UNFRIEND -Sometime it's inescapable
Woman's Era|February 2021
Sania Malhotra was jogging at a faster pace than usual. The music was ringing in loud through the headphones. Last night’s images were emerging before her eyes. It was a night that she wouldn’t forget. It was a night when she had to make a choice.
Bhavna Gajbe

The sky was playing hide and seek with different hues of oranges. Sania Malhotra was jogging at a faster pace than usual. The music was ringing in loud through the headphones. Last night’s images were emerging before her eyes. It was a night that she wouldn’t forget. It was a night when she had to make a choice. The choice was very obvious, but not an easy one.

She jogged till her breathing became heavy. Her panting became louder. She ran and ran and then halted abruptly at the dead-end of the road.

“Aaaaaahhhhhhh...No... No...NO!” Sania was shouting with tears rolling out of her eyes. She was alone.

She had always excelled in studies. An engineer in electronics and communication, Sania successfully cleared the SSB exam and was commissioned as an officer in the Army. After one year of rigorous training at OTA Chennai, she was commissioned in Corps of Intelligence. She was now posted as a Major in one of the intelligence units of the Indian Army at New Delhi. She had befriended a lot of fellow women officers. Yet her heart yearned for Naziya, her childhood friend who was left behind in this journey. Naziya completed her BSc degree in their hometown Amritsar. They would catch up whenever Sania would visit Amritsar. But slowly the time gaps increased and phone calls decreased.

“Ma, have you got any news of Naziya?” Sania inquired.

“No, beta, I just heard from her buaji that her family is planning to move to the Gulf.”

Her calls were answered by the operator’s crisp Voice, “The number you are calling does not exist.”

Years rolled by. However, Sania would search for her best friend in social media profiles. And one fine day she got that friend request from Naziya. She couldn't believe her eyes. She checked out Naziya’s profile. The introvert girl had now become an author. Her wheatish complexioned oval face carried the same pair of wide, deep vocal eyes. Sania immediately connected with her. This was followed by an exchange of messages and the numbers. Naziya was residing at Hyderabad.

“I will call you as soon as I step out of my office,” Sania messaged her.

“Trrrng trrrng.”

“Hello.” Sania paused for a second to hear the voice. It was the same even after so many years.

“Hello... Naaz...I mean is that really you?”

“Sani... How much I missed you in all these years.”

“You just vanished from the scene. Idiot, I have been searching for you for so long.

“Yeah, it is a long story. Will tell you someday when we meet.”

“Yes, we should meet as soon as possible.”Sania was excited.

“You are looking pretty these days, Sania, for a change. Saw your pictures on Facebook.”

“I was always. Just that you always stole the limelight with your eyes, sweetheart.”

“And you still didn’t find anyone after me to handle you I guess. Still single and rocking, Sania.”

“Yes, Naaz. And what about you?”

“Hmm... Single you can say. ”

Sania didn’t probe any further. She knew that words will pour out at the right time. That was so like Naaz.

They would call up almost every alternate day. Also WhatsApp messages and video calls. The distance of years was getting covered up with technology.

After a few months, the moment of the reunion came.

“Yes, you heard it right, Sania. I will be there for almost a fortnight, baby.”

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