CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
When you just read these words, a plethora of some of the very happy memories of your life comes gushing inside your head, leaving you blissful.
Even if at some point you have had a fall-out with any of your friends still, the memories you first recall are of the happier times with them.
So today, I am not sharing any single memory but, an assortment of memories as a tribute to my very best friends. And yes, I will be talking about the happier ones today. The other ones – some other time 😉
The very first one is of course about, my own sister. (I dare not forget mentioning her, for she will not spare me for the rest of my life.) Though she is younger to me by a year and a half, she never had a problem in overlooking this fact. In our childhood days, we were a perfect example of FRENEMIES.
Couldn’t be with each other and couldn’t be without either. But as we grew older and maturity started finding its roots into our personalities we became more bonded. Instead of telling tales about each other, we started watching each other’s back. There was this one time when we were both having our final exams and she fell really ill. I used to sit beside her bed reading out loud from her book so that she could memorize her lessons, forgetting my own. Another time, she helped me prepare all the teaching aids when I was doing my Bachelor of Education. She used to work late until midnight, making innumerable charts with all the smallest of details included. (Although for years, I was forced to offer my gratitude for the sacrifice of her beauty sleep but nonetheless). Till date, she is one of my besties and would remain so for the lifetime.
In my school, from kindergarten till my fifth grade, we were a group of four friends. We used to be together always – whether it was our lunch-break, going to the library, attending the PE classes. Those three meant the world to me. I couldn’t look beyond them. So much so that I didn’t even bother to know about others in the class. Our teachers had a hard time separating us as we used to get really upset about it. I remember that at one point in time we all had almost decided to leave our families and live together as we were really sick of our parents’ scolding and siblings’ irritating behavior. As I look back, I can’t stop but smile recalling those, oh so serious conversations of making a list of all the essentials required after we left our home. Never-ever thought that there will be a time when I would have none of them with me.
Came 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades… During these years I wouldn’t say I was lonely but I never had a steady group either. There were classmates with whom I talked and enjoyed my school days but nobody became close enough to be a really good friend.
Then came 11th and 12th. These two years were some of the best years of my school life. I had gradually come close to five of my classmates and, we kind of stuck together. Since we used to spend most of the day together, we had become almost inseparable. We used to go to school together and then for our private classes as well. We used to celebrate our birthdays and visit each other’s houses during the festivals. We had a kind of solidarity which everyone wished to have but couldn’t. Like buffoons, we used to always crack jokes and laugh our days off.
Thick as thieves we had done all the possible pranks within our school premises —
Bunking classes, Playing pranks on teachers, Making a mess in Science labs, Exploring the unexplored areas of the school, Mimicking the teachers, Hiding in Libraries and whatnot… You name it and we had done it (But mind you… we were only naughty, not misbehaved). Our friendship was envied by many- our classmates as well as juniors. I don’t know why but by the end of our 12th, we had a very bad fall-out (details later in another post).
I completed my higher education and started my career as a teacher. After my marriage, I relocated to Bangalore and it was then when I started working in one of the schools there… that I met them.
This was the first time when the friendship was instant. The moment we met each other we liked each other. It is true that our friendship began in a work-place but fortunately instead of developing any feelings of competitiveness or jealousy we built a good rapport.
How we became such close friends, even amazed us. We had been born and brought up in different states and distinctive environments. We didn’t have anything common between us. If one of us was fond of cooking, the rest three hated it. If three of us liked to read, the other one didn’t even bother to finish a book in months. Our dressing styles were different. Our hobbies were not same. Even our teaching subjects were separate. There was a constant difference of opinion amidst us and most of our time passed bickering with each other. Taunts and sarcasm made most of our conversations. Any outsider hearing our talks considered us, to be sworn enemies.
But boy oh boy! Didn’t we have fun…? You bet. We had so many evenings spent together after the work. Going places, shopping outings, movies, coffee breaks and gossip days were just a few of the many fun things we did.
Again, it would be wrong to limit our friendship only to the fun zone. As our friendship started gaining depth, we became each other’s support system – both in personal and professional front. We were always there as a shoulder to cry on, as a listening ear, as an advisor, as a shield, as a cheerleader and as well as a punching bag.
It was our mutual respect and love towards each other as an individual that brought this friendship so far. We were always honest with each other. However angry it made the other one, we cleared all our misunderstandings or hurt feelings by talking directly. We accepted each other with all the perfections as well as imperfections. This friendship of ours, with all its good and bad, is for the lifetime.
It seems my life has come a full circle regarding my friendships. I made my first circle of friends with a group of four girls while studying in school and today after all these years my circle of friends still is a group of four ladies (different from schooltime of course) who I came across while teaching in a school.
Do you have memories of your special friends? Share them with me in the comments section below.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘C’.