It was the first Sunday of August. The sun has just set in the pleasant morning in Pune and it feels peaceful, surrounded by the hills. The security looks bored sitting at the college gate, facing the restaurant. The Anna (waiter) wrongly toggled with the camera and recorded moments of the reunion as the group of friends posed for the shutter bugs. “Kya hua, Anna. Nahin ho raha hai kya (What happened, elder brother?) It’s not clicking?” one of them asked. Anna timed the digi cam wrong and pressed record rather than going for the kill in capturing the Kodak moment. The second time, Anna got it right. He scampered to the kitchen and brought their favorite filter coffee and masala dosa.
It seems like those gud ole’ days in their favorite hang out, their favorite restaurant opposite college, where they would skip lectures or dash straight to spend hours, was just yesterday and never went away. It’s been more than five years that they’ve passed out from college. How time flies, they wondered. Except, the few of them, their whole gang and usual crowd has dispersed to give way to a new generation of students. Nothing has changed, they reflected and smiled. The same riotous laugh and immature, innocent jokes as the kids are enjoying every moment of life. Nobody spoke a word for few seconds and everyone knew that they were reflecting on their flawless and best days in college.
They decided to let go of the memories and spoke without stop, with the usual shout and cuss words they were so famous for. After all, they are meeting after what it seems to be a life time and decided to enjoy every slice of it. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? They shared their lives, fuck-ups, mid-life crisis and career. Life seemed to be a cakewalk during the innocent days when we carved friendship and look at us now, one of them reflected. They all nodded in approval about dreams as carefree youth and dreamed big about life. The friendship they made was precious and timeless. “Today, we can say that nothing changed and we weathered the storm of time. This is true bond. Some of us may have dispersed in pursue of life and career. We may not see each other for years but we are always here for each other, they shouted.
A hawker walked past the restaurant when one of them hailed and ran towards him. He bought a bundle of friendship bands and gave him extra bundle of notes. “Happy friendship, Bhaiya,” the man smiled and walked away in joy. They tied the friendship band on each other’s wrist and hugged. They ordered cups of coffee and cheered to each other, “Happy Friendship Day.”
Hey folks, wishing all of you a very Happy Friendship Day. The post has been written as an ode to friendship I shared in college with mates and reference made to the restaurant the college crowd would swarm to. Unfortunately it closed down and buried memories. The story is fiction but quite a few instances are true, in particular the opening line in Pune.
Happy Friendship Day