The day arrived when Neeta had promised to visit me at my place. I was eagerly waiting for her. It was almost six years since I last met her. I was excited to see her and talk with her over all our college day topics, the people we know in common, and her current life. While I did not dare to go for higher education after my engineering, she had done her MBA. Post-MBA she got a job and soon got married. I had prepared the breakfast and her favorite black coffee at around 10 am. While I was thinking about giving her a call and ask her when she would reach, my doorbell rang. I rushed to the door and opened it. It was Neeta. Her glares were sitting idle on her head and her red colored handbag was hanging by her forearm. Seeing me, she hugged me tightly and we both felt the deep sense of happiness.

We sat on my balcony and had long chats. I was trying to connect with her but somehow I was struggling to do the same. Surprisingly, her and my choice of topics was not matching. I was keen to hear about her career but she avoided talking anything about it.  After some time we both cooked up lunch for ourselves. Her husband, Nadir, came at around 5 pm to pick her up and she left. I was very happy after knowing that she was satisfied in her new role as a wife and as a mother of a three-year-old.  But I soon realized that I had not felt the similar attachment with her which I used to feel during our college days. Maybe she was changed or maybe I was changed, I was not sure.

After thinking for some time and replaying our conversations in my mind, I realized that she had spoken only about her husband and her kid. She used to talk about her career, her dreams and her goals during college days. My heart interrupted my thoughts and mentioned that her partner and her kid are her priority in her life, so she preferred talking about them to talking about herself all the time. My brain questioned, is she herself not her priority anymore? My heart had no answer to this question, so it kept quiet and the stress of writing my next article diverted my brain. However, the ‘Me within Me’ was not ready to leave this topic and it pulled my brain again towards the thoughts of Neeta. My heart, which was clueless about the complex question asked by my Brain , decided to not to give any inputs on this topic. I recalled that during our college days Neeta used to talk about being an independent woman. Girls from my group used to admire her thinking. She was a strong girl then who used to take her own decisions. I compared the current version of herself with her past version; there was a hell lot of difference. She was quite an enthusiast who used to participate in all inter-college dance competitions. She had also learned to play guitar during those days. I was stunned to know that she did not talk about any of her interests, hobbies, her then dreams, her career plans and neither about her love towards fashion. I could infer from her talk that she had left her job and was not interested in working anymore. She was changed.

Though she pretended that she was very happy in her current role, I felt that she was wasting the amount of potential she has. Eventually, my brain took me to the tour of the new world of thoughts where I unwillingly compared Neeta and all other strong women out there in the world. I comprehended that Neeta was missing the amount of maturity which women who work outside possess. She was a good lady at heart but she was not making use of the education she earned. Her situation might be different than all the ladies who are independent but she could have shown the willingness to not to sit at home. I was not sure about the driving force behind her current mentality but I was certain that it was against her nature. I had to keep myself calm for a while since the thoughts gathered in my mind were impatiently pushing me to call her and shout at her asking where the original Neeta is lost. In order to keep myself restful, I went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea for myself.

The hot cup of tea, the sunset and the mild breeze, I could feel by sitting on my balcony, were fine-tuning my thoughts about women like Neeta. I was curious to understand her situation more and learn from it. The events I went through the whole day taught me many things. I realized that many Neetas like her forget themselves in the crowd of family responsibilities and emotions for their partners and kids. Majority of the women in the world don’t give enough importance to themselves. I learned that our people are our priority but we should not forget to put our own selves as well on the priority list. I feel it is absolutely OK to be selfish at times. The adjectives used for any person, irrespective of gender, be them independent, strong or courageous are earned by that individual through his/her actions. People must understand that the inner voice which tells you to follow your heart is louder than any other external advice or suggestion. Sitting at home and doing nothing are two most negative things which don’t allow you to be yourself. I concluded that Neeta would definitely achieve her dreams provided that she starts.

My heart had understood the situation and it decided that I should call Neeta and patiently talk to her about this topic. If she had forgotten her dreams, I should make her memorize them. If she is scared of her husband or her family to start a career, I should give her courage to talk with them about her dreams. If she is lazy and has decided to not to take efforts, I should make her aware of the consequences of the same.

I was happy with the conclusion. I closed my eyes and felt the mild breeze on my face again. I thanked my brain for thinking about my friend. I thanked my heart for coming up with a competent conclusion. And how could I forget to thank the ‘Me within me’ who managed to bring my brain and heart together to bring this topic to a serene end..