The best friendships are often forged when young. And some stay on with you for life.
Being vertically challenged, I always sat in the first row in class, right under the teacher’s nose and within easy reach of a smack or an aimed throw of the chalk piece. When in such a vulnerable position you tend to be on your best behavior.
And I was no exception. A straight A grader with an impeccable track record for class decorum. Nerd, geek, I embodied all of it.
And then….. I met my new best friend. Tall, loud and boisterous, she had ‘trouble’ written all over her. The first day she sat next to me in class, the teacher’s textbook fell smack on our heads. Soon we found ourselves being regularly reprimanded for laughing in class. But that did not deter her. She would deliberately giggle loudly to annoy the teacher and end up being made to stand on the bench, all to my amusement.
It wasn’t a wonder then why my younger self loved this girl instantly- she made me laugh. Laugh like never before.
It’s rare to have a friend who shared three graduations with you. Rarer still is one who walked you through everything that happened within those three graduations. And it wasn’t all play. We topped our courses, stayed up nights working on winning fests and assignments. We were even elected President and Secretary of our college public speaking club together. What a combination we made and how I enjoyed quipping “Secretary, Follow me.”
One can only imagine the innumerable life altering events that happen in one’s adolescent years. Be it Weight issues or Boy issues we trumped it all, eventually at least.
Today as her wedding celebrations are underway I find myself continents apart, reminiscing about all the times she stood by me. Instead of looking pretty and joining the cortege here I am sitting at my laptop, miles away where the wedding music cannot reach my ears. I should have been there teasing her as she asked the mehendi artist to inscribe her fiance’s name, hidden among his intricate design. I should have been there to assure her that no other bride ever looked as beautiful as her. I should have been there to hug and bid her goodbye during the Bidaai, to assure her that life will still remain as it is while secretly crying after she leaves.
This is one Best friend who missed her Best Friend’s Wedding.
Sharina. New York, USA
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