Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE friend

Two tiny eyes wavered as fast as they could trying to catch a glimpse of the second row in the fast approaching school bus. She was not there. As the bus neared, I found her seated in the third row as against the usual second row. I sighed and rushed to the bus not waiting for my father to bade goodbye.

When my parents proudly boast to the relatives that their daughter never cried to go to school, they donot realize that the credit had to be shared with my best buddy, Kayal, who guarded a seat with her bag and waited with a smile for me, to spend the rest of the school bus journey with momentous memories.

We talked about everything in detail, be it the silly school fight or debating on the existence of The Almighty. She was a voracious reader and I the perpetual questioner. We brainstormed and came to our own conclusions. Those were days of exploration through observation.

On the first day of grade I, the students were shuffled and luckily we were in the same class. Kayal wanted to be with those sent to a different class and cried  inconsolably. The teacher sympathized and took her to that class. I felt left out. I could not do much but reserved my knowledge quests for the bus journeys.

Kayal's parents put her in a different school in grade VI. For another time, I felt lonely despite the cacophonous school bus. Suddenly she returned after a week. Kayal had not liked the new school and had come back. By now, we had grown up and had different friend circles. The next year, I was shifted to a different school. After one year, I too returned to my old school as nothing felt like second home than my old school. We both had drifted apart in different directions. I did not have anyone to confide in. There were caring friends, loving friends, supportive friends but none like her. There was no one to understand my motives exactly the way she did.

While in grade XI, we were back in the same class after a very long time. The void was refilled with joy and peace. We enacted a classic play, staged a political satire and even directed one on teacher's day. All only for a couple of years. Most of the students chose the obvious best college in the city while Kayal joined another and I failed miserably in persuading her to join mine.

Our interactions had been few and far between since then. However, we had been with each other on our testing times a well as ceremonial celebrations. When her father shed tears of joy on the day of her wedding, nobody noticed another pair of moist eyes
shedding copious tears of separation.

I always had wondered God's reason behind this hide and seek game in our friendship. Maybe it was to avoid familiarity breeding contempt. Or it was to strengthen our bond over the years. I don't know. Kayal has joined Whatsapp now and I am over-excited. Will we part again? So what? God has destined us to be friends for life which will reunite us, sooner or later.

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