Saturday, July 20, 2013

Thank God, I was wise enough ;)

They say we can’t choose our family, but we can choose our friends. Thank God I was wise enough!! ;)

***Gimme oil inmylam, gimme burniburniburni,
gimme burni till the late of late***


Neatly formed lines of kids trying to sing “Give me oil in my lamp, keep it burning, burning, burning....” swallowing half of the words and mumbling the rest incorrectly. Dressed in crisp white shirts and peacock blue pinnofers, all that mattered was to retain the shine on the shiny, black, spotless shoe till the end of day, enjoy the tiny morsels that friends ‘shared’ from their lunch boxes, and getting to sit near your best friend.

I was no different. Hair braided into two plaits, blue ribbons neatly bowed, bundling the plaits together, I would hop into school, praying the teacher doesn’t change my seat. As soon as I would walk into the classroom, my button-like eyes would search for them - my girls, my persons. As soon as one of them walked in, I would wave, and shift my bum slightly, to indicate with a wide grin that I’ve reserved a seat for her. I would be worried if they didn’t turn up before the assembly bell rang. ----- Thank you Anki and Bana, for sitting next to me, for sharing your dabbas, and for being there.

Classes meant communication through chits. One-liners and little messages that used to get circulated all around, a slight nod of the head indicating the message has been received. ‘The stand up on the bench’, ‘catch your ears’, ‘get out of the classroom’ were the times I enjoyed myself the most. --- Girls, you made the classes bearable, laughable, and the punishments enjoyable. Without you, the ‘catch your ears’ moments would have been embarrassing beyond words.

I was already old enough for college, things changed, and I was scared of how my ‘new’ life would be. But as it happened, Charlie’s Angels got together again, and college life was way better than I had ever imagined. Sitting on the last bench, coming up with the most hilarious stuff, laughing, learning, and growing up together, playing pranks, forcing lecturers to say, “Ae you girls, you can’t sit together,” splitting us up into three different corners of the classroom ------ We have shared more than tiffin dabbas, we’ve shared our deepest, darkest secrets.

We’ve shifted bases, headed into different directions, but even today, when we meet, we laugh till we can laugh no more, till our insides start aching, but the giggles, the giggles never die down. Crossing roads like ‘goyas’, window shopping, eating out, bunking classes and making front-door exits, christening people with ‘special’ names -- we’ve done all of this and more ----- Thank you for not growing up, and still remaining the gawky schoolgirls that we were.

And with these school friends, it would be a sin if I don’t mention my other partner-in-crime, Rashmi, who was my first best friend in Guwahati. The dance rehearsals, the ‘Kerala Samajam’ picnics, the weekend get togethers, the bargains with shopkeepers --- Rash, you made them all worth remembering...

They say we can’t choose our family, but we can choose our friends. Thank God I was wise enough!! ;)