When I was in the first grade, Nasik, there were these two friends of mine, Anupama and Rajni, among others. Anupama was the assertive, outgoing, gang-leader, opinionated kind of a child. Rajni, on the other hand, was very very cute, pretty, bubbly in a quiet way, adored by all, and in my language, a "girlish" girl :p These two would sometimes quarrel with each other, laying claims on me for a best friend. In the games period, I was always picked to play on Anupama's team, obviously, because Rajni did not have much say when it came to field politics. "She is my best friend". "No, she is my best friend, not yours". Thus bickered the two adorable little five-year-olds :p (Hey, and I'm not exaggerating or showing off :p I really was in demand :p)
But instead of being pleased, these tirades used to make me very uncomfortable. Never once did I grace either of the two girls by accepting their claims, for they were honestly not my "best friends". I have always essentially seen myself as a solitary person. Sure, I do love my friends, to laugh and have fun with them. But in the end, it was only me for myself, and that was my choice.
Its true, in all my growing up years, I had many friends, but never ever I saw anyone as a best friend. It was something I was haughty and proud about. About not feeling the need to have someone really close to confide into, or liking someone more than the rest.
That was all untill Mehr came along.
Mehr was a very vivacious person. She literally oozed life out of her! And then I could swear, I never saw anyone with a more cheerful disposition. She was always smiling, or laughing (loudly, very loudly :p). And of course, sticking to the stereotype, she was a chatterbox :p "Archi, you know what, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah". "Hey, yesterday this something something something something". "You won't believe it, I chapad chapad chapad chapad chapad". So, as you can tell, chattering was in her soul :p The only person who talked more than her was Zahira.
Amazingly, me the dumb even heard out her tales! Even today, I not only carefully listen to what she has to say, I even ask questions and wittily respond. Sigh, company rubs off I guess :p
When we used to sit together in class, it was a clear invitation for danger. For her. Because I used to pass on a stream of interesting comments, discreetly of course. And she used to bounce and laugh, very loudly of course. Time and again the teacher would turn around and find her face twisted in a grin, and beside her I sat with a straight poker face, pretending not to know Mehr at all. Thankfully, it used to end there. No reprimands.
Oh, I remember, she was punished once!
( -to be continued)