August 1, Sunday, was Happy Friendship Day this year. Yes, it was a Happy friendship day from the beginning because it involved my friends. Those friends whom I met unknowingly in my college days. I was unaware at that time how beautiful they made my days. It happens with all of us when we live something we do not understand its worth. But when it is gone, we realize it.
Like every day, I woke up in the morning. Since it was Sunday, I did not leave my bed immediately after waking up. I turned my phone’s internet on, and the notifications started striking one after other. Though, I do not get involved in social media in the morning immediately after waking up. But do not know what made me do that. I opened my whats app. There were many wishes for a happy friendship day. But I was curious about one group, where my friends exist. I tapped the group icon, and there were wishes from Varun, whom we used to call Ravan because of his giant look and thick eyebrows.
I also did my part of wishing my friends a happy friendship day virtually. Suddenly after Manisha (Mani) joined. Boys in our group used to call her Adivasi (early woman) because she was from a nearby small town. (Do not feel offended, it was my friends’ way of showing their love for each other by teasing one another, but always standing for each other when in need.)
Now you will say I am only telling the nicknames given to others, but not telling what other friends had given me the nickname. Oops! They used to call me Sukhi (a thin girl) because I was skinny at that time.
I shortly introduce my other friends with their particular nicknames. Shailendra as Swamiji. Because he got inspired by Swami Vivekanand, who was a spiritual leader. And Shailendra used to talk as if preaching to us.
Shirish was my best friend. I used to call him Shiri. My other friends used to call him something that I do not remember. There was Vidhya. You do not get confused by the name because he was a boy and not a girl. We used to call him Papa. Because he tried to boss us, but we always put him down. He was a funny boy.
Then there was Vivek, but he never had Vivek (Conscience) because he used to fall for almost every girl for true love, that too at first sight. How funny!! And we used to call him Tiddi (Grasshopper) because he was thin. There was Raksha, a papa’s girl because she all the time used to praise her father.
We all were together for three years during our graduation time. On our first friendship day, we friends did not have that bond, but we were very close to each other on our second friendship day.
To celebrate our happy friendship day for the first time in the second year, we all decided to visit ‘Bilawali Lake,’ which becomes picturesque during rains. We all headed towards Bilawali lake on our bikes.
At that time, I had a gorgeous silver-colored scooter. My friend Mani was sitting in my back seat. It started drizzling. We all were enjoying riding our bikes in light showers.
But how the successful ending of our mission could be possible with the presence of our stupid friends’ gang. When it was the last turn where we had to take the left turn, my friends who were ahead of Mani and me did not listen to us. And they kept on moving straight. We chased them and told them that they have come wrong. They made fun of us, saying girls do not know anything.
Mani and I did not have any option other than following our stupid friends. We kept on moving and moving. Suddenly the path turned into a pothole road. There was a waterlogged road with pits all over. Riding my scooter on such a road with Mani in the back seat became very difficult.
Since Varun was riding single, everyone suggested Mani sit on his bike. She shifted on Varun’s bike. But after a kilometer, Varun threw down Mani in a pit. Mani did not get injured, but she screamed at Varun— Raaavaann!! And Varun was laughing at her standing there.
As we were following the wrong path, we could not reach Bilawali lake. We all were starving by now. Shirish suggested a restaurant named ‘Pratiksha Dhaba,’ which, according to him, was about a half kilometer’s distance. Mani and I kept on saying to our friends, let’s forget Pratiksha Dhaba, and have lunch at whatever restaurants coming on the way. But Shirish was very sure and kept saying, NO, it is about to come. Wait for some more time. We all kept on moving. But what it was! We almost rode over one and a half kilometers, but we were in Pratiksha (Wait) of Pratiksha dhaba even today. It never came.
Every one of us was yelling at Shirish, but he was as cool as an ice cube. Lastly, he said, if it did not come, what can I do? It stunned our heads.
Now we girls took the initiative and said, ‘we were going to take a halt and have lunch at whatever restaurant coming on the way. Luckily, after riding for few more minutes, a Punjabi restaurant came. We ate Tandoori Roti and a Paneer dish over there. Then we enjoyed a hot cup of tea.
It was all beautiful. It was drizzling outside, and we were teasing and making fun of each other for not knowing the proper direction. And, of course, how Mani fell into the pit.
Where we had planned to move and where we had reached. With all the hurdles, we loved the day. And it became so memorable that even today, we all miss that stupidity and togetherness. No matter, after so many years, we all are still friends with the same feeling, which we used to have fifteen years back. Distance has never created any formality among us. We still call each other with nicknames. That’s the true joy of friendship, where we are what we are.
Now talking about our second friendship day, we decided to visit Devguradiya. It is a beautiful hill and an excursion from our city. There is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at Devguradia.
This time everything was up to the mark, the road, the direction, everything. After riding for over an hour, we successfully reached Devguradiya. We had Darshana at the temple.
Now we decided to hike over the hill. We started moving. But again, a swarm of flies was waiting for us to welcome. Again Mani and I suggested not to move ahead, but these stupid fellows said flies would not meet us as we will reach on some height. They said, let’s keep on moving.
After a while, we arrived at the top of the hill. The scene was beautiful and picturesque. We could see rain on another nearby hill while it was dry on our hill. But to our surprise, the swarm of flies did not leave us. They were disgusting and irritating.
When Mani and I said to boys that we had already told you people not to move ahead, they replied, focus on the beauty of nature, ‘you girls always have things to weep on.
Boys will always be boys. But the sarcasm is, there was no one as a boy or a girl in our group. We were Only friends. No one ever felt like a boy or a girl except a friend while teasing, fighting, or helping each other. And that’s the beauty of friendship.
No matter how far we have gone from each other, but distances have never created separation among us.
It does not matter whether we are together or not on every friendship day, but our friendship will always keep on making every friendship day A happy friendship Day.
Every friendship has some stories. And the stupid characters called friends make those stories even more beautiful with their presence in them.
I would love to hear your stories of friendship. Comment your stories of friendship, and let’s wish our stupid fellows a happy friendship day.
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