She had been studying in the same class as me since KG but I don’t remember much of her during those years. Maybe I was too busy checking out all the new stuff in school, so many new people, new books, new things to learn. We were in different divisions from UKG till 4th Grade. Even during those years, I never remember noticing her. I knew she used to be among the first 3 rank-holders in her division but it never bothered me. I was busy with my group of friends, anyway. In 4th Grade, when we ended up in the same class, my biggest fear was that she would be competition for me, since I had been one among the top 3 rank-holders in my division and I really don’t like having rivals. Well, I wasn’t wrong. She did turn out to be tough competition but I admit that I enjoyed it. We started liking each other’s company and slowly became friends. She had another best friend, back then. I used to envy their friendship, the way they always stayed together, always happily there for each other. I used to wish I could have her as my best friend, too.
Through 5th Grade, we were the same good friends, sharing experiences, getting closer. Her best friend left our school after 5th Grade and joined a school in Kerala. So, it was the most natural thing for us to gravitate towards each other. Somehow, we seemed to belong with each other than with anyone else. We loved each other’s presence and company. We had so many ideas. now, when I think back, I remember us as a bunch of kids who were, literally, bursting with creative, vibrant ideas…wanting to do something different, always. There was this time when we wanted to do the Christmas Carol play for our School Annual Day (we even chose the girls for the roles)…then, we came up with another idea for a play, then something else. The best part was that we had a couple of brilliant teachers who gave free rein to our creativity and imagination.
Anyway, we went through that phase of overactive, crazy ideas. In 6th Grade, we had this series of bitter fights. The reason for those fights were all silly and it’s kinda embarrassing to think we actually fought over something like that. We hurt each other with sharp remarks, a little bit of name-calling and some ruthless cold war. But eventually, we got back together. Now, looking back, I wonder if, perhaps, that phase of quarrelling was necessary for bringing us closer. We said our apologies and then by 7th Grade, we were together in such a way that we couldn’t be separated from each other. It’s been that way for the past 9 years, even through the last 3 years when we were in different corners of the same country. And I hope we remain inseparable, like this, forever.
Let me introduce you to the she/her in this story. She is Kiran – my bestest friend, confidante, bitch (That’s her!!), loves me, super-eccentric female who lives in a fantasy-world half of the time, loves me, loves Sherlock Holmes, sensible (mostly), loves me…and well, basically, loves me. 😀 She would kill me for writing all this shit about her. Because telling out that she loves me would be the last thing she’d ever do!! 🙂 We happen to be this very sane group of people (quoting her words) who don’t really believe in expressing our love and friendship through constant screeches of ‘I Lovvve Youu’/’I Missss Youuuu’/whatever…. 😀 That’s exactly the kind of thing you can expect from her mouth. Well, you get the idea.
We have been together for so long now that I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t part of my life. OK, I guess I can. 🙂 Back at school, there was this teacher who used to joke that we would never be seen without the other in tow. That was a little exaggeration, just a tiny little bit. 🙂 Through those naughty, crazy 6 years at school, we were stuck to each other. We saw each other become more of the person we are, going through all those teenage years. We made up stupid pairs in 8th Grade, went through crazy incidents in 9th and 10th (French classes, checking out the lunch boxes :P), had some ‘heart-breaking’ times through 11th as we got our taste of love and relationships…finally, growing into something we were comfortable and happy with by 12th Grade. Along those years, we changed an amazing lot, though we didn’t notice it then.
We became more thoughtful and a lot crazier. We discovered each other and grew to love the other for what she truly was. The changes were never strong enough to drive us apart. Instead, we simply accepted each other, along with all the eccentricities, flaws and changes that formed the other. We did have our bad times; times when we, unknowingly, hurt the other; times when we cried…but that was all part of what made our bond stronger.
We would spend the whole day together, in class, chattering in between, sharing stupid jokes. Even after getting home, we couldn’t seem to stop ourselves from talking over the phone for hours, about nothing in particular. I haven’t been able to find a person with whom I can talk mindless stuff like I could with her. She was one person with whom I could share very piece of random information that I got, be it gossip or movies or music or books or world news or absolutely whatever! It might sound like too much time together but, trust me, I could never get enough of it. Some of my happiest memories were created with her.
After joining college, we have met very rarely (since our vacations don’t coincide often) but we have kept in touch with each other through e-mails and phone calls. Unlike before, she may not know each small thing that happens in my life. But she knows all that matters, big or small. She can still, magically, sense the distress in my voice, from so many miles away. She can make me laugh, think, feel good at heart…but most of all, she makes me feel happy with her presence in my life. Nobody could possibly replace her.
A couple of days ago, I missed her a damn lot. Because I really wished for the presence of a friend and everyone happened to be immersed in their own lives. I thought of Kiran and I could easily see how different life would have been, had she been with me. I miss the constant togetherness that I associate with friendship. Kiran and I never spoke it out loud that we would be together always. It just happened, naturally… I wouldn’t feel like going out if she weren’t coming (A common conversation: Me-“Are you going?” Kiran-“No, you?” Me-“If you’re not going, then, of course, no!”) ; all our plans included each other, by default.
I can clearly imagine how college would have been with her beside me. 🙂 That’s what makes me realize how there’s nothing of that kind of friendship out here (except among some, whom I envy). Nothing about being together…even if it’s something as simple as having the meals together or walking to and from college with your best friend. Here, there’s no sense of togetherness, everyone is busy with their lives. I miss the kind of friendship I had with Kiran. The time away from her has made me realize that I’ll never be able to find anyone like her in life. I have learnt that true friends will always be with you, no matter the distance or time. They are souls who connect to you in ways beyond imagination, with whom you can be what you are and be assured of never being judged. Kiran once said that she’s glad she’s got a best friend who will never judge her, even if it’s something as grave as cheating on her husband. It might sound like an exaggeration, but I know I’d do that, if it ever happened (hope it doesn’t!!!). There’s this quote I found, that applies so perfectly to us… It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
And even though this wasn’t exactly said in a friendship context, it reminded me so much of our friendship : “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin