Sarita had become my friend when both our kids had attended a b.day party of our Common freind .She had come to me and asked my phone number as she really loved my bidaas andaaz( I m a bheegi billi in front of inlaws.). I too liked Sarita s independent and courageous nature.She was a single mom and was managing her only son ,old parents ,unemployed brother ,a rented accommodation with her start up in garment industry. Slowly Sarita and me started meeting once in 2 months on b.fast while my return from gym ,or common freinds Functions or her sons b.day or at times when she had to drive 2 hours for business visits and my kids were at school she used to take me along as good and chirpy company. Since I was in marketing I could understand the challenges and aspirations Sarita had .
We both use to confide in each other too..she about her disloyal ex husband s re approaching her and me on how I felt trapped in a very over systematic and different cultured family with different habits and my foolish unfulfilled expectations. Slowly I attended Sarita s parents 50th anniversary with my family ,and then she lost her mom and I went to all the obituary and 13vee ceremonies! Now comes the incident I would like to mention, at her Mom s obituary I met a Gym mate Grace whom I only used to exchange smile with as she was the reserved lot. ( later I got to know it was because of her lack of English and not staying in as pausch an area that she acted superior to us) She smiled at me and since we knew no one but each other ( Sarita was busy with her relatives) ,we had Obituary bhog( tea and mathee) together, then since Grace( my reserved co gymer) never had a vehicle, I dropped her on the way to my place exchanging our information on families,education, profession aswell how both of us knew Sarita.From her conversations I got to know Grace was 36 and a spinster, living with her brother s family and running a beuty parlour, she had special love for pets which made her Sarita s freind. Both use to take their pet Dogs to the same park and exchange pleasantries and since both were single they soon became good partners for dinner dates and spending night in each other’s homes accompanied by their dogs. From next day at Gym ,Grace became a good freind whom I use to smile at and usually only ask how was her dog walk before coming to gym? Did she meet Sarita? How’s Sarita doing? Later may be it extended on did you go out somewhere with Sarita on weekend or how s Sarita s business? As I mentioned earlier Sarita and I barely talked regularly both busy in our schedules but when ever we met we were very warm and affectionate.This conversation of Me nd Grace was a month and a half old when in early morning before gym time my phone unexpectedly rang .It was Sarita on a furious and screaming tone! …” u r too interested in my life ” she screamed, ” ask me my personal relationships and income rather asking strangers ” ,she kept speaking in anger ,Mind your own business she was rude and insulting without hearing anything from me.I was shocked and dint know what happened to her, but I was mindful to not scream back but ask what misunderstanding do u have Sarita? ” u keep enquiring about me each day with Grace “she almost blasted on phone .I could see Grace running and smiling at me on Trade mill sarcastically! I confronted Grace calmly and asked her to have a walk with me to not make a scene at the gym.Like a shameless culprit she denied any interaction. I messaged Sarita on wattsapp that just as a casual common freinds welfare I had each day asked Grace and I was the last one to interfere in her privacy. Sarita never replied to my message, though after some months she messaged me to accompany her to the first common freinds greh parvesh ceremony. She was not as warm and chirpy but only very formal. I still felt she believed my truth. For Grace she never talked to me at Gym..
Lesson learnt…1 Don’t even ask general questions about common acquaintances! If u really feel concerned of their welfare call them. 2…Don’t get so frank with strangers that it is mandatory to talk something. Just smile and mind your own business!