I was just speaking to my friend SSK (not to be confused with SSSK), and she was telling me about how she'd been talking to her friend about me. (Why do I seem to be the topic of conversation with so many people? Every time I call my brother these days, he tells me he'd been talking to his fiancée about me. I call my friend, and she tells me how she was just then speaking to her fiancé about me...).
Anyway, back to our dear Miss. SSK, or Star(-in-the-making) SK. I still remember the first time I met her. I'd been in Bangalore for a workshop, and having reached there early on a Sunday morning, had gone food-hunting with my friend RS, who'd come with me for the workshop. Before going on the food hunt, we'd checked in into our rooms, and upon inspection of the names in the register, my friend assured me that we were both doomed to suffer with our roommates-to-be. And so, it was with a heavy heart, and a heavier stomach (we finally found a little Mallu place serving what they called parotta (an ambiguous term, used to refer to parathas, porottas (thanks to a Mallu blogger for having made this distinction somewhere in his/her blog), or parottas, which is something they serve in Hotel Saravana Bhavan...), and a so-called veg-curry for me, which I suspect was more of a leftover from the previous night, but still, it was food and tasted quite good (whoa, that rhymes!) (OMG... The effect of all these programs I have been writing - I've become almost compulsive about opening and closing brackets!), that I returned to my room, only to find it bolted from inside. I knocked and waited, and then the door opened slightly, and a face peeped out asking me what I wanted. I replied that I was to share the room with her. She then opened the door and let me in, and we just introduced ourselves and made small talk.
It was then that the FIFA world cup was on. I asked her, with some hesitation, if she minded if I watched the match on TV. And she said she was a football fan too. As the fortnight of the workshop progressed, I discovered how similar our tastes were. We'd spend a lot of time chatting and swapping stories. I remember how daintily (sorry, S, but this is the aptest adjective) serve us tea/coffee every night, and then wash the cups and put everything back very neatly - she was the 'perfect hostess' for our daily 11 P.M.-1A.M. discussions. I remember how she came back soaking wet on the night of the finals, and then going to sleep at midnight. I remember waking her up to tell her that my Spain had won :)
The days sped, and much too soon it was time to part - me to visit a friend and then back home, and she to catch her flight early the next morning. And as at any farewell, we exchanged numbers and promised to stay in touch. I'd gotten her a card (another of our friends, K was teasing me about it), and had also penned her some verse. She texted me from her flight the next day. I thought that was it, we'd be back to our routines and we'd just drift out of each other's lives.
But Life had something else in store. After the initial "How-are-you?How-is-your-research-going?-keep-in-touch-bye" mails, we slowly got back the camaraderie we shared earlier, and we were soon back to laughing like crackpots. She was supposed to come down here to our city, but it was not meant to be. It was again destiny which prevented me from going to Kolkata to watch Messi and Tevez in action. We did have a reunion an year after we'd met, and we reaffirmed our plans of visiting Spain together, and watching matches at the Santiago Bernabeu and Camp Nou.
Fast forward to the present, she's been entered into this group of people I've pestering of late, with my renewed interest in Bengali. (and Bong boys, my friends would add). She's the one who patiently corrects my attempts at speaking and writing the language. She was recently telling me about how her colleagues had asked her to join the NSD, and I told her that she did have the potential. I asked her to go ahead, and just not make me jealous by starring opposite Rahul Bose. To which she replied she'd do just that. Sigh! First Kaka, then Rahul... She's set her eyes on them. Without considering the plight of this poor little girl sitting here, with dreams in her eyes (and secretly praying that Villa and Iker don't enter her SSK's scanner :P )
Damn, this post is turning out to be so different from both the versions I'd envisioned :( Anyway, to cut a long story short, (and to stop rambling), SSK was one of the best roomies I ever had, someone who could be my friend.
Maybe someday when I'm not this sleepy and muddle-headed, I'll do a better post on her, as she does deserve much better (as the BSB song goes). Meanwhile, I'll try to improve my Bengali skills, and learn to prepare aloo poshto, so I can give her a treat when she comes visiting. Good luck, SSK. Dhonnobaad :)