Not Just Today But Everyday
What is life without friends? It’s like food without spices. My friends have really spiced up my life. I was in my 4th standard and didn’t have any friends. My tenant aunty introduced me to her. Mandu (Mandakini) is the one with whom my childhood and growing up years became a fantasy.
The first day we met is still fresh in my mind. She was a hostelite and her parents had recent moved into our neighbourhood. While she was going she asked me to come to her house at 4 pm. At exactly 3.45 I washed my face, powdered it (the makeup of our times), combed my hair neatly, decked my baby sister, carried her and went to meet my new friend Mandu. That was the beginning of this long journey.
Both of us hit it off immediately. Since aunty and uncle worked long hours to take care of their poultry business her house became my second home and I practically lived there. Both of us were die hard fans of Amitabh and Chiranjeevi and enjoyed watching their movies. We used to be loyal customers of that nearby video rental shop (Olive Video) where we used to rent a cassette for Rs.10/- and then beg that uncle for another one free. Our late night mouth watering dinners and watching movies was real fun.
We never missed outdoor fun too and were out and out tom boys. It was Mandu who taught me cycling and we used to borrow cycles for rent. I still remember our long bicycle rides to Tank Bund Lake in Hyderabad, where we used to hog paani puris and gulp down ganna (sugarcane) juice. Our cricket matches with the neighbourhood little boys was called Pepsi series where the losing team had to buy a Pepsi for the winning team (obviously my team). Our long walks to the parks, having roadside chaat, gate crashing into wedding and picking up free ice creams, standing in long queues for more than two hours to watch movies first day first show, endless bursting of bombs during Diwali, cheering and shouting loudly during cricket matches, the unforgettable day long picnics when we went to the farm with aunty……….Who says boys have all the fun? We girls could beat them hollow.
Every vacation starting from that year was a roller coaster of fun and excitement. My two little daughters listen with awe and envy when I tell them about all my escapades and adventures.
Today I am a house wife and Mandu is a rocking pediatric Surgeon. She is one pillar of strength and I am really proud of her. Though separated by time our friendship is going strong for the past 26 years (touch wood). We are not active in the social media and do not even talk often but uninhibited innocent bonding in our early childhood years has laid the strong foundation for this friendship. Even today when we have our serious discussions (you see we are older and matured now) it always ends in a laugh riot. That’s what my friend can do. She can make me laugh even when I am down in the dumps.
All our life we play different roles as daughter, mother, wife etc but with a friend there is no role to play. You can just be yourself.
A true friend is like rare precious gem. Hard to find but once found treasured for life. Starting from Mandu I have become richer by acquiring a few more friends at every step till now. All of you rock and have added zing to my life. I write this piece to celebrate all of you. Let’s celebrate friendship day not just today but every day.