This post should have by all rights, gone up on August 7th. But what with Convo and the flu and a whole other bunch of other circumstances, it didn't, and Ravali's birthday went uncelebrated here on Colours. We celebrated in other ways, with orange cake, pink champagne and a silver tiara with green feathers (it was certainly colourful) but I wanted to give this bestest of friends and my most avid reader, a celebration here too. So here it is, one month late.
Ravali turned twenty three today. Twenty three isn't a particularly significant year. She was old enough to vote five years ago and could have been legally drunk anytime in the past two. But birthdays are after all, a time to sit back and think about the time past, a comma, so to speak, in the sentence of time when you take a breath, take stock and change your tone.
I met her four years ago, in our tiny, pink walled room. We sat facing each other on our beds. She couldn’t stop talking, I stayed mostly silent. We were both very nervous. We were exceedingly polite to each other, those first few months, but our conversations rarely went beyond common courtesies and tepid gossip. We had our own concerns and problems and the fact that we shared a room didn’t seem reason enough to share them.
She decorated her side of the room with a pink coloured poster of a bunch of chubby babies and insisted that everyone who entered the room had to sign on their favourite. I thought her crazy but signed on one anyway. The baby I signed on made me laugh, ducking away like it did behind a pink bucket full of pink roses.
There were always people in that room, friends of hers, arguing loudly, gossiping and sharing. I used to tire of the noise and of cleaning up after they left, but I never told Ravali. It didn’t seem polite. Then slowly, I was drawn into their conversations Her friends became mine. The noise became pleasant. She does that.
A vast number of her friends are mine now, wonderful people whom I might have never known otherwise.
We grew close slowly. I don’t quite know how. We shared secrets and stories. She took me to the hospital and stayed with me when I had a high fever but was terrified of doctors. She would clear my bed and smooth down the covers for me to collapse on when I returned in the wee hours of the morning from music practice. She would scold me when I didn’t study and coax me out of my sulks. She would attend every tiny performance I ever gave and always cheer the loudest. She often shamed me out of my own miserly tendencies by her sheer generosity. She always gave her possessions, her time, and her sympathy freely, to anyone who needed it and I learnt a great deal, simply by her example.
We’ve come a long way from that tiny pink room where we had our first awkward conversation. Four years of giggles and tears, of moments of high drama and those quietly shared, of conversations on everything from movies to mathematics. Four years of life that I shared with her in a way I’ve never shared with anyone before.
Our lives are changing now, very fast. We pause on days like this and take stock. When I pause and look around, I'm comforted to see you there, right by my side.
Happy Birthday Rava.