Tales of fading friendship and unbridled laughter,
For all those bitter smiles and dried tears,
For choked voices and unsaid words,
And for everything we thought would be,
But mostly, for those twinkling eyes and tightly held hands.
We were little girls, sitting on the roof of your house. I would sit with my two ponies bound in pink ribbon and red bellies dangling from my legs. Your mother would oil your hair and plait them with love-in-Tokyo scrunchies. Do you know, I always wanted those rubber-bands? To me they seemed more like bracelets. I remember the time we stole your mother’s colourful bangles. They were so pretty, weren’t they? I matched the pink, white and blue ones to wear. You, however, snatched them away from me. You said that they matched your pretty Barbie dress. It was not fair, you know. I was so happy when they had slid down your wrist and fell on the floor, scattering around and clattering on the tiles, tolling like bells on the quiet afternoon. The sound now reminds me of our laughter, our hushed fights and loud make-ups. We were two girls with too many tales to tell and little time for each other each after noon. Were we not supposed to be friends, friends forever?
It was a sunny day and we were playing on the tyre, papa had wound over the tree in our garden. We took chances to swing around, standing on it and sitting in it. I think you are the only one who knows how I love that feeling, the feeling of sand in between my toes and beneath my feet. I felt the drizzle on my nose – just a little drop. You thought someone was pouring water from the balcony above. But you were wrong; it was drizzling. I remember shouting in unison with delight, ‘Rainbow.’ I think, I can still rattle off the little things you liked. Have those trivial things changed? Now, they seem more important to me than anything else about you.
It was one of those lunch breaks when we were loafing on school grounds – picking up something to eat from someone’s lunch box and then, telling them that we would treat them as well, some other day. I remember singing some insane song and going retro on the day of carnival day. I do not think I have shared a crazier day with someone else. Those were days of idiocy and ones, I dread being teased about.
I remember the spilled gravy of momos at Triptiz, where we would dig in, on the cold winter evenings. I would pester you to bring your iPod along just so I could transfer the in-vogue videos or those Katy Perry songs we loved to hum along. You called it a good-for-nothing box, every time you visited. Those were songs and videos I would have preserved, had the good-for-nothing box not swallowed them up.
It was your birthday, wasn’t it? When we almost burnt your mom’s kitchen trying to cook pot noodles. Whatever it was , all I remember is gulping down even the last bit of over-boiled and mashed noodles with too much water. We have grown-up and so, seem our birthdays. Today, only a ‘Happy Birthday’ text to another suffices. Sometimes, when I stop and think about it, I realise that it is not enough. I don’t think it is enough for you as well, or is it?
We used to talk about friends growing up and growing apart. What we had not realised that this would happen to us as well. What happened, some would ask? And the only answer suitable for it would be, ‘Life.’ I love it when we catch up but we are polite, too polite. We care but if you break your hand, I might not come to know. There is a distance, we shall never scale. The thread tying us has thinned. Break, I hope it never shall because I love writing you letters. May be we shall never have more time together but we shall always have our togetherness.