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A Friend of Mine

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It was the beginning of April in 2005, the beginning of a new school year (In India the school year begins in April), with new books to study and new teachers to size up. I had gone to Diu with my family. We had to pause our journey at Veraval while going and returning. It was a stinking city, literally speaking; it smelled terribly of fish. While returning, we had gone to Somnath Temple. It was a really big temple, by the sea. All I appreciated about it was the sea. I love the way waves form, just a bit away from the beach, and then decline as they come towards the shore. The sea looked grand, so big, so vast. We were just in time for the sunset. It was beautiful. But despite the majesty of the sea, I hate the place from the bottom of my heart. Not because the city stinks, but because it is the place where I got, perhaps the most terrible news of my life so far. A piece of news that I had been dreading for a month. I had been refraining myself from thinking about it. Not that I run away from facts. It’s just that I was trying to be optimistic. Optimism is not something I work at, it just happens. And I feel glad of this trait of mine.

We were sitting in the hotel room. And suddenly the mobile started ringing. I checked the caller ID and smiled when I saw the name.

“ The transfer list has come,” she said.

“ And what happened?” I asked, half-excited and half-scared.

“ To Bhopal,” she said.

I was trying to control myself. But I know my voice was becoming smaller and smaller. For the last two years the answer to my question had been “ No name in the list”. I could not digest this new answer. It was almost too much to bear.

When I got off the phone, I turned to my parents. My throat was all choked up and I could hardly get the words out of my mouth. I managed to tell them the news before bursting into tears. They tried to console me but obviously, that was not enough.

I returned to Ahmedabad. The school days were not fun anymore. Although she was there for sometime, her face kept reminding me that she was going away. We tried to make the best of our time together. But few of our moments alone with each other were too intense. We could not speak, we were constantly thinking about what was happening to us.

She went away. The next few days were of crying spells. School suddenly seemed like a strange land. I realised that I hardly knew the rest of the students; I had spent all my time with her. In the process, I had neglected other people. Maybe in some way, it was good that she went away. I started paying attention to other students, who must have felt ignored until now. And they did show that they didn’t like being neglected. Sometimes, they deliberately ignored me to pay me back. Otherwise, they were mean. But now, after two years, they behave quite nicely. I have got pretty close to some of them. But they will never compare to her. She was special and she will remain special forever. She was my best friend and she will remain my best friend forever. She is my only true friend and her name is Shraddha.





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JayRaj said...
Aug. 21, 2010 at 12:55 am
If u r wondering why a comment after so many days, then its just that I thought of reading it again, in silence and I was looossttt...!! Truly professional style and excellent language. Simple yet very effective!! Hats off!!
 
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