and we promises
Inam Ul Rehman | 27 Feb 2007


We promised to live together. Share everything. Days were joyous nights were fun. This was when we were students. United we stood and united we fell. It was our hallmark. No prodigy. No disparity. We were one and promised to remain that way forever.
We parted at the farewell with tearful eyes. Everyone was reminded about his promise. Then we went our own way. The phone is a nice companion. E-mails are also a good medium of communication. We caught each other’s lives through them. Then things dried up. Bit by bit. The phone no longer rang. E-mails came few and far between. Bonhomie went awry. Tastes changed. Then we got struck-up with our livings. Making new friends. Forgetting ‘older’ ones. Where are they now? Questions did ring in the mind few times. Somewhere down the line we will meet again: flickering intuition the heart gave. Without ever endeavoring to meet them. Life gets one entangled with her vicious and sweet fangs.
One day came a card—wedding invitation. Eyes lit-up and mind riveted back to old days. It was delirious to meet old friends at wedding party. Everything had changed. So has everyone. Smiley welcome and breath taking hugs. We cajoled each other. So many excuses in such a little time! Everyone agreed. No point on disagreement. Sailing on the same boat, a single sinner sinks the whole boat. Refreshing our thoughts with golden olden days, we sunk in joyful conversation. Those old nicknames were recalled. Affairs and scandals, means and unfair means, punishment and enjoyment. Hide and seek. Leaving without paying bills. Playing pranks and taking puns on each other. Hogging and spoiling. Passing chits and making figures of the persons. Getting caught alone yet dragging others too. Never was there any full stop. Then we parted, again. Took numbers and went our way, again.
One ring…two rings…three rings…and then everything got to normal. The caravan passed. Pain and joy brought life back where it belongs. We forgot everything.
               One day in the morning paper. I glanced at small obituary note. The face looked somewhat familiar. I pressed memory and alas, my ‘friend’ has passed away. So young to die! But he died. I looked here and there. Searched every possible corner to get telephone diary of my friends. But I forgot my little daughter made airplanes and boats of those papers. I hurried towards the place. ‘Old’ friends were all there. Somber, pensive and moist eyes. We congregated in little groups. Birds of feather flock together. We locked ourselves in embrace. Demoralized. We had never thought of death. Now the inevitable happened. We promised to take lesson from it. We will meet and be in contact with each other. Life is so short. Yes with cherry eyes we promised. And we promised. Only for the next event. Till that event comes we pruned everything.
When we meet mind gets activated. Then again the same thing! Is it the trait of human psychology! Are we machines or humans? Events come and go. Promises stay. And the last thing we did, we promised again!