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Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)
By Asha Mathew
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“No wonder you look so alike.”
I winked at Sheen as we shared an understanding smile. We always told people in college that we were cousins. We strongly believed that “neighbors” was an under statement for the bond that we shared. So we preferred “cousins”. Inevitably every time we said so, people commented that we looked alike. We would simply smile.
We were neighbors from the time I was four and she was three. In those days, that’s all we were to each other – neighbors. We went through high school together. Then my father relocated to a different town. We weren’t even neighbors any longer. However it didn’t bother either of us much.
Then in the mysterious ways through which life conspires to bring people together, it brought us together again. We happened to join the same college and were also in the same hostel room. What brought us close to each other was the deep affection that both of us had for a certain person. Sheen called Him Lord Jesus and I called Him Jes- with love. She loved Him and I adored Him and both of us sought Him passionately. Going to church didn’t seem enough to express our love to Him. We would sit for hours sharing how He had touched our lives in so many different ways. His love was the first cord that bound us to each other.
Life went on. We finished college. It was time to part again. This time it was very painful. Our love for Jesus was not the only thing that connected us now. It had grown into a love that had evolved from a deep understanding of the other. As all friends, we too had our differences. Yet we cared deeply and held on patiently. So the distances between us couldn’t diminish the love.
We also had our share of adversities in life. At twenty four, I was pregnant without the legal sanction of marriage. She was angry and scared. Yet she stood by me. My boyfriend and I got married soon. Some months later I gave birth to a girl. She saw me through all the hardships. A few years later Sheen fell in love with a boy outside her community. An occurrence that was unheard of and unacceptable in that community. They all socially isolated her – even her parents. With a broken heart, she took her marriage vows. I wasn’t sure whether he was the right man for her. I was scared for her. Yet I stood by her praying that her faith should save her.
Now both of us are engrossed in our own families- in two different cities. We hardly get any opportunities to see each other. We only call each other occasionally. A lot of things have changed about both of us – even the way we relate to God. Yet I know that even if the whole world is against me, Sheen will stand by me and I will do the same for her.
Just the other day, as I was walking through the supermarket, I bumped into a college mate. We were overjoyed at the reunion and spoke about a lot of things. Suddenly he exclaimed, “Hey! How is your cousin? Where is she these days?” I smiled. Only this time, there was nobody I could wink at.
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