“Me” and my friends by Dwaipayan Bhattacharya

“Me” and my friends Why do we make friends?? Why do we need them???How do we connect???? My thoughts kept missing their train and losing their way in the deep drumming sound of the rain on our tin roof….I tried turning these questions over in my mind,sitting in my favourite dark corner of the house but “me” was definitely not with me today,.apparently we had a common weakness….we could never ignore the rain!!

“Me” came back with some albums…from one of those forgotten shelves of our minds we occasionally visit…”why not go over these till the chicken gets ready!” “ Fair enough” I said…the dark room snuggled in comfort as the rain danced rhythmically..its tap tap tap going deliciously hand in hand with the aroma of potatoes baking in rich tomato and chicken gravy coming in from the kitchen..”I just LOVE the rain” we both exclaimed at the same time..beaming at each other!!

Phooosh…..”me” blew some dust off the albums…”remember this guy!” “yeah..its the kid who lived in the slum that ran behind our home in Kolkata..he used to play the whole day with this rubber tyre..and he asked me to join him…it did seem a lot of fun,that tyre….I can still hear his whoops and shouts as he ran with it”….I smiled…”well why didn’t you join him then? He was your friend wasn’t he??”-Me was surprised.” Well….he lived in the slum and his clothes were kind of dirty..and..”I realised I sounded silly.” Mom would never approve of you two playing I know..nice kid though…” me smiled.I didn’t look at him in the dark. “Heyyyy!!!! Our J-man is here!!” Me and I both adored J.he was my best friend,since 8th grade! I laughed as we went over the pics….and I wished I had never left Delhi….and J..” one hell of a guy” me smiled…”beats me why you never take his calls..”me’s eyes bored into me…”he’s my best friend”….I said…”he deserves better from you” me went on.” He cares for you and you shut him out…you aren’t the only one with issues in life!!” I kept silent. I had done the same with “me”.” I am changing isn’t it?”I said. “I bet you must. You don’t squander good friends…you keep them close”…the raindrops outside chorused..”keep them close”.

“Look who’s here!!!!” Me whistled. I peered over him and saw who it was.The girl who loves me. “This is your friends’ album..what’s your girlfriend doing here???? ” Me sniggered”Well”I said.. “it so happens that she understands me and trusts me.And we look out for each other. Isn’t that what friends are for??”I was surprised at what an ass “me” was.”so now you guys are true friends” he said.”are you sure you will be able to share all your secrets?  Tell her on her face when she’s not looking good in some dress? You sure you won’t mind when or if she talks to her ex?can you be there for her under all circumstances and not judge her if she didn’t return your calls for even a day and partied all night???” “Isn’t that what friends do…”.I said. “Love is nothing but undying and unconditional friendship.” “We will see” me muttered in the dark.but something in his voice told me he liked my answer.

“I am hungry!!!!”I said. The raining had stopped and a thin sword of ochre light came in through the window.” Me was looking at one last album and smiling.It was from my first birthday and my parents were smiling as they held me between them….I laughed out loud and started toward the kitchen.”me” started after me as I placed the plates..he was in no mood to miss out on that single leg piece we both had our eyes on… ” This is epic!!!!…It looks so beautiful…..don’t forget to send Ma a pic of the thing! She would be dying for the recipe!!!….” the room glowed warmly in the day’s last few drops of sunlight as we smiled and dug in. ☺☺☺

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