab to Eros cinema (for non-Bombayiites, it’s right across the station).
Or the time she stood in the door of the train at Dadar and forgot to get off at Matunga Road (the station that comes right after Dadar).
Then there’s the time she told a famously squint-eyed classmate to “Look at me when I’m talking to you, dammit!”
I’ve known her for the past 11 years and she’s still more likely to forget my birthday than remember it. She has great comic timing with no comic intention and her idea of cheering me up is telling me about the penile worms her Labrador has or about the dead rat they found on her fridge the other day.
I remember her in my mind’s eye the way I first saw her in college: a jolly, plump girl in tight jeans and a tucked in man’s shirt, shoulder-length hair and the biggest, happiest, most genuine laugh I’ve ever seen or heard.
I remember her telling me that the only thing she wanted in her guy was a sense of humour. That was it. The gods gave her a man who fit the bill and today she’s the mother of a precocious 4-year-old, with a job she doesn’t hate and a life in the suburbs with husband, daughter, in-laws and dog – the Indian Dream, so to speak.
Talking to her makes me feel like I’m 17 again. Telling her my problems makes them seem funny. Hearing about her life takes me away from mine and sometimes that’s what’s really needed. I feel protective about her and she’s the only person with whom my phone conversations end on an ‘I love you’.
I’d once offered to kidnap her when her life got too tough to handle. Tibet, babe, I know you’re reading this because you have shitloads of time on your hands. So before your boss notices that you’re faffing around, I just want you to know this – the offer still stands. And always will.