Today a person whom I love and cherish (other than K and my family of course!) celebrates her birthday. Memories of her always make me smile. The good ones I mean 🙂 We met for the first time when we lined up to take an aptitude test in the sweltering Chennai heat in July 1997. Yes!! Eleven years ago. Test done, waiting for the results to be posted for the group discussion I noticed she was in the same group I was. Of the ten people in our discussion I remember just the two of us going at each other trying to outshine and out-vocalize the other. I remember distinctly not liking her because I thought she was the reason my other good friend from college did not get through that round. Interview over, we met each other at the bike stand where I was waiting for my dad if I remember right or to take an auto. She was with her dad. Said hello, exchanged numbers and went home.
I was surprised to hear from her dad/her the next day. S/he had taken the liberty to find hostel accomodation for me as well in Bangalore. I was touched and happy that I wouldn’t be alone is a strange place. A few weeks later saw us both settled in our hostel room. I believe the first few weeks was crucial to cementing our friendship. We swapped school stories, college friendships, prior job relationships and burnt midnight oil just doing that. We allied ourselves firmly with each other and the first few months was almost like a honeymoon. The phase when we put our best foot forward. We are prepared to like everything about the other person.
Then the differences creep in slowly, surely. We try to dismiss it as an aberration. We try to adjust and move on. Over time we learn to agree to disagree. We spent almost three years sharing a tiny room, working for the same project, taking the same bus, moving in the same circles. Then the inevitable happened, we moved. To different projects, different cities and in some sense different ideologies.
This is one friendship I can say truly stood the test of time. We have fought, spent months being cold to each other, felt incredibly hurt when priorities shifted and yet always managed to come back to each other for support, friendship and sisterhood. That’s how I think of her always, as another of my sisters.
For all those days spent plaiting your hair, getting you tea, pushing you to get ready earlier. For all those emotional arguements we have had, the major fights, the cold shouldering. For all the movies we have seen together, for all the train trips to and from Chennai. For all those moments of jealousy you have caused, I want you to know I wouldn’t have had it any other way. You have made my life richer, and meaningful by the depth of your friendship. I love you and look forward to sharing stories and laughing many many years into the future.
Happy Birthday Dearest A!!! Here’s wishing the day is perfect for you. Sunny skies, mild breeze, greenery all around and all the love you can find.