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The Pole Star
I am Maisha, a 16 year old Bangladeshi national living in India. I study in Class X. It has been seven years since I had joined this school. Through this story I would present a brief account of the various types of people I met during this wonderful journey. Subtly, I have also talked about me spending almost my entire adolescence in a land away from home.
My mother is really fond of reading novels. During her pregnancy, she read a book and admired the character of a girl who was called mon amie by her friend. Mon amie is the French translation for my friend. Eventually I was born and she kept this as my nickname. She calls me mon amie at home and it holds quite true as well as I and my mother are each other’s best friends. There is nothing that I don’t tell her, nothing that I ever conceal.
Christy Evans believed that friends are like stars, you can’t always see them but you know they are always there. And I believe that in this beautiful atmosphere of life, one does not need a million of such stars to adorn but one Pole Star who remains constant no matter what. Friendship is indeed one of the most amazing feelings but only for those who can ingest its true essence. It is beautiful only until it is kept so. Unlike love, it is not one sided but requires mutual trust between both the souls tied in this bond. Being an introvert, I had hell lot problems in making friends. It was not at all easy. Especially because once I make one, I get too much attached and usually end up getting hurt.
Being one of the most popular students of my school both amongst teachers and other students, people had always used me. Once they reached fame, they started plotting conspiracies and I am forced to leave them not because I loved them less but because I loved myself more. I am quite picky about the people I make friends with as they need to fit in some of the criteria I have set in my mind. I know it is impossible for someone to be exactly like me but at the same time I believe that if not same I will find someone who is perhaps close to me, whose ideas are like mine, whose heart desires the same beats as mine and whose thoughts flow free with mine into a deep allure of ecstasy.
My first friends were all precocious girls gossiping about the latest happenings of school. Back then I was in Class V. In Class IV, I had just come to India and had not made any dear friend. I tried but could not become like them. I couldn’t become is a lie, but I did not want to sounds better. I don’t know whether they found me boring or I found them weird but I do know one thing for sure, that it was not true friendship. It ended as abruptly it had began. It did not matter much as I had not yet grown that special devotion towards them. But we did not become enemies. We still talk to each other and if not always, we do pass a smile on encountering. New class was followed with new friends. These were some amazing girls who were mediocre in intellect but had a rich heart. I believed that I had finally found the ones I had dreamt of. I was in Class VI. I, Garima and Harshi were the best of friends and had promised to stay so till eternity. Harshi belongs to an affluent background but was down-to-earth…..just like me. Garima hailed from a gaudy one but that did not matter as I found her quite like us than her family. Families do not matter in friendship, right? It is not about where you come from…..but what you truly are! With time, we became the part of a beautiful group of friends. We were fantastic five. Maisha, Garima, Harshi, Mayank and Bhavi. The most happening and talked about group. It went quite well for a year but as sections changed, so did people. Garima went into a relationship and so did Harshi. Geetanshu had now replaced me in Garima’s life. The excitement of adolescence had snatched away my most dear ones from me. They called me kiddish for I did not want to become like them. I felt that growing up does not mean doing these stuff, but staying away from them is what I describe as maturity. Being the most talked about student of my school, I could no longer talk to such people who were being gossiped about teachers and whose parents are called up regularly for disciplinary issues. I wanted to say this to both of them, I wanted them to understand, I wanted them to return. Before all this could have happened, they came and said they had prioritized their life and both had chosen their relationships over me. It hurts, right? They chose and I left. Although I do recall both of them coming to try to talk with me but I no longer had the same empathy to continue. I was left isolated amongst all. My heart cried but my eyes were dry. This was perhaps the first time I felt bad on leaving people. I guess this is what we call attachment. Mayank too broke up with Bhavi. Why? No one knows. Some say it was due to Mayank’s character, once he had used Bhavi, he left him. Many others believe that he had done so as I had left Garima and Harshi. Well the latter makes less sense.
Beautiful days arise after the darkest of nights. We found new people and perhaps better ones. I Class VII we once again formed a Fabulous Five. The three new entrants were Divyani, Shailly and Adheesh. Shailly and Adheesh had joined our school lately. Divyani was an old folk and I don’t know why I failed to notice her all these years. We once again began that endearing trial, walking past all old memories to create new and beautiful ones. The next year was to be a testimony to our friendship. We got separated as usual but this time the bond remained. Classes could not break our adamantine bond. Divyani and Shailly were exact opposites. While Shailly was more than just mature, Divyani was still a kid; immature to the next level. In Class VIII my class teacher made it a rule that students from different sections would not be allowed to enter each other’s classes but still our bond sustained. We met only during the recess that too in the corridors. This taught me that we don’t need to talk everyday to keep it going, if it is true and is felt deeply, it will go on for a lifetime, cherished and remembered. After 3 years, I was quite sure that this is permanent. I once again felt that same attachment with these people. I was sure about one thing, that no matter what Mayank and I shall always remain friends for we had not left each other even in the hardest of times. I thought I had found my Pole Star. He was exactly like me. I still recall those long conversations we had daily. How I used to clear all his doubts just the night before the exam. We were best friends. He was caring and annoying at the same time. After three beautiful years, we all were selected in the School Student Council. People who did not know Divyani and Shailly knew that they were Maisha’s friends. While Divyani was content with this recognition, Shailly had severe problems. She asserted her entity.
Our Class IX exams had just ended and I had effortlessly topped our class with a CGPA 10. This cost me my three year old friends. Who could have imagined that even this alluring bond would cease to exist? It ended with no reason to state on either side. They just stopped talking all of a sudden. I tried to maintain but unfortunately could not. Geetanshu had once again taken over my friends. I wonder how he does it. He never fails to attract all the girls I am close with, and they stick to him as if he was a magnet and my fellow companions, all iron fillings. I always have believed that friendship is much more beautiful than a relationship. In love, you can love a person even knowing that the other side is perhaps not even aware of it. But in friendship, efforts are needed on both fronts. Our break-up had left a deep impact on me. I made my pen my best friend. I spoke fearlessly the words of my heart on paper adorned it with sentiments governing my soul. I expressed my pain only to my words.
After all this, I felt completely disconnected. I no longer had the heart and feelings to put into another bond. My emotions seemed to overweigh me. I had handed over my soul to my words as I felt them to be immortal, escaping all pranks of time. Mayank and Adheesh stood beside me all this while. They made me feel indeed special by the care and respect they had bestowed upon me. I met a new girl Christina who somehow made me realize that the end is not near. She and I had a lot in common, the most significant being that both of us were in a different nation, away from home. She hailed from Japan and was raised by a single-mother. She took the responsibility to keep the fire of companionship alive within me. She once again made me free to accept, expect and love. I have to agree that the bond was not as strong as I had made earlier but there was something. In this while, I also found a new friend Ashna. (And not to be shocked, even Ashna once had a crush on Geetanshu). I met her during Class X. Although she had joined our school in Class VII but in the initial years was involved in acts of regret, something I disapprove of. I was more attached to Christina as compared to Ashna. Mayank and Adheesh did not approve me taking to Ashna as in their vision; she was spoilt (they were quite right) and not fit for our friendship. As my friendship with Ashna grew, our old bonds slackened. My Pole Star started twinkling and all of a sudden we stopped talking. After so many breakdowns, I no longer had the courage to approach nor did they. This was soon after the formation of new Student Council where my old friends did not hold a post any longer.
Christina was also influenced by the rest and I had to leave her. She had also changed. And at the end the one with whom I had the least attachment stood beside me through all odds. She was not what she looked like. She was used by all due to her innocence. I had brought a revolutionary change in her life and had become her Pole Star. The whole class went against me, plotting conspiracies to have me deserted and depressed. Even some of my teachers were involved in all this. Ashna could not reduce the problems but she surely gave me the courage to fight back. We emerged back as warriors, despite being cornered out. I am grateful to her for giving me that courage, for staying there and for being there when I needed someone. She is a beautiful person both inside out. Thank you Ashna for everything.
Along with Ashna, I made another friend named Kartikey. Despite being smaller in age, he is my senior in terms of class. A really immature person who has perhaps just grown in size with a hidden small kid inside. I met him when he had become the Sports vice Captain back when I was in IX. Ashna and Kartikey are perhaps the only true friends I made a these years till now. I made many friends and have heard people exchanging gifts and favors in this bond. While leaving this school forever, the most expensive gifts I have with me are two letters written by my most sentimental (mostly mental) friend, Kartikey.
Today, at the end of seven amazing years I stand here with a Pole Star, my words that helped me shout, cry and smile throughout. My pen grabbing my hand through all circumstances showing me enlightenment in darkness and filling my soul with light. My friendships had it all, feelings, care, emotions but somewhere something must have lacked for what I am what I am today. Everything changed but I still remain the same perhaps just a little stronger.