The Pleasure and Joy of an Old Friendship

An old friend who is also a close friend is a divine favor. This is the kind of friend who guarantees our acceptance just the way we are, and shares our joys as well as our sorrows. Everyone deserves a close friend; and every close friend deserves some appreciation.

Today evening my adrenalin went up to see that my childhood friend, Sharat has created a group on WhatsApp. Along with me, there were some names, whom I always remember whenever I delve deep into my childhood memories, especially the ones that I spent in my early school days, middle school and in high school.

Aradhna, Pranav, Pratibha, Sanjeev, Tarun, Vandana are the names that are etched in my memory like a national event, like a red letter day, like a very important day in my life. Though at that times, I would not hobnob with the female friend, due to the socio-cultural environment prevalent at that time, but the sheer joy of attending morning prayer together, watching their movement, anticipating a smile on their faces when there was a hilarious moment, in the class, all are the moments treasured from the core of my heart.

Today, with some maturity and experience, I totally agree with the words of H. Jackson Brown, Jr. In his words, “Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends”. 

True to every letter, it is the old friend that makes indelible impression in mind, makes you feel at the top of the world and get engrossed with some fond memories of school days.

When I would spend time with Sharat, I did not know that these times are precious. When I would sat on the bicycle of Tarun, or hear some stories of Gorakhpur from him, I would hardly think of the intimacy that I enjoyed with him. When I had gone to Pranab’s home to have custard, I had not envisaged that the God has not much days as satisfying as it was stored for me. 

I vividly remember Sanjeev Bhai telling me about Mr. Natwarlal in 6th class and I can equally clearly visualize Pratibha’s electrifying smile, the shock on the face of Vandana when any boy used to get beaten(by stick) on her face and the majestic gait( the way she walked) of Aradhna.
Thanks a pile, to all my precious friends, God bless you all!

                                                              ---Ashish Jha