The story involves two school friends, Ajay and Raghav. Story is narrated by Ajay.
“……and then I learned something from him that made me stopped dead on my tracks.”
Raghav and I were quite close to each other since our school days. While I was always an introvert, he used to be an ambivert. We lived in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh and were together till class 12th after which he got selected in a reputed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi while I stayed back for another year there as I was unable to crack any competitive exams and then took admission in BSc chemistry . After his B. Tech., he got quite a handsome package in one of the leading construction companies and he shifted to Bangalore. I did my graduation, Post-graduation and Ph.D. and was now a Teacher in a college in New Delhi. Initially, we had a lot of phone calls between us but gradually with time as we got busy in our lives, our calls got restricted on special occasions only and now it’s rare that we talk. I remember last time talking to him was when he bought a new flat in Bangalore and got his family shifted with him. He had everything now what is needed to be called a successful person in life while I was still struggling to join my blocks and build life. I always thought that he got everything in life very easily, cracking IIT, job, huge salary, marrying the person he loved and as such a wonderful life with less efforts while here I was, though being more laborious and intelligent than him, a teacher in a not so good college, married the person of my mother’s choice and still struggling to buy a flat. Sometimes, I envy him for this. What is this life, why such an unbalanced distribution. It should be according to who deserves what and not be like one getting to travel in business class and the other thinking hundred times to even air travel.
So, it’s been 4 years since we talked the last time.
Today, I am in Shimla. I came here to attend my Father’s two years death anniversary a week ago and decided to stay back for a while. Two days back, I gave up my ego and inhibitions and thought to go and visit Raghav’s parents.
The house was locked from outside and looking at the outgrown hedges, it seemed no one had lived there since quite sometime now. Then I saw, “House on sale” board. I decided to enquire about it with one of his neighbors. I was shocked to learn that his mother passed away and his father being alone suffered mental health issues so he took him along with him to Bangalore. Coming back home, I picked up my phone, took a deep sigh, scrolled his name, Raghav and pressed the call button. The phone rang and after few rings I heard his voice. We started on a very formal note and then returned to being just Raghav and me. We talked so much, laughed and then I learned something from him that made me stopped dead on my tracks. In the past 4 years, my friend had lost his mother and his wife to an accident and is living with his father being challenged mentally. These past 4 years, I had no clue he would be going through all of this. I didn’t call him just so as I thought, “WHY ALWAYS Me?? While he must also be having this complain from God “WHY Me?? “
I regret leaving him at a time when he needed me the most. Now if I see, I have everything what a good life needs to be, a mother, a lovely wife, 2 beautiful children. Sad, I realized this after knowing my friend is longing for the wonders I have in my life.
“The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence”
But in reality it’s greener where YOU water it.
Remember, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln
And Today, I am elated as I am leaving for Bangalore to meet my very dear friend, Raghav.