Story of BamBam

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I don't understand how does a concept like "best friend" works. We are all lead to believe about this certain creature, as lovely and mysterious in it's presence to humans. Much like unicorns this creature exists and all of us are blessed enough to have one (or several, depending on your age and cynicism).

Take my history on best friend for an instance. I had these two girls I was extremely close to, back in primary school. We stuck around together for a while and then it ended, mush like how they portray in them mindless teenage flicks. The school dynamics, set in liberalised India- McDonalds birthday parties, abusing the landline and progressing to owning a cell-phone, testimonials on Hi5. If you're a North Indian kid, born and brought up in the 90s, you'd associate with the aforementioned. Like most kids, I had a bigger social circle than these two said best friends and we were a tighter sub-group within that set. Following from a Lindsay Lohan or a Hillary Duff flick, I went on to become a teenage rebel, goth-punk obsessed freak (my school should be thankful to me for introducing Chuck Taylor to them). My so called best friend got better friends- the "sluts" who would be on a constant lookout for men. Essentially, we grew up to worship different things. While I embraced Harry Potter, she was still on Shinchan and shit in that order. That stuff didn't last for long. We had several fall-outs and somewhere towards the end of school, we had irreconcilable differences. It's been four years that I've spoken to/ heard from her. Not to sound bitter or anything but I'd lost faith in this whole fucking system in eight grade when I was neglected over a slut. You just don't grow up, do you?

Of course, life wasn't as hard as I describe it. In the process of growing up, I found myself a friend, who won the much coveted best friend title. Like all good things, it came to an end, sooner than anything. This best friend was moving to a cooler school in the city and I couldn't get comfortable with the fact for the six months that followed. We continued talking on the phone (landline for the win!), we'd meet up regularly. That would involve a lunch and lots of gossip- the guy she liked, the one I liked (for the record, our crushes went to a different school and they were friends, also didn't know anything but our name.). This one time her crush was over, she was in night-suit and oiled hair. That was a story we remembered for a long time until memory was shadowed with banal details of our new crushes. Now, there's Facebook, back then it was personal, even with Myspace and cellphones. There was something else about growing up as a teen in early 2k. That time was right on the centre of advancements and surprisingly didn't last long.

Coming to college, we met once around my birthday and tried to keep in touch but shit got busy, excuses came up and new friendships were forged. Sure, she remained the winner of that best friend tag but we now had actual lives, as opposed to conjuring stuff over the cellphone. She was on a gap year to sit the entrances and I was living up as a freshman so we grew apart. Daily calls became weekly, then monthly and so on. I picked up work in my first year so the rest of my time went in editing and writing while she was slogging hard.

The year after that went by quickly. She got into a college outside Delhi, calls now became texts, weekly texts. I'd call her once a while, she'd be busy. She'd call me back and I would be in the middle of something. Also, it was hard to keep each other updated since neither of us knew the people we were with. Explaining the nature and intricacies over the phone is time consuming and painfully tiring so we kept our calls crisp and fun. I heard from her one fine day, she'd got herself transferred to some college in Delhi and she was back. Now, the peculiar thing about my best friend, unlike your or someone else's best friend is that, she didn't bother to get herself Facebook or Orkut or any such nonsense. If I had to show her something or someone, I had to give her my account details to access Facebook. This meant that we weren't even catching up or keeping a tab on each other's lives virtually.

Staying connected is a two way process. Both of us pulled out gradually, whenever we'd hear from each other (now once every three months) we'd update each other from where we'd left off and make it sound like it was yesterday that we met.

You'd find it odd to believe, in the last three years, I've met my best friend only once. We live in the same city, same sub city, and I bumped into her at the mall while was at another friend's birthday. It was a 7 minute meeting that ended up in exasperation and us trying to contain excitement, "What the hell are you doing here? Oh my god!". Yeah, people come to the mall to feed the fish. Stupid girls.

Fast forward all this, I spoke to her last on her birthday, to wish her and catch up. One of those after call text message included "...can't believe we've finally grown up."

Today, I heard from her after good three months and we couldn't get past, "I can't believe it. Shit." We talked like nobody's business. Topics have changed slightly in all these years (career, masters, family as opposed to crushes, music, movies and books only)

Earlier during the day I get an inbox message with an attachment of a wedding card. Her sister's getting married. Will I be going? Of course. I sent her a text and that transpired a whole lot of conversation, this post and excitement.

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