Sunday, January 28, 2024

Rima, you are deeply loved


                                                Rima at Infinitea, Bengaluru

Dearest Rima,

I wish I wasn’t writing this letter to you. Because that would mean you are still amidst us in flesh and blood, being the amazing you. There is so much to say and there are such wonderful memories with you; that the mind seems in a kaleidoscopic phase right now, turning those moments, laughing, tearing up and just feeling overwhelmed.

The first time we met was at Palladium mall. Api and I finished work and she said, “you are going to meet one of my closest friends from Mumbai”. Little did I know that I would say the same, years later. I still remember you wearing the golden yellow printed salwar kamees with flowing dupatta, long hair, big bindi, a smile that reaches the eyes and heart; and of course the unabashed laughter and conversation. Over drinks and dinner that day, we spoke about your work at Karadi, how you both knew each other and about Mumbai, in general. It was a happy happy evening that brought you into my life. Will always be grateful for that day.

Over the years, Mumbai became synonymous with you. Would land in Mumbai, call you and say, “Oye Rima, tere shaher aa gayi. Kab mil rahi hain!” (Rima, am in your city. When are we meeting?). You would say, “Welcome ji” and the plans would begin.

Whether it was just walking the streets of Colaba and bargaining to buy earrings, then eating at Leopold and hailing the kaali peeli to go back to the hotel; or walking down marine drive to see Ganesh visarjan, you had a story for every occasion and the same excitement every time.

                   An evening to remember, watching Mrs.Chatterjee Vs Norway. Photo toh banti hain :)

Over the years, we had certain things that we did when ever we met, trying to catch a late-night show, going to Pritam da dhaba for dinner in the recent years and then ofcourse that one time when we literally raided Chhedas and picked so much snacks that we needed to buy new bags.

When in Mumbai, the trip is incomplete without Vada Pav. One of our iconic vada pav eating trip was to the one near Kirti college. We asked the cab bhaiya to wait, while we sat in anticipation of what was to come. You got all of us vada pavs and we sat in the cab, ate, chatted and guffawed away. Cab bhaiya was too polite and to give us space, stood on the side of the road and enjoyed his vada pav. That will remain the best vada pav experience ever.

Resourcefulness was your second name and nothing was impossible for you, literally. The one time when I was travelling alone and was dealing and figuring out all my intolerances, we lunched at this beautiful Bird Song Café. What stays with me from that afternoon is that you always had a way to make people feel loved and cared for, even while stating that, “yahan pe na tujhe dessert milega. Nahi mila toh koi naa, aur ek jagah hain…” (you will get desserts here, if not, there is another place). We did go to that another place and picked up desserts and then rushed to the airport for my flight.

You loved Mumbai in the night and we saw a few glimpses of it, through your eyes and with you. Last year, you wanted us to do a breakfast at Taj Lands Inn and made that happen. Sitting there for breakfast that day, enjoying the breeze and the slow paced breakfast, it almost seemed for a moment that we had left the worries of the world behind.

You being a part of Invicta over the last few years saw us working closely. Your meticulousness and ability to make even a session tracker conversation interesting made a mundane day bearable. You were a sounding board, who always had level-headed suggestions to give and your keen observations helped many of us only do better at work. When you sat through a session and picked up nuances that we had missed, we wondered why didn’t we see it. Even this week in a session, I kept thinking what would you do in that moment!

Adulting is hard by every measure, but the way you adulted in your most difficult and tumultuous moments, left us in shock and awe at the same time. You taught us that come what may, take things head on, trust what life has in store for you and just savor every moment. You love music and there was rhythm in the moment when you would close your eyes and enjoy a song. For someone with borderline music intelligence, I just enjoyed seeing you being in that moment.

A few months back, we were having a crisis day at work and we got on a call and you told me you were getting your chemo and so sitting there and sending voice notes to clients, kyunki to dos had to be done. You just said it as a matter of fact, there was no glorification of the moment and that was you, as real as it gets.

Our last video call was on the 27th of December, 2023, while I was in Goa and you called from the hospital, while Api was there with you. Even in that moment, you enquired about us, how Joy was doing and then told about yourself. Api later told me that you sat and made calls and spoke to friends that day.

We can only imagine but never know the pain you went through. While cancer devastated your system, it could do nothing to your spirit and zeal for life.

Am sure there is a lot left untold and it has taken me a few days to pen this. The grief and pain has been deep and will stay for ever. What we can choose to do is remember you and cherish every moment with you. Thankful that life brought us together. Know that you are deeply loved and the world was a better place because of you!

Love and hugs always,



#FriendsForLife #Memories #Gratitude

No comments:

Rima, you are deeply loved

                                                  Rima at Infinitea, Bengaluru Dearest Rima, I wish I wasn’t writing this letter to you. B...