I was in Class V when I first met her. Tamanna was the new girl in our school. She had just shifted from Botswana. Tamanna had joined my School in Class V, though in another Section. However, we travelled together by the same School-bus as even she stayed in the same part of the city as I.
I really cannot recollect the exact time when we met for the first time or how we became friends. Perhaps, our love for Books and Comics, drew us together. Tamanna had a huge collection of Archie Comics while I had (I still have!) an enviable collection of Indian Comics- Volumes of Amar Chitra Katha & Tinkle. We happily shared and exchanged books. In fact, I discovered Archie & his friends thanks to Tamanna.
Later, we realized that we shared many interests- Cartoons, Music- all kinds, Food- everything, Hindi Movies …we even had the same favorite movie-stars- Madhuri Dixit & Aamir Khan! We had collections of their posters! Also, we were philatelists & numismatists i.e. we collected stamps & coins!
I was in Class VI when my first story was published in Tinkle. Tamanna bought a copy of the same magazine for herself!
We used to merrily chat in the bus, always sitting next to one another in the second row and singing songs and cracking silly jokes. We NEVER discussed guys as we had far more important stuff to chat about!
In Class IX, all the students, who wished to take up ‘Sanskrit’ as their subject for Class X Board Exam, were put in one Section. That’s how Tamanna & I were finally in the same classroom. Now we got to spend more time together. Our conversations spilled over even to the after-school hours. Once, my Mom asked, “What do you girls have so much to discuss that so many hours at school and bus aren’t even enough?!” You won’t believe, one day, when I was at her home and I was dialing my home, I was not getting the connection. When Tamanna stepped in to help, she pointed out the reason. I was actually dialing her telephone number instead of mine as I was so used to dialing her number all the time!!!
Just after Class X Board Exams, Mom enrolled me for the Bakery Summer-Course at the Institute of Hotel Management. As Tamanna was also interested, she too joined. We had to break a lot of eggs to bake cakes! When Tamanna broke the eggs, the egg-shells would fall into the container and we would have to fish them out! However, I was good at breaking the eggs in such a fashion that there were two equal halves of the shells! Even now when I break eggs, I remember Tamanna! Once Tamanna used 11 & ½ tspns of Baking Powder to bake a Cake, instead of 1 & ½ tspns that the recipe demanded. The result is anyone’s guess!!!
After we watched the Blockbuster, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (HAHK), I shared my views with her. A month later, she excitedly called me up saying the latest Filmfare had my review of HAHK as the Best-Review! It seems while reading the same, she remembered that it was I who had shared those points with her! When she checked the writer’s name, she was overjoyed to see that it was indeed her friend!
We joined the same College. I used to travel by my Bajaj Sunny while she took her Kinetic Honda. One day, another friend, Snigdha asked for a lift back home. Though Snigdha’s home was away from our travel-route, Tamanna agreed to drop her. I never encouraged pillion-riding, but Tamanna was capable enough to do so. I followed Tamanna and she dropped Snigdha. I was a slow and safe driver. On our way back, I was surprised to not find Tamanna or her vehicle anywhere on the road. I always knew Tamanna loved speed, but where had she disappeared? There were three roads at that intersection in front of the Governor’s House. Had she taken the left, the straight or the right turn? Then, a shocking sight greeted me. She had met with an accident and was lying on the road. Three people were already there helping her. I’ll never forgive myself for the silliest thing I have ever done in my life. Instead of staying by her side, I went to Snigdha’s home that was near to get help. Her father wasn’t at home and Snigdha didn’t answer my calls. Then, I returned to the site only to find that Tamanna was no longer there. The passers-by informed that her mother had come and taken her away. I felt very terrible about my stupidity and apologized to Tamanna and Aunty later. Aunty agreed that I should have been on the spot rather than try to get help from elsewhere. I still consider this as one of the silliest things I have done in my life. Even nice people can commit not-so-nice crimes like this, yet be forgiven and still loved by nice friends! Love is when we are loved in spite of our flaws. Friendship accepts us the way we are.
In College, Tamanna & I made a great Team! We even secured the highest marks in a Music-Quiz and won the Inter-College Antakshari Contest too. We won one Salwar-Suit as a prize for that! I can never figure out what the organizers had in mind by gifting us just one Salwar-Suit!!! Tamanna wanted that we gift it to my sister! But, I would have nothing of it. I actually went to that shop and asked them to replace it. In exchange, I picked 2 T-shirts- 1 Red & 1 Yellow- 1 for her & 1 for me! Then, I asked her to choose which one she wanted. She, in turn, asked me the same! As usual, we indulged in- 'Pehle Aap! (First You!)'
Many more mad things we have done,
We have shared some food & fun!
We have been great friends rare!
Even now the special love is there!
Just like Dove Cream Beauty Bathing Bar replenishes our skin’s lost moisture each time we use it, memories of my friend springs to life precious special moments of togetherness.
Friendship’s secrets are like Beauty’s Dirty Little Secrets – Better to clear the air & expose the truth.
Friendship’s tips are like Easy Tips For Radiant Skin – Better spread the radiance!
Friendship’s tests are like the Dove Face Test where we Feel the difference with Dove! – Better discover the beautiful difference & the love!
Friendship’s care is like Healthy Skin care regime – Better care based on the ‘type’ or requirement.