True Friend For Life

Friendship is one of the most widely explored topic. There are millions of stories, articles, television shows, movies about different types of friendship and the way it changes your life. Although there is a lot already told about this limitless warm relationship, there is still lot ahead and the best part is you never get tired of it.

From the days of childhood we make friends at home, at school and as we grow up some disappear, while some remain throughout your life. I had many great friends without whom my life wouldn’t have been the way it is. Every moment I have spent with them laughing or crying, has been incredible and amazing. Today I will be telling the story of one such special person in my life who was not only by best friend at one time but has been a true friend throughout.

When I first came to Kolkata for doing my bachelor’s, I was only 18 years old. It was the first time I was out of my home, living in a hostel. How much ever comfortable a hostel maybe, it can never compete with the coziness and warmth of your home and mine was definitely a mediocre arrangement for basic living. I loved my college and my newly found independence, so didn’t feel much homesick. But at times living out of your comfort zone can make you feel depressed. One such gloomy morning, I got out of my room and went to the common area where the water filter was kept to fill my bottle. I saw a girl with brownish-auburn hair, which is very uncommon trait to find in Indian people, standing near the water filter filling her huge jug. I asked her if she would allow me to fill my bottle first which was much less in volume. She turned her head to look at me and said that she was almost done with a little reserve in her voice. Her eyes were big and beautiful and were sitting on a plump pretty face with a cute mouth. She was fair complexioned with a little honey mixed in her skin colour which made her look even more attractive.

In order to make conversation while waiting for her to fill her jug, I asked her name. Thereafter the conversation just flowed on and I learnt that A’s birthday was in the end of June which meant she was a cancer. I told her that I am a virgo and cancers and virgoes are very compatible. I said, we can become good friends. Though for all my blabbering about sun signs, her reply was not very encouraging. She merely said “Oh really, let’s see! I don’t think sun signs can make friends”.

The next time I saw her she was going out with some friends and had put on a little make-up which really looked good on her, but she had the same old reserved look on her face. I tried talking to her a couple of times and slowly I don’t exactly recall when we became friends. We used to have lunch and dinner together everyday. We studied in different colleges but as soon as we reached the hostel we used to go out together. Later I got shifted to her room and there started the great journey towards becoming best friends forever. We also had another common friend and room-mate, D and we made a perfect trio for going to movies, for shopping and thousands of crazy things that we did.

Oh I still remember the day, when D colored her hair red, I had to keep on washing her hair for an hour to decrease the intensity of the redness. I used to call her ‘Lal Badshah’ or the ‘Red King’ in public to tease her.

We had a band of our own called the ‘beggar band’ and our lead vocalist was A aka ‘beggar’ of the beggar band. We had such a pathetic name for our band as all of us had meager pocket-money and ‘A’ was called the lead because she tried to save money from the little we got from our parents. She was also the best child among us who really thought about her parents. I remember her gifting her father a titan wristwatch from the pocket-money she saved. This gesture touched my heart and I have never been able to forget it. In fact, later keeping her as an example in my mind, I gifted my parents sarees and shirts with my PhD stipend.

We had such emotional bonding that even if we were angry with each other or if I had hit A (I was an extremely wild child as a teenager) or if she was not talking to me, all issues got resolved within a day and we never ever kept any bitter feelings later. She always dutifully called me in the morning so that I could study a little bit as if she was my mom. I always screamed at her for trying to wake me up in the morning but she never held it against me for which I am eternally grateful to her.

We used to share ‘Golgappas’ from one plate which were always extremely hot and spicy because A used to tell the vendor to go on adding green chillies into it and later I used to take away her vaseline lip balm to cool my lips. When she would not be able to find the lip balm she would look at my lips and smile in a naughty way saying “I knew that you are the thief as soon as I saw those shiny lips of yours” and then we would have a good laugh.

Now when I reminisce those days, I feel a little sad that it’s all in the past and no matter how much I crave for them, they will not return. Golden memories of our fights, our jokes, our experiments with make-up and hair color, our whistling at movies, our crushes, heart-breaks and the hearty poems of the old worn-out topic, romance are now part of the album called ‘life’.

But the good thing is that A is still by best buddy and even after her marriage, having a baby, becoming a successful teacher, she is the same to me. Her behavior has not changed even a bit towards me. She has a very handsome and good-natured husband and a beautiful kid. I wish her all the happiness in life from the core of my heart. Cheers to our friendship.

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