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.

I have no friends or enemies

कोई दोस्त है न रकीब है,
तेरा शहर कितना अजीब है.                               Hong Kong.php

यहाँ किसका चेहरा पढा करूं,
यहाँ कौन इतना करीब है.

मैं किसे कहूं मेरे साथ चल,
यहाँ सब के सर पे सलीब है

वह जो इश्क था वह जूनून था,
ये जो हिज्र है ये नसीब है.

तुझे देख कर मैं हूं सोचता ,तू हबीब है या रक़ीब है,

तेरा शहर कितना अजीब है

There are no friends or enemies

How strange is this city of yours

Whose face should I read now

I have no one who is close to me

Whom should I ask to come along

All of them have their own cross to bear

The affair that I once had was an obsession

This longing which I have now is my destiny

Looking at you, I can’t make up my mind

If you are really a friend or may be an enemy of mine

The Ghazal has always been very close to my heart but for some reason it has been the top of my mind these days.

At a point you do realize the relativity in relationships and the fact that the only thing  static,absolute and changeless about you is yourself.