As a child, I was wise beyond my age. As a true Capricorn, I always believed that I had a greater purpose in life. I always tried to go out of my way, to help people in releasing their burdens and making them happy. Fortunately, none came on my way. Or I should rather say, I made sure that nobody entered my private world, my mind realm? :-p No matter how desperately she followed my every action, with a fixed pair of eyeballs, my mother failed to enter my secret world.
What we do, learn, share or experience in the school, is entirely our own narratives; and it stays with us for the rest of our lives. As for me, I loved to dwell in my own world, my school world (even when I was at home).
It was an English exam in the second or third standard; when I was too busy cooking up my own stories all over the paper because it was my favorite paper. I saw a thin puzzled girl, with teary eyes staring at the paper. She looked at me and almost burst out in tears. I dropped an eraser under the bench and found a way of communicating with her. I gave her a tiny hint. Her eyes lit up. She looked at me with a bright smile; and that smile, melted my heart right away, forever.
Throughout my primary school days, I had only one friend, with whom I shared several moments, hours, days and years. I called her my “best friend,” but, was too afraid of acknowledging her the important position publicly. Yes, she is right about me, even today as she calls me “risk averse” person as a professional business adviser, founder of SheQu Group Inc. based in Sydney. I was too scared, of losing her friendship because she was the only person who noticed an introvert girl and made her feel special.
Image: Madman Entertainment
We exchanged not only Archie’s cards, letters, and diaries, but almost every single moment of our lives, without any technology involved. Back then, we were so innocent, that we needed no long Whatsapp chats, endless selfies, or late-night Face-timing to stay connected. We stayed perfectly connected to each other spiritually, through poems, artworks, and performances. I felt confident and beautiful when my best friend was around. No teacher could separate us, even for an hour. No matter how many times they made us sit apart from each other, we always found a way to be together, all the time!
One fine morning, in the seventh standard, the English teacher decided, that enough was enough. We were by then marked as the most notorious batch of the entire school. The teacher decided that we should be punished. Our seats were changed, and I found a crybaby sitting beside me. She was extremely pissed, and upset and had little interest in conversing with me. I found my next project, the Sagittarius friend.
I started drawing her attention, by pampering her a bit, with my tiffins and chocolates, and she turned towards me. She was a brave, ambitious, open-minded, fearless creature, who believed in getting everything and every person she needed in her life. Yet, she was a little crybaby yearning desperately for love and friendship. The way she looked at me, made me feel even more special and complete as a woman. She unleashed the other side of me, the caregiver, the nurturer. I couldn’t turn her down, for I wanted to be the one she visualized. I wanted to be the pretty, poised and intellectual person, who could engage my Sagittarian friend in meaningful conversations and make her feel better, in every possible way.
Blimey! She emerged to be a dynamic Sagittarian, riding her own Unicorn in her own world (that she herself has created around her).
But, that ended my friendship with my best friend. I thought my new Sagittarian friend, needed me more, and I needed her. She was a gifted writer, an Ocean of emotions, a maverick poet, and a selfless lover, who knew how to cast a spell on the people. Throughout the school, she was known as the charmer. And at our homes, she was the most feared girl. (Thankfully) Unlike my own, many parents were scared that their daughters might turn out to be brave, bold and fearless like her and smash the idea of a stereotypical woman. Many teachers considered her to be a bad influence on the other students, because she was just too wise, mature and an avid reader.
She was a lot more sensitive child than others; and so, they wanted to punish her for no reason. Yet she smiled, with a brave heart and convinced everybody, that life is too short for hatred or disgust. Yet I saw the vulnerable little child, the insecure baby, who was scared of being left alone in the dark. She just knew, how to connect with souls through words or emotions; and she tied my soul, with her soul forever. How could I not love her? She evoked multiple emotions in me. As a writer, she wrote several letters, poems and diaries to me and those words revealed, how deeply she understood me.
But, my Sagittarian friend is a free bird. She flies off to the Neverlands and shows up only occasionally to stir my emotions. I never saw her, during my high school days. She left for Kurseong, and I fell in love for the first time in life. When we spoke for the first time, after two years, we were both heartbroken. She stood by my side for an entire night, and vanished in the morning to Hertfordshire, like a pleasant dream.
Our friendship was limited to a Skype call, a few text exchanges during special occasions and Birthday wishes. And then, out of nowhere, she emerged one day, in Jadavpur University (I was pursuing masters in Film Studies) for a crazy ride. She made me realize, that I was limiting myself too much, from doing the things I love. I realized I need to open up more, meet new people and gather more experience, rather than being scared and over-protective about myself.
Image: Vector Characters
Finally, in 2019 I see my two genius secondary school friends, living their life, their way, and killing it. I scroll through their social media pages, wondering if they were my two lost gems. Two of the most important people of my life-the expensive Archies cards category friends? Are they the same people, who used to be a part and parcel of my everyday life?
It took me around fifteen years, to get two genius minds on the same page. And I got the answer, this year as my Birthday present, as they both say that they are the same people, my third standard best friend, and my secondary school crush! Sure they were ahead of their time, and even the reputed English medium school was not ready for their awesomeness. I always admired them both and waited with a peace flag to come together and celebrate life.
Their friendship is perhaps the best thing that ever happened to me. I feel glad, to be blessed with such real friends, who are creative, immensely talented, compassionate and sensitive individuals, who can read me like a magazine. I am an open book, but not everybody is educated enough to read me. My friends can, and yet the society calls them ‘queer?’ Well, I choose to be a queer then!
And as we reconcile today, with the hope of being better human beings together, we also pledge to make the world a better place for everyone!