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In tribute

By Nickunj Malik - Dec 16,2015 - Last updated at Dec 16,2015

There is a strong circle of sisterhood that we women hold very dear to our hearts. Our friendships are rock solid and we support each other instinctively through thick and thin. In our busy day-to-day existence we might sometimes forget to be in touch with one another frequently, but whenever we do, we reconnect exactly from where we left off. 

I got some shocking news this morning informing me of the demise of the tall, athletic, mild mannered and beautiful Aneeta, a friend that I made in Dubai, when I moved out of my home country India, more than 25 years ago. She was all of fifty and had come to Jordan with her husband last year, to celebrate this milestone in her life. 

After spending one week at the Dead Sea, which she had fallen in love with, she declined to go to Petra or Jerash or even the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ. In desperation at her sheer refusal to visit any of the touristy locations, I took her to the Citadel and the Colossian in downtown Amman. She was simply content to spend all her time with me. And thank God for that because at this moment, that is what is keeping me from falling apart. 

How do you come to terms with the untimely death of a beloved friend? How can you make sense of the passing away of someone who led an exemplary lifestyle? She did extensive yoga, she jogged on the beach, she never touched alcohol and cigarettes or red meat and she did regular medical checkups. She was the least likely candidate for a massive cardiac arrest. If anything, she should have lived to be, a hundred and three. 

Whenever I met her, and of late it was a bit irregular, she inspired me to become like her. I had bumped into her for the first time, at the lobby of the building where we lived. Both of us were new in Dubai and we hit it off instantly. She was recently married and was just setting up house. I was trying to get my driving licence and had to go for extensive lessons. I could not afford a babysitter and each morning I used to drop my sleeping child in her apartment before going off to my driving school. She did not know how to look after an infant and one day I came back to see her feeding the baby spicy chips dipped in sugary tea, which our daughter was gobbling up. I was horrified for a moment but seeing the look of delight on my child’s face, I joined in.

Over the years, we became firm friends. She hated my monotonous dress sense and tried to make me a stylish dresser by passing on the phone numbers of her dress designers. When I did not call anyone, she gave up on me. A little known fact about her was that she had acted in a television serial with the Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, before he became so famous. In her place, I would have announced this to the entire world, but she brushed it off with her usual calm smile. 

 

A tireless worker, a beloved wife and mother and above all, a wonderful human being, I still cannot believe that she has left for her heavenly abode. In my circle of sisterhood, one link is slightly stretched. Rest in peace, my friend, till I reconnect with you again.

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Comments

Very poignant narration and fitting tribute to a good human being. Life does bring such people together like driftwood only to have them carried away by waves,at times much too soon. Best is to cherish the warmth they had generated and pass it on.

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