Monday, December 23, 2013

Dil, Dosti, etc.


When I was in school, tiffin time under the table was the most common moment when life-long friendships were formed. I met Shakti over Paratha and Baigan ka Bharta when 1, 2 and 3 were giving way to x,y and z right in front of our eyes. It was a math session in class 6 where thankfully our generation was not learning at a supersonic speed. 

Our first few years were full of sweet adventures. We were still naive girls whose lives revolved around combing our mother’s hair and draping their dupatta as a saree. When Shakti confessed her love for me, she wrote dotingly that after her mother’s lap, she finds my company most comforting. Even after 15 years, that analogy brings a smile to my face. Although if I was as perceptive as I am now, I would have thrashed her for flirting with me!

But innocence prevailed and we showered our affection through gifts, cards and what brought us together, the tiffin. 

Two of the many cards Shakti made for me when we were in school.
The matter inside is censored :P

This is first of the many poems I wrote in the 90's on Friendship inspired by my best friend.
After that I wrote only love ballads ;)
And by the way, this is an original picture from my diary!

At the same time, our mothers and our growing interest in boys played a huge role in strengthening our friendship. You see, there was an uncanny similarity between our families. Apart from bearing super-talented girls, both our mothers were huge fans of Hema Malini, Rekha and Vyjayanthi Mala. The sad part was, they only hummed their songs and paid no attention to their fashion sense. The only cosmetics in my mom’s dresser were Shilpa aunty’s bindi, a brown lipstick, home-made Kajal and a comb. When I told this to my best friend, she told me our mothers must be sisters separated in Kumbh ka Mela. Yes, it was a famous and surprisingly hilarious line of our simpler times! 

Thats Shilpa aunty. You know her too well, I know.
Since access to products which could help us turn into a diva was limited, we decided to make our own cosmetics and start our own signature line. Shakti was a gifted artist. Her school bag was always chockfull of crayons, colour pens and sketches from her art book. One day, when we had a ‘friends day-in’ at my place, we opened her treasure and started our experiment. Crayons became lipsticks, chalk transformed into rouge and brush dipped in water colours slid on our eye-lids painting perfect eye shadows. We should have patented that idea; imagine the amount of money we could have made just from birthday parties!

Anyway, my mom got into her Sridevi from Mr. India avatar and no amount of singing from us calmed her down. Needless to say, our ‘friends day-in’ were always under strict surveillance thereafter.

The Mac, Loreal, Chambor, et al. of our times!
Meanwhile, the teachers in our school treated us like grown-up girls and helped us put make-up in the annual concerts where we learnt that there were better ways to look pretty. So, we gave up our tryst with crayons and indulged in a new passion called jewellery.

Very soon our mothers complained of missing sequins from their sarees and misplaced pearls from the table covers. We, as usual, paid no heed to the upcoming disaster and continued exploring our craft making skills. If it was not for the random check that destroyed our treasure, we could have given serious competition to any Damas of the world. Our mothers were certainly the biggest enemies of our illustrious future. Hmm.

The crown we made was inspired by this - a Diana potrait that Shakti made and gifted me.
If we had mobile phone cameras back then, I could have showed you our creation.
Heck, our mothers would have already showcased our talent on a social networking site before we knew!


Since we were growing up to be perfect girls with similar interests and dangerously akin creative aptitude, our parents kept a tab on us. But we were in our teens now and childish activities did not attract us anymore. Our hormones tapped on the fast tunes of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and we then had our first crush on - wait for it - the SAME guy.

You would think that falling for the same guy would have ended our soul-sister act. Nah. It strengthened our bond further and we became the envy of every friendship that ever existed in school. Believe it or not, that crush gave us yet another thing in common and that phase remains one of the most memorable phases of our life. (I later spiced up the story and sent a piece as a confession to the Teens Today magazine. To my surprise they published it. I have a scanned copy which I will not put here to save myself some embarrassment!)

Our interest in the same guy started a strange guessing game - the he loves me, he loves you kind! We were just newbies at this love thing and so did not understand any signs that existed. We were not aspiring for any fling either. The only thing that excited us was a random eye contact with our crush. So at the end of each day we would count the number of times he looked at either of us thus implying whom he loved more! We secretively sang songs for him. If she missed something he did, I would let her know and vice-versa. At the end of the year, a few other friends became our informers as well which confused the boy as to who was really interested in him!! Oh dear, you had to be a part of Section C to understand the confusion I am talking about.

WBLV cards - a secret code that we deeply cherished after sharing our first crush!
Henceforth, all our cards had this code. You really don't want to know the full form.

But this is not about our crush. This is about the wonderful friendship that grew even after hints of jealousy. When I think about that friendship now, it makes me feel how, as people, we have always chosen friendship first. It makes me realise how amusing my childhood was because of her. She defined my teenage and the person I was becoming. In those moments of experimenting with crayons, sharing jewellery ideas, giving inputs on love in the strangest of situations and playing a fun guessing game, we were defining our basic attitude in life. 

After a few years, Shakti moved to a different city. Distance did make our hearts grow fonder but we were practical enough to make other friends and move on. And then, struck by cupid, we found our best friends in our respective boys. But that bond, that soul-sister bond was not replaced. It goes on, and will go on for the rest of our lives.

 That's 16-year old us...first time in a saree, but not the first time we looked funny! 

Thanks to Dove and Indiblogger for this contest that actually made me look back and smile!

20 comments:

  1. Anonymous12/24/2013

    That's one cute post that reminds me of my own childhood memories.all the best for the contest!

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  2. It is a lovely story laced with humour.Best wishes in the contest

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  3. Yes I remember Shilpa aunty.. what fun! :D :D

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    1. Yeah.. and Shahnaz kajal.. oh, how could I forget!

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  4. Muah!!! That's how sweetly life happens and we make memories!!

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    1. Yeah.. although I keep cursing school, these memories make every thing worth it!

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  5. awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...I too know shakti aunty...and crayons turning into lipsticks and chalks in rouge. :)
    this was such a heartwarming post!

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    1. Thatnkyou, red! We all go through that phase, don't we? Its so much fun!

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  6. Parantha, baigan ka bharta, shilpa bindi (shilpa chaar chaand lagaaye)...oh...am reminiscing about my friends now! Very warm and beautiful Nisha! :)

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    1. Glad you liked it, Ragini :)

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  7. Awwww Shakthi sure is lucky to have you :)

    And vice-versa I'm sure.

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    1. Oh yes, we sure are damn lucky to have each other :)

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  8. I lovvvve your post... and of course who can forget Shilpa aunty-- Shilpa chaar chaand lagaye :P

    All the Best dear !!

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    1. I guess Shilpa bindi was one rare thing that every mother used. It is amazing how we can connect through these small things! Thankyou, Namrota!

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  9. Such a sweet post, Nisha! Loved your memories of your special friend. I just loved that pic of Shakti and you. Good luck for the contest. You have a winner on your hands for sure.

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    1. Thankyou, Rachna. I'm glad you think that way :)

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  10. Loved ur friendship story!

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  11. awwwwwwww :) touchwood for the friendship

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Your sweetness makes my day. Gentle criticism will be taken in the right spirit too :)