Friends Forever

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends ~ Martin Luther Kings Jr.

We were having our evening tea a little late.On the TV they were talking about an actor’s life.My wife  asked me just out of the blue – Who is your best friend ?

Casually I reacted – No one

She said – Do you at least have a friend ?

I started thinking not sure if I was scanning my phone list or  looking  for  a definition of friendship.

I could not make up my mind and told her I am not sure .

But you get so many calls,so many emails,you keep writing, blogging,going places ?

You are right.May be I have a freind but I don’t know.Never really thought about it .

OK  – how about X ? she said

He is an acquiantance.

and Y ?

We do business together

and Z ? you guys go out and all

That’s because sometimes I don’t feel like talking to the stars after two drinks.

But they must be thinking you as their freind

I don’t think so.If they were it would be unjust on my part….

But you give them an impression of being a freind

Never thought about it.I don’t think so …I think they know about me just like I know about them.

The doorbell rang.Children were back from the neighbors house and I could hear her giving them instructions to wash hands,drink their milk and start studying.Familiar sounds ,even my mom did the same.

I switched on the bedside lamp and picked up Maupassant’s short stories.

I could not read.I was disturbed somewhere deep down.I had no friends I thought.Did I ever have a best friend ? I decided to rewind my life from the very beginning just to be sure that I had no manufacturing defects.

Went back some 30 years – The yellow bus, hot tiffin,Dirty shoes, smell of chalk , white shirts tucked out,ties knotted 6 months back…. two boys.

” So what are you going to do ?”                                               3230398214_59bf02fd22

” I don’t know?”

“Papa will surely thrash me”

“My Dad will lock me up in the dark room with the ghosts”

” If only We did not have to show our report cards”

” Yes but the teacher wants them back signed”

I saw fear in my friends eyes.

I had seen excitement in them when we had played together a day before the exam.I could not imagine him locked up in that black hole.I wanted to help.But how ?

” Wanted to ask you something”

What ?

Have you failed for the first time?

Yes.How about you ?

Me too ?

So you never had to get your report card signed from your father.

Yes.This is the first time the teacher has asked me.

Our eyes met for a while.I knew that he knew what I was thinking.

We opened our school bags and exchanged the report cards.

Next morning as we waited at the bus stop there was a smile on our face.

“How are you doing Dr. Singh ? ” I said mockingly.

“I am just fine Dr.Srivastava.” Came the reply.

For that moment we were friends….best friends.

I had got my answer.I smiled and went back to my book.

15 comments on “Friends Forever

  1. Rahul Khanna says:

    Ha..ha… ha.. Great remembrance of good old days.. these small small mischief played very important role in our lives during those days… nicely expressed…just became nostalgic about our school days:

    छोटी छोटी शरारतें, वो नटख़ट सा मन
    बस अब तो यादों में, खो गया बचपन

    Rajnish!! Have a nice time… keep writing…

  2. Saurabh Prasad says:

    Your story reminds me of so many college friends who were quite close then but now are very different individuals. Maybe this is mutual!

    • aahang says:

      दोस्त पुराने तो बस अब ख्वाबों में मिले
      जैसे सूखे हुए फूल किताबों में मिले …….

      You are right sometimes people change so much that it makes you wonder if you are meeting the same guy. A lot changes with age and experience I guess.

  3. Sambhav Jain says:

    Reminds me of John Hamburg’s movie “I Love You Man” …

  4. Avanish says:

    You have captured very nicely what most of us feel and think these days. In fact I have been telling to my wife for quite some time that I do not have a good friend since I left my college days. It looks like when you become a professional you do not make fast friends. Its only when you are carefree, mast that you make so may good friends. As written in your mail, I also started thinking of my best friends from past, and I could recall at each stage (school, college, univ) we had so many of them, but now i don’t have any.
    And as you would also feel, I think for most of my life I had my brother as my best friend!! with or without the drink!!!

  5. ha ha ha lol… nice memories..especially the report card one ….

    • aahang says:

      My dad reads my blog every weekend.I am waiting for the phone to ring this Saturday…..Thanks for your comment Pankaj but I guess I will need your best wishes too 😉

  6. Very beautifully written.
    A Friend is God’s gift & an expression of ourselves.
    It’s that we start taking our friends for granted & forget the “FRIEND” tag.

    Have a nice day! 🙂

    • aahang says:

      Dear Sunil,
      Just remember the time when you were to move to college from your school or to a new city.How bad it felt to leave behind your friends and companions.It felt that the world would come to a stop.But now we constantly keep looking for ‘options’ outside the company and most organizations have the capacity to piss you off to a point of no return.
      How things change ? You are very right,we must really treat our friends as gifts.
      Have an inspired day !

  7. Grayquill says:

    Your friend – do you still see him? I hope so.

    • aahang says:

      Sadly we haven’t met for some years now.He gave me a call last he was in the city as we have both moved away from the town we grew up in but we could not hook up as I was in one of those silly ‘meetings’.
      3 years ago I had gone to meet him and we had coffee at the Airport Lounge.We caught up on a lot of things and laughed like crazy…….it was just wonderful.

  8. Ravi Lobo says:

    I smell a future Narayan. Keep writing. Writing in such simple style is a Gift. (Contrary to popular belief, it is very difficult to write in simple language.)

    • aahang says:

      आपने तो ज़र्रे को आफताब बना दिया हुज़ूर !

      हौसला अफज़ाई के लिये बहुत बहुत शुक्रिया.

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