A couple of weeks ago, getting ready for my niece’s birthday party, I stood debating between wearing my velli golusu (silver anklets) or not. I had two pairs. One I bought for myself that was heavier with tiny tinkling bells that made a delightful sound as I walked or the lightweight sinuous one my best friend at that time had gifted. Lingering over the lighter one, I was drawn into a wellspring of memories. How gifts remind us of the best in the person who gifted it to us. This person in question was my best friend in the months preceding my wedding. We laughed and shared the euphoria of my engagement days. She would patiently stand outside the STD booth while I happily chatted with K. She would be waiting for me to get to work so we could slink out for a puri and coffee at Hotel Gautam behind our workplace. Between the two of us we probably tried every restaurant in the stretch between Queens Road and Brigade Road in Bangalore or for that matter St Marks Rd and M.G Rd. From the luchi puris in K.C Das to the Chola Batura at Aggarwals to the kulfi walah near the British Council Library. Each place had a meaning. Coffee at Koshys, Pastries at Sweet Chariot and Bhel just about anywhere we could spot it. Lunch times used to be interesting affairs. We would gather a gang and pick new places that had opened up. Knowing these were probably my last few months as a spinster, I took it all in with a vengeance.
Just when we thought we had exhausted every possible topic girls our age could talk about we would discover new ones. Those were some fun days. I remember her looking lost in a sea of Tamil speaking, vaira thodu glittering mamis at my wedding. Thanks to other friends who rescued her, I felt grateful that she had braved the odds to come stay with me the three days that mattered most to me. As she hugged and waved bye, I felt a part of me go with her. Little did I realize that it was the end of an era. Of innocence, of irresponsibility.
As I walked into work today in a stolid black flat sandals, I realized my strap was irritating me. Bending down I saw the anklet slipping between my ankle and strap causing the pain. I haven’t had the heart to take the anklet off for a few weeks now. Not today either.