It’s been a tough week at work. This time of the year is usually the craziest. The same charade of thousands of meetings and going over the same mundane details endless number of times. Budget planning is always a painful exercise. But it’s ten at night on Friday and the final version has just been emailed to finance. With a few customary high-fives it’s time to end the week and head into the much deserved weekend. Ish, Ravi and the gang are planning a pit stop on the way home at Jeffrey’s. The corner table at Jeffrey’s has been our spot for a few years now. It is in that dark corner that some of our best ideas have popped up after a few doses of our favourite poison. It has also been a stage for sharing the dirtiest of office secrets and endless discourse about life in general. It is definitely one of my favourite places to be at.
Ish, Ravi and I had started on this job around the same time and have grown to be buddies over the years. Ravi has always been the work horse – dogged and determined. He makes up for his lack of creativity with the sheer amount of hard work he puts in even in the simplest of work. I still remember the time when he spent 2 straight days in office coming up with a plan for fun activities of the year! He has always been like that – almost dedicating his entire life to the job. Sometimes I wonder how Mira copes with his lack of attention towards his personal life. Mira is the sweetest woman I have ever met. She still reminds me of our moms and aunts – never missing an opportunity to cook for and host people. I think she is the only one of our generation who still spends days in summer making mango pickles and drying them on the balcony of their apartment! She was Ravi ‘s batchie from MBA and then just chose to be a home-maker. It’s a choice I don’t understand. But she does seem happy spending time at home, being a mom to lovely little Ruksar and a wife to Ravi.
Ishani or Ish, as we call her, completes our core group of three. She is a live-wire and I have never seen anyone so high on adrenaline as her! She is an adventure sports enthusiast and makes the loveliest of vases during her weekend pottery sessions. She loves to travel and has never been in a relationship for more than six months! She enjoys living by herself so much that she has made a choice to not force herself into a committed relationship. I adore her for her spunk but can never really understand her. Even at work she has never been the most dedicated. But she chooses not to be – living her life on her own terms is way too important for her to let anything else come in the way.
I have given Jeffrey’s a miss today – and as I drive home I go through my mental check-list of things that had to be picked up for the kitchen. The online grocery guys have delivered the items to my office earlier today. My partner has an office dinner tonight and must be busy right now being the centre of attention there. I smile as I picture that. We have always had our own set of rules. We have never married and we try our best to share the responsibilities of livelihood and home-making. We love our house – a place where we are usually ourselves with no pretences.
By now you must be wondering who I am. Well, I could be anybody. I could be an urban woman, or a successful young man. I could be a non-believer of marriage or a divorcee. I could be in love with someone of my own gender or of the opposite sex. I have chosen to be in a live-in relationship and I am happy with my choice. There are thousands like me, Ravi, Mira and Ish. We all have made our choices on how we want to live our lives irrespective of whether the society approves or disapproves of it…
It’s important in the world today to understand the value of making a choice for yourself and not let traditional societal norms define your life. Non-conformance is not upheld in our society. But by conforming to all, you might not be giving yourself a chance to live the way you really want to. After all, it’s your life and you get to live it only once!