Thank you Blogadda for announcing the theme . Friendship and friends were one subject on which I wanted to make a post since long but for some reason never prioritized it and now Blogadda’s contest has nudged me to write this and so here goes my ode to all my friends who have touched and influenced my life.
I am a friendly and a communicative person and have made many friends in school/college, at work ,near home and now through blogs.
I still remember my school friends though I am not in touch with any of them. Having studied in many schools I had many friends. I don’t remember my nursery/kinder garden friends. But my first friend in school was Poovarasi who also stayed close to my house (Class I, st. Thomas, HAL, Bangalore,) Sri Vidya in Class II,( kumarans, mylapore), Debra in class 3, Meena in class 4 &5, ( chennama memorial school,Bangalore), class 6 was Radhika naik(BSVP) and when she got transferred it was Kiran Lotia in class 7, when I got into high school Kiran’s section changed and now it was Anitha, Lalitha and Akhila. In college it was Anita again along with Dimple(MLA college, malleswaram). In degree days it was Asha ( I am still in touch with her), Padmini, Anita, Vidya, Nirmala and Jayalakshmi(all in BMS college, Bangalore) and now friends at work, near home and blogger friends like SSStoryteller, Preethi shenoy and others.
The above were all part of my school/college life, but one friend whom I cherish and still nourish is Shamira Rai( shammi) who was 2 years my junior and is my friend since the age of 10. She was my neighbor and we lived in adjacent houses with just a 4ft compound wall separating the two buildings. Almost practically every day we have shared together till the age of 20. We have played pretend games, solved crossword, sang songs, had sleep overs , read story books, watched movies and all those normal things which two friends do.
As we grew older into teenagers playing games took a back seat and we were more into girlie talks, watching movies, TV and reading books.
Both of us were great fans of Amitabh and Anil kapoor and have never missed any of Anil’s intial day movies,including his first movie. ( incidentally Anil Kapoor’s first movie was a Kannada movie ‘Pallavi Anu pallavi’ made by Maniratnam). When ever Anil’s movie was released I & shammi would travel to Majestic(Bangalore) where most of the theatres are located to buy tickets. Our Parents were not interested in Anil’s movies and so we were escorted by our neighbor aunties who used to come to the theatre after their half a day work(usually it was on a Saturday since they worked in Karnataka high court and the other was with the Bangalore transport). Simple togetherness like discussing, reviewing the movie and TV shows like Humlog ,Buniyaad,cricket etc., going to the corner shop around the bend of the road gave us joy and we had great fun.
We both studied in different colleges and so it became almost mandatory for us to reach out and talk across the compound wall for atleast one hour about all the happenings of our college & friends. Our neighbours wondered what we were talking about always. We both had sisters who were of the same age ( 6 years younger) and these two girls would always hang around us to find out our talks. These talks were theraupetic and helped us de-stress.
Temperamentally we were different, but our thoughts, likes and dislikes were so similar and we influenced each other. We have had arguments, disagreements but many a times we have compromised and convinced each other. We have also had angry moments, ego clashes and we had even stopped talking to each other for a month.
Our daily meetings discontinued when her father got transferred and her family shifted to Doddballapur, Shammi stayed back at her aunt’s place at a different location(Koramangala) to complete her college. But here again during every Christmas vacation we both boarded the bus from Bangalore and spent a week in Doddaballapur. So many nights and days were spent talking about our dreams, likes, dislikes , thoughts etc.,. We have also influenced each other so much that I have learnt her mother tongue Tulu and her culture and she has picked up my mother tongue tamil.
Simple pleasures have lasted our friendship thus long and I am still in touch with her and our friendship is 30 years old. She is now a high flier with an MNC , mother of two kids and lives in Bangalore. I too lead a busy life in secunderabad and now our priorities have changed. I don’t have to mail her, message her or talk over phone daily to her or wish her on a ‘made up’ occasion like friendship day. But I know we can count on each other and when we meet even after a year we feel as though we have met just yesterday. We recently met in Bangalore along with our sisters ( who live in different cities)and our kids on May 25th, and that quality time will suffice till we meet next time.
My namesake Asha Srikantaiah (now Dinesh) is another friend with whom I still nourish my friendship. She was my college mate and this friendship is 23 years old. Many a times during our conversation we travel back to our college times and recall the times spent playing hang man, word building on our college staircase, manipulating our electronic experiment readings ( we never got our meter readings right, but we had to give the right result to get goodmarks), practicing songs for our college shows and together as a gang with friends JK( Jayalakshmi) , Vidya we have rocked our college shows. We have sung many songs like careless whispers, ABBA and we even rewrote a popular song ‘ hurray, hurray it’s a holi holiday’ into a sports day song and sung in front of our sports day chief guest ex Indian wicket keeper SMH Kirmani. Many fun filled times and memories are still ever green, I could still go on and on. After our graduation She married and left to the US. She too is now a mother of two kids and owns a web school portal. Distance was never a matter in this friendship . She is visiting India this month and I hope to meet her.
As we grow older it is difficult to adjust and find friends who match our wavelength and we definitely need to try 100 friends to make that one special friend . I now have situational friends, friends for a reason or just for a season but I am still looking for that one ‘special friend’ with whom I can meet and share my daily thoughts.
Blogadda, I prefer the pringoo mug.(color of friendship)