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BY Suma Nair

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Buying a cuppa of cappuccino from my favourite Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and then rushing to work. Seeing people at work, the strangers while walking to office and wondering what their lives must be like, what motivates them every day to be a part of the rat race. Now I miss the mundane, the people I don’t know as well, not meeting a handful of my friends. It’s been about 12 months that I last stepped into the office premises and I’m not sure if we will ever step back into the routine. It’s still some time away.
I made some unexpected companions in these COVID times, two unlikely people, two women. They spoke to me every day for 30 minutes before I drifted off to sleep, transported to a different continent, a different country, and a world diametrically opposite to mine. I was seeing their lives unfold, their challenges and triumphs. More importantly, these women helped me see life with a new perspective.

One came from a humble background, racially prejudiced society, worked her way up with sheer diligence to go to one of the best law schools in the world. Then she fell in love with this idealist man, followed her passion to give back to society, raising a beautiful family alongside. And when the time came, she stood like an iron pillar enabling the life defining journey of the most powerful man in the world.
And the second companion was an unexpected professional, a therapist. Someone who kept challenging herself, changing her career path till she found her passion and life’s purpose. She opened my eyes to a different world of therapy, something a lot of us may need. But a subject so taboo, forget writing about it, thinking about it makes one feel that one doesn’t have agency over one’s life. Her interactions with all her interesting patients, some tragic endings, some cathartic and some which reinstated my belief in all things beautiful.
These two women spoke to me every day, I felt their presence, cried and laughed with them. They are just a click away when I want to listen to their wonderful voices laced with an infectious love for life. Please listen to Michelle Obama in her book ‘Becoming’ and Lori Gottlieb’s ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’, both available on Audible.

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