This post is in response to the Blogadda Contest on friendship day titled ‘Friends Forever’ in association with Pringoo.
Good friend is someone who stops you from fighting, but your best friend will say “Maar sale ko Maar, jo hoga dekh lenge (Hit him, we will deal with the after effects together.)”
Friends are like flowers in our lives, they can come and bud at any odd or even part of our lives, grow and eat into our resources, blossom and wither, but even when they die they provide manure for us to be better and stronger. We are beautiful because of them; can you imagine a plant without flowers? Even cacti’s have them.
In my life, I’ve had more than my fair share of flowers so many that if I even try to bring all of them in one post, just the names will suffice to fill my post, so I will mention some of the buds which blossomed and filled my life with unforgotten fragrances.
As I child I remember, actually I don’t remember any such incidents but my family still revels in our childhood mischievous activities, my first friend was my first cousin, Dhaval, who was a month younger than me. I have been told, we used to dig the garden, sow marbles and coins, and water the plant because we wanted that thing then, we dint understand why our grandparents bothered growing ladyfingers and green chilies!
Then there is this short span of period since I was around 5 years till the age of 8 that I don’t exactly remember who my friends were, but one incident comes into my mind where this girl had complained about me to my class teacher, where I had promised to never consider her for the post of my best friend, but fate had other things in store for me. She is Anisha, another cousin of mine, who is also a cousin; yes I’ve got a humongous family. I will get back to Anisha later though.
During school days, I was fortunate to have a new friend bloom almost every year, lots of reason bound, but I shall now dwell too much on any as of now. Instead I will thank my stars for blessing me so many bonds in those years that today I can call it my lifetime (should I call it my school time rather?) blossom. Each year, my friend of the year used to be a new candidate, but some time in the 7th and 8th grade classes I met her, one friend who would be with me all my life, Saadiya, a Muslim at a time when the Hindu-Muslim rift was very deep, my parents were not too sure of letting me go to her house especially for late nights or stay-over. But it did not deter us in any way. Our acquaintance started in the computer lab of our school and spilled into our lives, so strong is the bond that even today though thousand of miles away, not in touch on a regular basis, I know and even she knows the day we need each other we are just a call away. There’s this one incident which I cannot miss to mention here; I was always a lazy student and Hindi was a subject which dint get mentioned in my list of things to be done at all. But unexpectedly when we were asked to submit our books for inspections, my book got to the teacher somehow, I told her it’s not mine, but the books cover had my name, so I was spared the consequences. On inquiring I figured out that this new girl in class, Saadiya, had made an extra copy on my behalf and submitted it. That’s when lighting struck me.
In the same year, I also came across Dipti, another sweetheart, darling she was.(NOoooo I’m not a lesbian.) but she was, when she had to move away from our city, she wrote a letter to Saadiya telling her to look after me! And she was just as old as me! But today I have no idea where she is, Dipti if you happen to come across this, please get in touch.
But as all other school friends even Saadiya was in my class only for that 1 year, next year I met another gem of a person, Noorie, she and me were like sesame twins. Did all the wrong things, all the blunders and even got punished together too. Noorie and my ties from that year till date are very strong, if Saadiya and me never fought-all thanks to her, Noorie and me have often fought quarreled, parted ways and made-up like every time. Each time our affection grew to newer bounds.
This year I also made friends with Aarti, another friend I would love to get in touch with. I remember her running with me behind teacher of physics, chemistry and Biology to give me some grace marks and pass me. It was very special considering she was the topper of the school. More often then not she tutored me and whenever possible she also helped me in my exams, so much so that in one of our 10th standard prelims, she passed her whole paper to me too.
During this time, I had to prepare for my 10th boards, wherein my mom (who was not on my lost of friends then) noticed my soaring friendly adventures and accordingly dipping grades, decided to send me under my (relentlessly strict) aunt’s wings, enter Anisha again, she showed me what loving and enjoying life was all about, she taught me we live only once, make the most of it. And in her I found another life guru for myself.
Next year, as expected, Aarti moved to a new country and Noorie and me were shoved into different classes, so I had to again scout for a new best friend, this time it was Anurag, I guess you’ve figured out by now that I was in a girls school, Anurag and me were in class 11 and 12, but I guess something was amiss there, cause today I don’t even remember what we fought over, she still wont add me to her Facebook friends list. Here I take this opportunity to tell her, life is very short dear, lets just remember the nice stuff and make the most of it, means lets add each other on our FB list.
I was thinking that my life is complete with these friends, the best that any person could get, I had Saadiya and Noorie. I need no more friends, no more people in my life, it was perfect. But that’s when I realized I was going to be blessed all over again. Till this time I was in the company of only 2-3 good friends, but in college I was bombarded with 6 friends, yes 6 and all new to Bombay. So there we were discovering Bombay and these were the best times in my life, rather are the best times yet, and feel very proud that even today, we know that in case I need them or vice verse, we are there for each other; at any time of the day or night. (Sweeties please don call after 11, I sleep early these days.) Oppss, I forgot to mention those 6 special names, Nimisha, I know its Nimeesha, Amit- my own Mr. Fix it all, Prakash-or Ash as he likes it, Vicky-whom I used to ask for his REAL name a zillion times, Hinal- the perfect child, friend, wife and now mother, and Rajat, a Mumbaikar, who somehow got me admitted in the college with my poor marks.
Amit actually deserves a special post on being a perfect friend so will do that in the near future, Amit better keep reading even though I know you are busy traveling.
Then this time I had to move away, God could not find an excuse to move 6 people away from me so somehow he made me make the move this time. So again I was back on my favorite yearly ritual, hunt-a-friend, this time my target was Shweta and her gang. Thanks dear for being there for me in those days.
Lots of people came and went from my life, but I could have the strength to make new and better friends because of one permanent friend in my life, my saga on friends would be incomplete of I don’t mention her name, Jaya, my mother. She has been the best friend a complete package, whom I could do any wrong and get away with it, not because she was my mother but because she I was her only best friend. This I realized after I became a mother. It is one of the most selfless and most honest relationships in our life, and I have been very lucky. Touch wood. I know you will never read this entire account mum, but I love you anyhow.
All my friendships started with a simple “Hi” somewhere changed to “Wassup” then grew into “Oye pagal (mad)” tented towards “ tu apna dimag mat chala (Don’t think too much)” fell down to“thapad khana hai kyat (I‘ll slap you )” and finally came “tu sambhal lena yaar (look out for me friend)”.
No names have been changed, I am very proud to have all of you in my life, thank you all whom I have mentioned and the rest also whom I’ve not mentioned.
Friends at Pringoo.