You log on to Facebook in the morning.
You read notifications. Desultorily, almost flippantly, you reply to comments. You throw down your obligatory two cents at the feet of the wisdom others have spouted during the night when you were catching your eight hours like a good girl. Your day has begun.
You kick imaginary stones around on cyberspace, moodily. You sidle in and out of random profiles. You snicker some, curl up your lip some and guffaw lots. How stupid some people are, you tell yourself pompously. You see a profile photo and are touched by a feeling of grudging respect. There’s no way you’d have permitted yourself to be photographed if you possessed a map like that! People, you are forced to confess, are a lot more courageous than you ever gave them credit for.
You pointless browsing around has now definitely begun to make you feel guilty. You have a mountain of work to plough through today. A part of you feels pleased and avenged. It doesn’t matter that you have nothing to avenged for; that’s irrelevant.
You land on a profile where a status message says- RIP Manisha. You do have a common friend called Manisha. This must be some other Manisha, naturally.
The one you know has every last pore bristling with life so outrageous that death would slink away from her, ashamed. She is a girl so full or irreverent laughter that every time you speak to her on the phone, you have to massage your ear for an hour and promise not to use it for a month otherwise it would down tools on you permanently.
A girl who writes such delightful rib- ticklers that you’d be compelled to throw away your dignity and roll on the floor like a three year old being tickled, shrieking hysterically with laughter. A girl with whom you share a taste in books and whose admiration of old PGW rivals yours- a feat in itself.
A girl who has been the source of your most hilarious exchanges on some hapless common friend’s timeline when the two of you tore the poor man into shreds as he manfully did likewise to you. A girl whose smile contained precipitous levels of naughtiness as easily as it if were a caring tear. A girl so full of life and laughter that you wish you could have just one sip from the same fountain of youth she was gulping her fill from. A girl who was barely in her prime.
I’ve nothing left to say because the comments on her wall said CANCER. And she, the impossible, aggravating QUEEN CAT that she was, typically told no one. She wanted to have the last laugh- and there’s no denying the queen.
I wont ask you to rest in peace Manisha; I refuse to cry. You have only traveled forward in time. Wait for me there, I will meet you soon.
There are many laughs we haven’t laughed yet.