A Promise for Life

It was mid-December. Christmas was near and lesser work load in office made many of my colleagues take leave. I was in office; less crowded and less noisy. Peace I thought, as there were very few moments when I felt peace in the office air. I was enjoying good music; rested on fully backward reclined chair with eyes closed.
I opened my eyes just to see what was going on around and my eyes went on to follow my colleagues who were moving towards pantry area with a new face, a girl. She was wearing plain blue jeans accompanied with black top, a pair of black shoes, wearing very less / no makeup and she was carrying a book and a pen (probably she had some knowledge session as my colleagues were carrying the same things). She has good fashion sense at least; this was my first impression after seeing her. I watched them disappear into the pantry area in few seconds and I closed my eyes and started my music again.
After a long 20 minutes music session, I stopped. As soon as I removed earphones I heard laughter coming from the pantry area, probably my colleagues and that new face, hence I started walking towards them. Noises kept getting stronger as I got closer to them. When I entered pantry I saw everyone enjoying tea and were laughing but the new face only smiling. I thought she has a bit reserved type of personality or maybe she was just trying to adjust with the new people and new atmosphere around. They saw me coming; talked to me for a while and then introduced the new face to me. One colleague said, “Chetan, she’s Sonica and will be working in our team. She joined this company few days ago and was tagged to our project. Today is her first day in our project.” After that brief introduction of her we had a formal handshake, she said “Hi” and I replied with “Hello”.
It was lunch time then. She was sitting alone hence my friend and I joined her. We started talking and asking each other questions like where did we belong? Where we did our education? How we landed here? And many more such questions to understand the basic information about one another. Days passed and our friendship grew stronger, as we had more or less same thoughts. Now she started coming for breakfast, supper, movies and dinner sometimes with us. She completely mixed in our group and also our friendship was even stronger than before.
She was 3 years elder to me. Her family was forcing her to get married and for the same reason she had her profile on Jeevansathi (online marriage portal). One fine evening she was making me go through the list of candidates who approached her on the portal. She particularly focused on a person named Dharmesh whom she felt will be first priority from the list and started showing me his pictures. I had a habit of teasing. While continuing the same habit I warned her to accept Dharmesh’s marriage proposal on the portal. Soon she was trying to snatch her mobile from my hand. She erroneously accepted his proposal and trouble started. Dharmesh was quick to respond; he saw the acceptance paid for the profile and got her parents contact number. Within few weeks their meeting was arranged in Bangalore. They met, they liked each other and the story continued. Dharmesh lived in Ireland and to get her job there he used to take her sessions on whichever technology they work there. He was helpful and Sonica was happy she found the right person as her life partner. And I got treat at Starbucks for my mischief.
Our friendship now was at very different level. I found Sonica as my best advisor. She was like an elder sister to me. Knowingly or unknowingly she used to help me a lot whenever I used to get stuck in my problems, be it personal or professional. She used to love ghee a lot and whenever I came back from my home town I brought container full of sweets made in ghee and she used to steal away that container from me.
Due to some family problem I had to move to Pune. She was happy that I was going near my family. That day we talked for hours, relishing our memories and discussed about future plans. We didn’t know when we will meet again but we made promise that we will always be in touch.
She got married, moved to Ireland with her husband and till this time we discuss things, exchange gifts in different currencies, chat, call, video call, etc. She still sticks to her promise and is always there to help me whenever I am in need.
I know our friendship will never fade as we both are living up to our promise of friends for life.