Friday, January 25, 2008

Friends are forever…….

I believe in a bond that lasts forever… That bond is friendship… I’m in my final few months of my college and I know my time with my best friends is running out and so I decided to make the most of it. So today, 21st March 2007, is my best friend anish’s birthday. I wanted this day to be as special as I can probably ever make it…. For a month I have been planning for today and all I prayed for yesterday was that the whole plan worked perfectly without any glitches (our plan was not fool proof!! And I was well aware of it….).

So the plan is that we throw him a small party with his closest friends with him on HIS day at HIS home WITHOUT him even knowing about the plan. SO this is how we pulled it off….
Yesterday I had told him that shalu and I needed a ride to college. My darling friend was simply delighted. So I told him that would meet him at 7:45 am at the bus stop. The plan has been launched and our unsuspecting birthday boy comes to the bus stop to pick us up… Meanwhile my trusted friends Dilip and Renjit are waiting just out of his eyesight to make sure they don’t run into each other. The moment anish is safely out of eye sight, they rush into his home and begins to set up the cakes (chocolate and black forest) and balloons.
In 10 minutes anish is frustrated out of having to wait at the bus stop for me ( I am purposefully late). When I do turn up, having given dilip and renjit enough time, anish doesn’t look very happy. Then my role in the surprise begins. Here goes everything!!
“Hey! Sorry I’m late…. Just figured out that I forgot your gift at home”
Shalu’s face is grim. A flicker of disappointment on anish’s face.
“ Its ok.. don’t bother.. get it tomorrow…” He starts the car… Shalu is now struggling to keep a straight face…

But then I interrupt him.. I think he was starting to say that we are late for class…..
“ But anish… the gift is at your home…..we should get it now…”
“later.. now we are late…” It doesn’t strike him that I had just said “your” home….
Then a second’s delay and he slams the break and says..” My home!!! What??”
By now shalu is giggling and I am grinning from ear to ear….
“Yeah… your place.. the gift is at your home…”..

Shalu is positively howling by now… I cannot help my self.. The look on his face then was worth a thousand birthday parties…

“Common da… its on your dining table.. don’t tell me you didn’t notice!!!”..
He didn’t stop to hear the rest.. One deft and yet perfect U turn and we are on the other lane… He is now speeding so fast that I am for a few seconds worried… we narrowly miss a tipper at the U bend and we reach his place. Just as we reach his gate, he swears out loud… The pieces suddenly fit in his head..( I laugh as I visualize his brain working frantically to adjust to the new and out of control situation…. )… He has now figured out by the site of the Red Maurthi ZEN at his gate that dilip and renjith were there… He walk in to his own home.. may be for the first time with a slight bit of apprehension.. Dilip and Renit are there… His eyes lay on the cakes.. the candles… the balloons and finally the look on his mom’s and sister’s face.. Then there was a few moments of confusion as people were running around to escape anish who was trying to readjust to the situation by chasing the people who surprised. Pandemonium for a few minutes.. Peace came back to the mess of a dining room when vivek and shanker came in… Anish is now peaceful about the surprise… mildly shaken and yet extremely happy…. With special guests.. anna and aleena ( the 2 year old twins from next door), among claps and songs (Happy Birthday to uuuuuuu!!!) and flashes of the camera, he made his wish and cut his cake….
First piece to the beloved mom…. And the cake was all ours!!! Dilip inaugurated by giving anish a facial with the cake’s icing… Another few minutes of people running around to avoid more facials… and now its time to open the gifts….
At the end of it all it was fun to watch his face light up with delight as he opened gifts and even hours later in class when he walked in to thunderous cheers from fellow classmates, his face had a glow that I had never seen. The whole morning suddenly had meaning. The plan now had a purpose and I was just as happy as he was…. No doubt…

But now the fun is over.. Anish is at his place… re-reading his cards and toying with his gifts, vivek, shanker , dilip , renjit and shallu are probably talking about the day to everyone who would listen.. I am doing the same thing here.. in my beautiful room…Telling you what a wonderful day today was…We are making all the memories we can… a few months and a few occasional calls will be all that we can possibly ever manage… Then.. during months when we all feel awfully grown up, we can laugh about these little adventures of ours…. Till then.. I am keeping my friends close at heart….
As I wind up this narrative… I would like to thank God for this amazing day.. so full of joy.. so full of love…. So full of memories for the future…

An ode for friendships that are meant to last forever… Anish… Dilip and Me..(Anu)

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