Miloni and me were in class together from grade 5. At the time, we were rather, um, different?
There was Miloni, all cocky and confident, messy ponytail, short uniform, low sash et all....and there was Aru, neat braid, sash on my waist, shy-ish and unsure. Milz was the cool girl who had a loud voice, used all the cuss words before many of us had even heard them and who could negotiate her way through any situation - thick or thin. She was the one with the speedy internet connection whose home became an ICQ den. It here that all the JB girls would hang out to talk to the opposite sex freely. Milz would be the official ICQ and "blank call" guru - she would dictate the "appropriate dialogue' we had to exchange when communicating with the boy. Over happy hours filled with Ramu's special coffee, khakra and chakli...we passed all those innocent days. Milz was also well known for her errrrr original (?) choice of clothes and accessories and we used her home as our dressing room as well. For many of the girls, it was the ideal "changing room", as they would slip out of what they had left home wearing and into something they had actually wanted to wear! Milz would cut in by providing her expert opinion and would enjoy putting the finishing touches for all of us. Milz also happened to be a braniac and genius, making her personality even more exciting. Plus, to add to everything, she was a loving daughter and was always there for her family when need be.
What I am trying to say is, Milz has always been a coolio. A Rebel for the Right Cause. An original.
Me and her got very close 8th grade on as we chose the same subjects, lived fairly close to one another and has therefore fixed up all our tuition groups together.It was during those long hours together, did we bond big time.
That together with a few life-altering trips we made during our early teen hood together, ensured that we were formally bonded for life!
So even when Milz left good ol' Mumbai for whatever Charlotesville in 2005, we never really parted. Sure, we did have a significant change in our communication. There were phases that we lost touch and were not in sync as usual, but that is life after all. Unfortunately, I never made it to her <questionably awesome> campus and life om UVA, but I did make it to her totally awesome life in the Big Apple - the city of her dreams.
One afternoon, as we drove around in one of our friends stolen cars at the tender age of 6, Miloni looks at us and said to us, with a determined glint in her eye, "So guys, I am going to be an i-banker and live in New York....what do you want to do in life?"
Steumped. Stuck. Stutter.
The rest of us just about knew what we wanted to do the next day, so "life" was a bit of a heavy question. We didn't even know what an i-banker meant! She pitifully explained to us and we all rolled our eyes. "Hard core Milz...using big words she has no idea about...." is what we thought. But she did that all and is living her dream. She showed us. And how!
Playing the perfect host, I shared a very special summer with her in 2009. She had a fabulous apartment located smack in the middle of things (but of course!), a great job, fun friends, a loving boy friend and a sparkling future plan...the girl was on a roll. She made sure, despite her manic work hours, she would meet me and take me out to all the coolest places in town. Never comoplaining, always cheerful and gracious...I had a wonderful stay at Casa Miloni.
Fast forward to summer 2011, we added an incredible chapter to our story, this time, a car trip in the South of France that went from Nice to Naughty (pun intended!). A few weeks later, I managed to catch her in London Town, where she is currently at. Ok, so this isn't the city of her dreams and unlike in NYC where Milz felt on top, she was a bit blah. None the less, we got up to our usual antics and made sure the trip was wonderful.
Now, finally, Milz is coming back to the Bay. It has been 7 years since she left it and sadly, the city hasn't advanced as Milz is...But what is important, Miloni is coming back to where it all started. This time, it is me who has to make sure her estimated cost-benefit analysis and the RoR is >1 !
Happiest Birthday Milzy - You are one of the most solid people I know. Never static, filled with ideals and ambitions and the best party mate ever!
From 1652 to Infinity: Hope we remain as connected and concerned with one another as we have always been. Cant wait to have you home!