In his speech recently, Dada spoke about friendship. He said that one friend is not enough for one’s lifetime and the more friends one has the more enriched life one will lead. Well, I have been really fortunate with my friends; all my friends are my best friends.
This post is about my first best friend.
The day we met first in our first standard class we became best friends. We shared our lunch boxes, color pencils, story-books, and other small things which children are interested in. We gave each other hand-made greeting cards and did not tire talking to each other.
G had a lovely, fair complexion, silky brown hair, and amber eyes. And she was tall for her age. Her house was just opposite to our school and many evenings after school were spent at her place playing snakes and ladders. I still remember the taste of the rice and peas-daal her mother used to make. We both loved drawing and enjoyed participating in drawing competitions. Sometime she bagged a prize sometimes, I did. Even in our class we used to come 1st-2nd. In a way we were competing with each other but that never changed our friendship; it was as sweet and innocent as any 6 year old girl.
I was a happy kid and loved my school. Because of G I loved it even more. For 3 years, my parents got bored of me saying “G likes this, G likes that”. So did G’s parents hear her saying “K likes this, K likes that” more than anything else.
And then one day, we had to move. My Dad got transferred from Pune. I was leaving the city I loved dearly and I dreaded the thought of not meeting G again. On my last day there, I tried extremely hard to not cry. I did something really strong for an 8 year old; I smiled and said “Goodbye” to my friends and G. The memory is still so vivid and the pain fresh. “Pain” might sound an extreme word but that’s the word here.
When my first post-card letter to G was not answered, I tried not to lose heart. And I kept sending her letters for some time. Then time flew, new friends came, there were new things to learn and study. But G was never forgotten.
Last year I tried searching G on Google, orkut, and whichever other source I could think of. In vain.
I was in for a pleasant surprise. My parents and sisters had gone shopping in Pune during Diwali last year. My dad thought he saw a lady who looked just like G’s mom. And guess what! She indeed was. G was standing next to her. They just had to hear my name and there were shrieks of joyous surprise. Wish I were there to see the surprise on their faces.
Calling up G after 18 years, I imagined how the conversation would go. The lost time, the friendship that could have seen years of familiarity, the new friends and different lives we led, what were we going to talk about…I didn’t know. I need not have worried. Once we started talking it was like a torrent. We had so much to talk about, so much to update each other with. For the first few minutes, both of us kept talking at the same time, then kept laughing and then came the questions…too many of them. And then we both were so overcome with emotion that we could hardly talk.
All in all, it was amazing talking to her, and I think I seriously underestimated the happiness a long-lost friend can bring. And all the wonderful exchange of emails, phone calls…There’s so much that I want to write here, but I will keep that till the time we meet each other.