Some 11 years back, our family shifted from a small (but beloved) town Gorakhpur, to a somewhat bigger town, Kanpur. New city meant new school, and of course new faces, something I was quite eagerly looking forward to. Just a day into my new class, and I was introduced to a fact that was going to stay with me for years. This big city somehow wasn’t that big at heart, to me.
Never expected ignorance on the first day, to be looked down upon as a small-town over the next few months, to coming face to face with the fact that people were appreciated according to the size of the apartment they lived in, were some truths that were going to trouble me for a long time.
But I wasn’t wrong in believing that Life isn’t that unfair. Amid all those clouds of materialism coated lifestyle, I came across a genuine existence. Someone who mirrored my experience. This one I call Moon. Precisely, my personal Moon, simply ‘cause this person was my light in all that darkness.
It so happened, that one usual boring afternoon around one week being new to the school, I boarded the school bus post the end of classes, and we collided. “Hi Srishti!”, a voice said. I was quite taken aback, because I couldn’t actually believe someone knew me, let alone know my name. Hesitantly, and a bit ashamed at not recognizing this person, I replied with a meek “Ermm…Hi”. I am quite sure my blank plus startled look didn’t let out very good impression. Next, I come to know, the voice actually belonged to, hold your breaths, one of my classmates. Embarrassment level: Notches higher.
Anyway, the coming days saw us sitting beside each other in the bus for the next two years. And the classroom? It was now a little less of an agony.
And then one day I popped the question.
While the bus waited for all the students to get on board, we sat there on our seats, with the light from the window playing with our smiles, talking about random things, may be me narrating one of my old-school stories. Something happened in that moment, perhaps I was knocked by a feeling of content, happy at finding someone who cared about me in this alien place. Slowly and slowly, zoning out from whatever was being spoken, I blurted out, “Will you be my best friend?”
I didn’t come to realize the level of stupidity that my question reflected until I noticed that amused smile. But in the very next moment, shaking hands with me, and maintaining that amused smile, She replied, “Yeah, sure!”.
That day, we held hands not as two teenage girls making some silly promises, but two friends who knew they’re going to stay the same for ages to come. In my dire need of a friend, I am beyond glad that I found the best one. :)
A lot more can be said, but I’ll wrap it here, Moon. A very Happy Birthday to you. Have a life full of strength to live it with that killer smile! ;)
(Who else will be sweet enough to write all that for you)