- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
- 03 Mar - 09 Mar, 2018
I am dedicating the following story to my friends. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your constant support, encouragement and for simply being there when I felt that the world is shrinking for me and I can’t breathe. You brought me out from the drowning oceans. This is for you, my dear friends.
Friends!! Not the series, even though I am deeply in love with those 6 people. No I am talking about my friends that have lived and survived through my drama, my tantrums, my silliness and my idiosyncrasies and yet come back for more.
You are my partners in crime, my confidants, my closest human beings; people I would trust at any day, any time with anything that I share. And I trust them for any help humanly possible that I may ask for.
I have been blessed with the best of friends. And I greatly cherish my bond with them through thick and thin.
So when Sadia told us on our WhatsApp group that she was visiting Karachi for a few days, we all became super active. And the trip was happening at such a perfect time, during the winter break.
Sadia was visiting only for two weeks and she threw in a few tentative dates of her availability. We began discussing timings and days and venues quite frantically on the group. We were all so excited.
After a few hours of mayhem and confusion it was evident that an intervention was needed.
By chance Fawad had a business trip planned to Dubai in those days and how much better is it to catch up with your friends in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere of one’s home?
So I suggested that we meet up at my place on such and such a day. And we begged Sadia to clear her schedule for the entire day so that we could spend the day simply chatting, relaxing and unwinding.
She happily acquiesced. We were all so excited.
Someone suggested having a one-dish to save me the trouble and after some coaxing I agreed. However I also offered to make something.
I was looking forward to becoming the hostess and having my gang over. My excitement was over whelming.
I was practically singing while getting the breakfast done after a night of rigorous planning on WhatsApp. There was so much to talk about. We all know that the planning phase took practically ten minutes but having everyone online at the same time was a rare coincidence so we began catching up as a prelude to the actual event.
“You’re practically glowing today,” remarked Fawad as I poured him his tea.
“Yes! I have some good news to share. You know my friend Sadia. She’s coming to Karachi after two years. She lives in America.”
“Wow! That’s nice. But is that the reason why you’re glowing?”
“Kind of. We’re having a meet-up. We weren’t able to decide on a venue that was convenient for everyone, location and distance wise, you know. So I offered our place. You have a trip planned to Dubai and I picked a day when you’ll be gone.” I was so excited that I was practically breathless after that.
“I’m not invited? I am not included to a party at my own home?” Fawad tried sounding hurt but I knew he was only teasing.
“It’s a girl’s night! Only females are allowed!”
“Okay, okay I get it. But what if my office cancels my trip? Where will you hide your hubby then?”
“I will make you scarce somehow, even if I have to gag and tie you up in the storage room!”
Fawad laughed loudly. Little did he know how serious I was though. But this thought could wait.
I only had a few days left before D-day. I needed to wrap up my work at work so to speak and also get some nice girly stuff for the house.
I could feel the excitement bursting through my seems. It wasn’t like I never had a girl’s night out before but this felt more like those times when during school and college days we used to have “day spends” at each other’s’ houses.
Oh how wonderful were those days. Just idling around or making each other’s hair, trying on new clothes, looking at our reading collections. Talking endlessly and forever. In hind sight I now realise why we were so tired after those get togethers. But they were so worth it. And I couldn’t help visually recall how the food delights kept pouring in. Somehow our friends’ moms always thought that we were underfed or malnourished because it was one good thing after another. The snacks, the finger-foods then the elaborate lunch menus of pizzas and pastas and cakes. Sweet and savoury dishes consumed and huge thank yous to auntie!
Of course with time our meet ups changed. They also became less frequent. But thank God for the internet, at least we could keep connected through Facebook and other social networks. I really appreciated the group on WhatsApp because this was one way where we could be connected 24/7. And this was a blessing indeed.
“So what are we doing special for your friends?” Fawad jolted me out of my nostalgic bubble.
“We are planning a party!” I quickly replied before cleaning up the table and gearing for another hectic workday.
The next few days went by in a buzz. I was mostly functional at work and met my deadlines head on. Some co-workers noticed my hype but I was quick to evade them. I wasn’t letting anyone jinx my party.
And Fawad was being such a sweetheart too. He wasn’t getting in the way when I began to collect all the things that I needed for my party.
I bought dainty cushions for the lounge, and lacy napkins. I also invested in a quaint floral, very British tea-set. It closely matched my dinner set and I thought it would be a nice touch as opposed to using coffee mugs.
I bought some wall-hangings for the living room and lounge and gold engraved lamps too.
Fawad noted that I had never gone out of my way ever before and asked why this was so extraordinary. I really couldn’t explain to him why I was doing this but I knew. I was trying to recreate the lost past, the good old days of our youth. I was trying to make this day a window, a passage to the past and I felt that all of us needed a day like this.
As friends we knew our stories, our sufferings, our disappointments and we had each other to comfort, counsel, hold hands and lean on to cry.
And we all deserved a day of no regrets, no ache, no pain and only relaxation and happiness.
So as planned Fawad went off for his 4 day trip. Sadia reached Karachi and we all met up.
Was it exactly as I wanted it to be? They are all sitting in the lounge waiting for me so let me go and find out!
I will catch up on you all later! Bye for now!