I saw her intensely scrutinising the new stationery that I had purchased for the upcoming sketching competition in our town and then stealthily wrapping her dupatta over it and hastily moving towards the doorway. I restrained myself and with considerable anxiety saw her disappear in the twilight.
My suspicion was correct; it was Sarita my domestic help who was responsible for snipping away the stationary from my study table since last week. An air of astonishment and anxiety dawned over me as I felt betrayed by her false show of friendship. I laid sleepless with worry on my couch as it had turned hard for me to accept or believe what she had done.
The following morning I was determined not to let history repeat itself and decided to confront her. For the first time in three years of our friendship I questioned her honesty. I shouted at her for betraying my trust. She didn’t utter a single word in her defence and stood silently with her head bowed down and obediently left the room when I asked her to.
I had an uneasy night with images of Sarita’s dejected face flashing before my eyes. I realised I was too harsh on her. The next morning I felt restless and anxiously waited for Sarita’s arrival. She entered into my room with her eyes lowered and gave away the stationery that she had taken . I held hand and asked , “Kyu kiya tumne aisa , kuch chaiye tha to maang leti ” She lifted up her face and said , “Hum wo bade competition me hissa le rahe hai , vishwaas kijiye hum aapko completion ke baad sab lauta dete” and started crying . I immediately stood up and expressed my regret over the entire incident. She looked into my eyes with surprise and said, “Iska matlab aapne muhe maaf kiya?” I couldn’t control an uneasy laugh and hugged her tightly.
The entire episode taught me how to trust and forgive in life. I realised that breaking a friendship was simple, but the regret of losing a great companion is inconsolable and most importantly I found out that friends aren’t always perfect.
Our family shifted house in the following year.
Our friendship is nearly fifteen year old now. I am working in an IT based firm for the past couple of years and Sarita is married and is blessed with of two beautiful children. We occasionally get to see each other but we absolutely cherish the little time that we spent together.
I was barely eight years old when I made the decision of choosing friendship over distrust and suspicion. But I often ponder whether I would have taken the same decision had the incident taken place 10 year later; possibly no . I feel that as we mature our willingness to trust starts ebbing way, we start growing more practical and less emotional towards events happening around us , and most importantly we start forgetting the true meaning of friendship. We fail to realize that friendship is not just about meeting ”like” personalities , with perfect qualities , similar interests and common ambitions, friendship is not just about enjoying golden happy moments with such people; but friendship is also about accepting an “unlike” person with not so perfect qualities, with dissimilar interests and unalike ambitions, friendship is about creating golden happy moments with such people.
I’ll conclude by requesting all the readers to celebrate friendship day not because their friendship is flawless and perfect , but instead celebrate it because their friendship is precious in spite of being so imperfect.