It is about my friendship with childhood friend - my first friend after I understood the meaning of the word "friend".
I was in 1st standard when I met her. She was my classmate- rather say, Bench-mate. She was extremely cute with dimpled cheeks and dimpled chin. We had companionship of nearly 6 years after that. She was the Ishaan Awasthi (TZP Kid) of my class. Least interested in studies. She was always ready to donate her things... pencils and erasers and even her copies!!! I remember how we used her copies as roughly as we could to play!
Her home was very near to our school; she used to come by Tanga- the Ghoda Gaadi (Horse-Cart). On the other hand, mine was too far and I travelled by school-bus. We would always invite each other to our homes ( I knowing that it is anyhow not going to happen, our parents wont allow). Relating an interesting incident below, when I was in 1st standard!!!
Friendship: The Beginning
One fine day, she told me that she wants to come to my home and entered my school bus along with me. Now, how could I say NO.?? I was happy... but was afraid about my mom's reaction. She told me that she has informed her brother. So.. The bus started.. In every two minutes she would ask "When will we reach your home?" She never had such a long journey it seemed. At bus stop, Mom was waiting for us. I gave my bag to Mom.
Mom asked, "Who is she???".
"My friend!!! She wanted to visit our home..." , I said.
"I told her that my home is very far.. but she already told her brother... so... I .." I continued justifying that I didn't invite her.
My sweet mom smiled and didn't say anything and I thanked God (I don't really know if I knew what thanking God was, but I'm sure I took a sigh of relief). Mom prepared gulab jamuns that day for us. I gave her my frock to wear, and we played that evening.. extremely happily...I wished her home was near to mine... Dad came back from office. He looked at my mom and asked with gesture about her. Dad went to Bedroom after listening to the whole story, not bothering much.
My paternal uncle came after some time and he was astonished to see such a small child, and.. kind of.. bashed my parents for not bothering to take her back to her home. He was worried that her parents will be worried by this time.
"She is hardly 6 years, what will you do if she cries in the night for her mom????" , He asked my parents. "Give me her bag, I'll drop her now.", he said.
"I will go tomorrow", she cried.
I too cried, but did not dare to say a word before my uncle.
My uncle took her in his arms and lovingly said "Your mom would be worried, Lets go to home".
He asked her "Where is your home?".
"Ummm.... Uncle... There is a temple and a BIG Tree... There are so many birds on it. They do "chi -chi" all the time. My home is near to that place", she replied innocently, wiping her tears. You can guess what reaction one must be having after hearing this.. :D
When they reached school, the watchman told that her parents were so much worried that they have already registered a police complaint. Somehow, she reached her home safely that night, with my uncle's strong will. We came to know later that she was a single child in her family, and had no brother.
This small tale is remembered again and again in my home, till date... :)
Years passed by, and we still were best of friends. Her only problem was studies. I remember another incident, I still remember it with much detail...It goes back to sometime, when I was in 4th standard.
We were asked to submit H.W copies , my homework was complete, but my copy was not covered with the Brown sheet, which was a MUST. I was afraid.. As always, she readily donated a brown sheet. She removed it from her own copy and wrapped it neatly on mine. Erased her name and wrote mine.
I asked her "How about yours?".
She said with recklessness "My homework is anyhow not completed. No worries..".
I submitted my copy happily and... she was punished. She was hit by scale and big tears rolling down her cheeks. I felt so bad, and realized that I could have helped her complete her homework, rather than taking that sheet to save myself. I felt guilty, but I never expressed it, and ironically, I scolded her for not completing homework.
Slowly, my circle of friends changed. I started being more with my kind of students with whom I can discuss studies, with whom I could play knowledge oriented games apart from the regular childish 'hide and seek' sort of games.. I got the feeling of "not my kinds" for her. The innocence of friendship was gradually decreasing. With maturity, we start choosing friends.. Friendship no more happens automatically. We start looking at the characteristics: How good is she/he in studies, how one dresses up, how well he/she speaks in English... interests, values, ethics, etc.
I was now in 9th standard.. and she was still in 7th Standard. After spending 2 years of unsuccessful attempts in 6th standard, she was somehow, promoted to 7th standard, with much difficulty. We were in different classes now, and obviously, we became distant with just a few hello, hi's and Byes..
That day, I had to do some decoration in our class. I needed some colours. She appeared in corridor and I casually told her about the decoration stuff. Again, she was ready with some colours, and offered them.
I asked "How come you have all the colours?".
"Its 'Drawing' Exam today", she replied.
"How can you give this to me??? It's your EXAM. Keep it for your-self. I'll get from else-where." I refused to take.
"I will have option of Pencil drawing, will opt for it. No worries..." she enforced me to take it.
I finally took 2-3 colours out of the bunch and thanked her.
That was the last time I met her. I never saw her again. Some said that she got married. Some said that she changed her school. I wished I could meet her one last time and say thanks. I wished I could do something for her.
I tried to find her in orkut and facebook, when I joined these sites.. in vain.
She has always been in my childhood memories that I cherish.
I remember the way we played, the way we ate together, the way I scolded her, the way she cried when I was hurt... I never admired her qualities then. In fact, I never observed them. When I brood over these incidents, I realize that she taught me few great things, which school and studies can never teach one. She showed me unconditional love with the tiny concerns and tiny things of school-life.
I feel lucky to have some true friends in my life, for whom I have this 'unconditional affection'. Friends... whom I accept as they are.
Source: Crux of Life