Dear childhood friends,
We have come a long way, haven’t we? Remember that time I used to avoid you in class because you were so different from everyone? Or that time we used to play in the park and you used to steal my toys?
You had this really weird circle of friends and I used to judge you so much. It brings a smile to my face to think about that now. Another thing that brings a smile to my face is that time the seats were shuffled in class and, as fate would have it, you became my partner.
And life changed.
Because who would have thought it? Two people who didn't speak at all, all those years of junior and middle school were now such great chums? So inseparable, so in sync? We were so IT in school isn't it? After a while the teachers knew it, the students knew it, heck even the principal knew it (after a curious case of Diwali, a cracker, and a washroom). Jesus.
That was then, this is now. Just look how far we have come. From silly school students to messy half-hearted adults, from "yuck! what's with her attitude" to "you say one bad word about him and I'll make sure you rue the day you were born", from friends forever to family.
Oye? Thank you.
Thank you for staying by me when I flunked that maths exam, thank you for standing up for me even at the cost of being suspended, thank you for sharing your momos, thank you for finishing up my lunch, thank you for making sure I got home safe, thank you for being there when mum and dad weren’t, thank you for being there when the love of my life left, thank you for telling me I was great even when I was told I wasn’t.
I know we don’t talk as much as we used to, I know it’s been a while we went and grabbed those momos, or that chocolate cake at our favorite bakery, I know we went through a rough patch when your partner and I weren’t getting along. I know.
But I also know that if I am stranded in the middle of no-where, and I can’t find my way home, you will be there. I also know that if I am scared of the monsters inside my head in the middle of the night, you will be there to talk to me. I know that you will tell me I am an amazing person even when I absolutely don’t believe it.
And I will cross mountains to see you if you need me, I will make sure I screen that girl you have a crush on enough to make sure she can handle your crazy, I will love you when you are single, I will love you when you are not. I promise I’ll get you drunk when you need it and take care of you when you are throwing up. I promise to fight your mom if you want to wear a white lehenga for your wedding. I will tell you when you are wrong and make sure you know it, and yet I will stand by you when you need to face the world.
I know we don’t say these things to each other. But you know it, don’t you?
Break ups, drunk nights, bad fights, depression, men, women, fight with parents, heartbreak, misunderstandings, new jobs, moving cities, people leaving, people leaving forever, love…we really have seen so much together, haven’t we? We have grown up together through all of it. And we have stuck by each other all along. Even when we drifted apart, we always found a way back.
How could we not?
I don’t think I would have been the person I am today if you weren’t there. Like Ma, Didi, Baba, you have shaped me, honed me, and believed in me when I didn’t care enough to. And you have always been there to remind me of the days gone by, you have been an essential part of my journey, a memory of where I come from and my roots - you will always remind me of who I really am as a person.
You know every time I hear Travelling Song by Ryn Weaver, the line “Soul mates aren’t just lovers you know” reminds me of you, among the other amazingly essential cog wheels of my life. Because I really might not find my lover soul mate you know. Of course you know that, you remind me of it all the time.
But I found you. And that is enough for this lifetime. Even if I have to grudgingly share my french fries with you all my life.