The sisters were each others best friends. They did not have a social circle, since theirs was a conservative family. The cousins themselves were more than enough to have other kids play with them. They could not finish school due to financial constraints. One left the other after marriage to settle down in another city, faraway. They wrote letters to each other about the daily going ons. Telephone was a luxury accessory, only the most important news was conveyed using it. In-laws, husband, kids consumed their lives, leaving very precious time for themselves. When summer vacations used to start, either one of them would promptly visit the other with her brood. Pickles and appalams would be made and relished.
Time passed and the kids started college. A new world opened to them to discuss. College, stream, books, lecturers, universities, college festivals. They had never been to college, but their kids’ stories reveled them. The elder one used to call up the younger one and discuss about which saree should she buy to make her daughter look pretty during the farewell party. The younger one would ask about which dishes to make, to impress her son’s friends who visited.
Empty nest syndrome set in when their sons graduated and moved on abroad for higher studies, while their daughters got married and pursued their careers in different cities with their husbands. The days are now passed on reading old magazines and watching TV most of the time. The younger one called the elder one excitedly one day and talked at length about the yoga group, who diligently meet at the park everyday and consist of similarly aged ladies. She described how they also hold kitty parties and organize spiritual meetings and wondered aloud if she should join them as she could certainly do with some company. The elder one sat bemused, thinking how if the ‘groups’ are springing all over, everywhere. She too had heard from her maid about one such group led by a senior member, who organises crafts, yoga sessions, meditations and evening walks. With a hearty laugh, she continued the phone call with the information about her neighbourhood also having one such group.
The lengthy discussions have again started. Which footwear is best for morning walks? Noodles and pasta can be counted as snacks or meals? From sharing just their own lives with each other, they have progressed to sharing others lives with each other, and others.
The sisterhood truly expanded.