Those who follow me on instagram already know that I left a well paying corporate job in one of the most sought after media organization’s of India. And restarted my life as a book blogger. But do I miss my office life? Sometimes I do.

I do miss taking that 740 fast local. Reading for a few minutes and then dozing off, hurriedly getting up to check the stations and alighting the train at the destination. I miss staying back late and having that one drink on the friday nights with friends. Just one drink, mind you. And then taking a train or taxi back home. But most of all I miss these heartfelt conversations I used to have with Laxmi.

Laxmi used to take the 840 local from Mahim. Often wearing a black saree, her hair tied in a banana clip and a red lipstick that would dazzle her lips. Her way of greeting the passengers was so heartwarming that absolutely no one denied her the money she asked for. Laxmi is from the third gender. A eunuch.

The first time that I saw Laxmi her Hinglish pleasantries stole my heart away. She seemed quite educated and well read. She saw me reading and asked me about my current read. I wanted to keep the conversation short and so I didn’t pay much heed. Mostly I would take the same local and she would inevitably get in at Mahim. From small talks to talking about life, I don’t know how we developed a sweet bond. Laxmi had a beautiful side to her.

So once when I handed her a 100 rupees note she blessed me profusely. She kept saying that I would have my production house in future. I don’t know if that would ever be possible. But after all these years I haven’t forgotten the twinkle in her eyes and the smile on her face that just a piece of paper brought for her. Yes, I had this urge to buy her a new saree. But situations turned out in such a way that I abruptly left the job and I never met her ever again. Perhaps she still takes the same local and just incase you happen to meet this vivacious personality pls remind her that a friend misses her a lot.

Amongst our many chats I remember this one particularly. As always Laxmi took the 840 local from Mahim. After greeting everyone her eyes started looking for me. I was seated in the far corner of the compartment, reading, obviously. She waved to me. That happiness dribbling from her face as she found her friend. And she sat down in front of me. We started chit chatting about the book I was reading. And then I remembered I had methi laddoo in my tiffin. I had told my Aai to give me extra. I opened the tiffin and offered it to Laxmi. She was delighted to see the sweets. Taking one she happily munched on the laddoo. And what she said next caught me off guard.

“Life is like this na, Siddhi. Bittersweet. Unless we don’t accept the bitterness, the sweetness won’t ever come to us. Haina?”

I still think about it sometimes. I still think about this friend I made.

She was happiness.

I hope she is well.

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