Bangladesh Slideshow

29 May, 2007

Turn Back the Time

I met my best friend in kindergarten. We went to the same school, college and university. Today, three decades later, living in two continents, and seeing each other very infrequently, the bond we share seems to grow stronger with each passing day.

There was a time when spending hours on the phone after school was an essential condition for best friends. Hanging out at each other’s places also rated high. I remember the time when we were making a huge racket at her place when her Dad got home from work. She hid under the bed, I made a beeline for the curtains (just imagine the scene!) She was an early riser and would often catch a ride with her Dad to our place. So many mornings I woke to find her sipping tea with my Mom. We would chatter non-stop, and still find things to talk about.

Nowadays we see each other maybe once a year, and even with the best intentions to stay in regular touch, don’t manage more than a couple of sms and emails a month, and only the occasional phone call. But it’s no longer essential to give each other an itemized rundown of our daily lives. We manage very well on condensed highlights. It’s as if time stops still from one encounter to the next, for we have no trouble at all picking things up from before. Has that come with maturity? Hard to say, because we still act pretty immature around each other. The husbands used to watch our antics with raised eyebrows, and sometimes a touch of disbelief (‘did she really say THAT??’ or ‘tell me they did not just do a hop-dance in the middle of the cafÄ—). But now they are resigned to the fact that when we get together, we revert to single-digit ages. And if they are embarrassed (we would be if they did what we do – talk about double standards!), they hide it pretty well.

Relationships evolve with time, and I believe that Darwin’s Origin of Species theory applies because only the fittest survive. Most of my friendships from the dinosaur era did not survive the ice age, everlasting though they seemed at the time. Quite a few from the stone age also bit the dust. But this friendship is the crocodile that has survived through the ages.

This post is for my best friend Bina, who turns back the time for me.

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