From Ice Candies to Arm Candies…

holding_hands3 April 2013.

There was something in the midnight phone call that sparked the nostalgia. The contagious happiness spreading both ways fueled the memories and the ‘sphelling’ mistake only aggravated it. Minutes after the call ended, I was still stunned at how many years we go back together.

To me, the images of us always stuck to each other in nursery school are as fresh as a quick hug exchanged as a Goodbye few months ago. In between, innumerable moments occurred and today looking back, it overwhelms me.

Do you remember hosting our private Dahi Handi sessions at your house, off-season?

Till date, I love the festival for that sole reason.

Do you remember how when we learnt letter-writing in school, it was a matter of prestige WHO the letters in the notebook were addressed to?

Mine were always addressed to you.

Remember when we were meant to send ‘someone close’ a postcard in primary school?

Sitting next to you, I wrote to you…..and you to me.

Looking back, that was the definition of ‘best friends’. As simple as could be, no expectations. As we grew up, things became more complicated. There were moments when we hardly even spoke…and yet when classes were shuffled, yours’ was the only name I really searched for. Always the popular girl, you were constantly surrounded by friends and admirers ever since. Standing at the sidelines, a part of me burned with jealousy. I didn’t want to share you…and yet I never knew how to edge closer.

Maybe it was circumstance, maybe it was Destiny…I know not, but just into secondary school we were back together. Sitting next to each other, though now the letters were addressed to someone else. Now there weren’t as many secrets shared with each other, the recesses spent with other people…and yet, I was always glad to be sitting next to you. The definition of ‘Best friends’ was now altered, each others’ names slipping down the list….and yet, every slambook entry certainly included your name.

In the past few years, the dynamics between us have changed. When we stayed at a distance from each other, there was always a stubbornness to meet you daily. And now that we live only lanes apart, we don’t end up meeting for months. We hear about each other from other people, and watching your photographs with other people still makes me a tiny bit jealous. For a minute, I mourn letting you slip away all those years ago.

And yet, when I pick up the phone to talk to you…I hear the happiness in your voice and it calms me down. Years ago, we shared ice candies together…being the world for each other. Today, we are arm candies of different people, us the world for them. This journey has been long and it has been a rollercoaster. But throughout, I have never felt your fingers slip away from mine.

Today, when I am truly away, I realise I can never really walk away from you. Because I wouldn’t know what to do without you…

To my oldest,

Happy Birthday!

From your oldest 😉

P.S: This is for you-


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