The lovely blue pristine sky, with patches of clouds in shapes ones imaginative mind could visualise made it look more ethereal and pure. The soft sensuous wind which was blowing was making Maya inhale the purity of the moment and her tender feet wanted to slow her steps. Yet her anxious mind knew that she needed to hurry to the nearest internet café, in the sleepy hamlet of Majuli the only river island which was a place for Maya to be connected to the entire world and people she held dear to her heart. The internet café would be shutting down with the onset of dusk.
She anxiously opens her inbox in her social networking sight and her heart missing a beat what if she is disappointed. But something told her as it always did, that, she will not be sad for her inbox had the mail that she waits so anxiously for the whole day to read and today evening was no different. Her mail was there in her inbox waiting for her. The smile on her face was so serene that its positive vibes moved across the room and it touched all the people in there. Everyone, for reason known to them were all happy and positive together for the moment. Thanks to Maya and her mail in her inbox.
Maya is a modern day woman with a strong mind of her own and after being a dweller on this earth for 37 years, and a marriage of a decade gone wrong, she needed a gateway from all the hustle and bustle of her Mumbai life and heal her soul and find her inner calling which had died down in her last ten years of being married and trying to make it a perfect communion on earth, and her demanding job as a very promising HR Professional.
Maya’s is attractive with a very vibrant and positive smile and an infectious laughter which would engulf everyone near her when she would laugh. Her sensuous lips complimented her beautiful eyes, and her soft spoken nature. When her lips moved to speak it mesmerised everyone. Compliments of how beautiful she looked were always in abundance for her, and it made her feel like a beautiful woman all over again and again. Maya loved the adulation.
Maya’s beautiful mind and soul never allowed her to give up when the going was absolutely looking like a dead end for her. She attributes her beautiful and rational mind to her family lineage and their influence on her.
The last one year’s struggle has its impact on Maya to such an extent that she has lost a lot of weight and the mirror has been desperately trying to reach out to her and tell her the same but cannot not reach Maya. She has completely shut herself from everything.
She moved out of Keshav’s flat her husband and companion for a decade and moved into the studio apartment of Mahira.her first step in moving away from him.
A walk one evening on Marine drive in the evening by the Queens Necklace when it looks the most amazing with Mahira her confidante and true friend since childhood who took out time to fly down from across the globe to be with Maya when she needed her the most, a week spent in almost all the coffee shops in suburban Mumbai, lying awake till morning at Maya’s cosy kitchen counter with mugs of black koffee, and the kitchen table lamp being the only witness to their heart to heart conversation, gave birth to Maya’s desire for a soul cleaning and spiritual retreat.
It took Mahira a week to grill into Maya that life need not come to a standstill and what she needed was a gateway form everything and everyone and be all on her own and move ahead. Mahira had read in a magazine that the river island Majuli in Assam was a beautiful place with lots of serenity and greenery around. She had a secret desire that one day she would visit the place. She brought up the idea with Maya and thanks to google all information how to reach the place and where to stay was all there. It was 4A.M in the morning Mahira had a flight back to Boston in the evening and time was moving like a hurricane... Maya needed to take her break to do her soul searching and coming to terms that she was not the villain for her failure as keshav had over innumerable long debates for nights together made her feel.
The seeing off at the Shivaji International airport was for some strange reason a very satisfying one for Mahira she knew deep down that Maya would come back from her spiritual retreat as a much more wiser and enlightened soul. She offered her silent prayers for her well being. The final boarding call and the last tight hug with Mahira and as Maya watched Mahira disappear amidst the crowd heading for various destinations with different mindsets
That night Maya missed Mahira as her home seemed all silent. She fixed herself a jumbo Tuna sandwich and a hot cup of chocolate to give her company while she planned to work late night to clear of her last assignment and then gear up for her own destination which she herself too was looking ahead quite eagerly.
The early Sunday morning Mumbai was beautiful the drive to the airport made her realise that for the next six months she would miss her city of twelve years.
The flight to Jorhat was on time. Having worked the whole night her tired eyes could no longer be with her they needed to take rest. So having snuggled in comfortably into her seat with eye shades to shun her completely she drifted into her slumber. The announcement that the flight would be landing in Jorhat shook Maya out of her slumber, she peeped out to see the quiet breathtaking view of Jorhat as the aeroplane made a smooth landing at the quiet airport.
As arranged earlier Mr Gogoi was there waiting with a huge smile and the colourful white and red bordered Assamase Gamocha to welcome his guest for quite sometime in Majuli.
Mr Gogoi and his wife Torulata have been running this home away from home in Majuli. Of late there has been a gradual influx of people from across the globe who would come there for months together on social projects to save the river island from extinction.
The last two months in Majuli has helped Maya to take her first step to liberate herself from her guilt to begin with. The day starts early for Maya an hour of yoga and meditation in the day and a salutation to the Sun God marks the beginning of each of her day. The meditation has helped Maya to rationalise things and her soul seems to breathe in more of fresh air at ease. Maya keeps herself busy by writing poems and working on a book which she had been contemplating for quite sometime.
Writing has become a great source for relieving her inner wounds .Her other source of inspiration to keep up with her writing and not loosing focus goes to Jojo her social networking acquaintance who without her making much of an effort has been quietly becoming her source of comfort level. He has to her surprise turned out to be a companion and friend whom she has been looking for quite unconsciously in her deepest of heart.
Maya is not sure when was the day but remembers very vividly that pressure at work and then getting back home in the evening after waging a war with the Mumbai evening traffic and with keshav very casually but rudely commenting about her not being involved behaviour at home which upsets Maya as it has been for so many years now. But she had no time to brood had to complete her crucial presentation to be made next morning. latter that day, late at night as she is engrossed in her work at her study in her dark mahogany table, Jojo had unexpectedly popped up at her inbox saying he met her many years back when Maya was still in kolkata at her fathers place visited them with his father. She at that time had not yet moved to Mumbai. He makes a humble request if it was fine with her to get to know each other again after so many years. Genuinely, says he by luck found her while surfing on the social site. She finds him to be honest, and for reasons not very clearly known to her too allows him to be her friend.
In the following days and months she realises that every evening back home from work she would eagerly see if Jojo posted any message and to her delight he used to be waiting for her there patiently with a calm smile . He would ask how her day had been, and Maya, with great ease and negligible inhibition would bare her thoughts to him. Jojo was always there to give that patient hearing but never imposing any suggestion just a friendly advice that cemented their bond as friends, Maya did not want anybody who would impose anything on her, had enough of it both at work and at home but would love an honest opinion when the need rose. Jojo just did that. He was gentle, vibrant, and witty, whenever, he found her to be low while they chatted. His amusing sense of humour always enthralled her. He would share the day’s happenings with her and she would give it a patient hearing never imposing any judgement on it. This was the basic similarity that brought them closer. Maya soon found that he was the perfect friend she had been looking for in so many years. Thankful, to time and destiny, how one fine evening the wish came true without her making much of an effort.
She kept her personal struggle with keshav at a distance from him fearing he would sympathise with her and she was not ready that anybody should do that. He sensed it one night partially while they were chatting but Maya never gave any hint and he never brought that topic up for discussion.
Every evening was a delight for Maya for some time when Jojo would pop up on her screen and they would chat of common interest how the day was spent on both sides, of their similar eating habits, on the same kind of books that they loved to read, or just make fun on lighter issues of life, sharing incidents of a very similar upbringing that kept their friendship growing stronger everyday. Maya always longed for a pure platonic friend like him secretly. Jojo was a few years younger to her but was matured beyond his age and age was never an issue between them. They loved each other’s company and it was a connection that was pure and divine.
It was only when Maya decided to move to Majuli that she told him how things with keshav had gone wrong and how it was so essential for her to take full control of her life again. Jojo just said ‘listen to your heart and look ahead in life’. Not once sounding to be sympathising with her. Maybe he also practises the same belief and does not allow anybody to sympathise with him too when the going gets tough for him at times.
He would every day find out how her meditation and her book was progressing, and share small anecdotes with her which always seemed humorous. By 9 in the evening Maya would retire to her bed quite content with having spent a fruitful day.
Basking in the December winter sun outside her small cottage which had now become so much her home, she realised that she had almost finished 5 months in Majuli, and looking back at the 5 months she has realised that the gateway was such a healing process for her. She now had no regrets for her decision of moving away from Keshav. Her book was coming to an end. For quite sometime she had been struggling for an ending to her book and that morning sitting outside in her cottage she could visualise how she would love her book to end.
The day was further special as after one year of knowing her inbox friend he was finally coming down to Majuli from the remote Tea estate where he has been working and giving her constant company through the inbox, to meet her before she would leave for Mumbai in the coming few weeks. By 12 in the afternoon Tarulata the owner of her cottage made a sumptuous Assamases lunch of sour fish curry, potato mash , rice and green sag for her and her friend. At 1 in the afternoon Jojo arrived and Maya felt that she had known him since ages. They spoke, eat to their hearts content and laughed for almost every small thing. The three hours came to an end without them realising and it was time for Jojo to say adieu for the day. With his car slowly moving into oblivion Maya realised that it was a friendship cemented for life.
The next two weeks Maya was totally engrossed in giving final touch to her book and learning the last bit of Assamese from Tarulata.It was a Saturday evening and one of her best saturday night spent being totally content with her inner self with Mr Gogoi and Tarulta laughing and eating a simple Assamese dinner. Winding up all her belongings in time Maya says her last goodnight to her guardians who looked after her for six months and was always there when she was low, retires to her bed in her last night at Majuli.
The morning is bright and birds chirping everywhere, Maya is dressed in a black and white salwar kamez hair washed and with a light dab of kajal in her eyes she looked like a 30 year old young beautiful vibrant girl ready to conquer the world. She sits behind the car with tarulata and Mr gogoi on the wheels the drive to Jorhat airport begins. The journey back will always be memorable to Maya she is taking back good memories of the place and Majuli will always remain dear to her.
At the jorhat airport Jojo was waiting with a beautiful bunch of mixed roses and choclates by now knows that they are one of her favourites. They hug each other and both thankful to God and offering silent prayers for having found a true friend in each other. He promises to meet her in Mumbai whenever he can, and Maya just smiles. Inside the aircraft as it soars high and climbs towards the blue sky, Maya is all ready to face her real world once again. She mutters to herself ‘Mumabi I am back’.