So I have never written a blog post about any specific person in my life, and I’d like to do that today.. This post is going to be about my best friend N. We talked today after a few weeks, and it was one of those days when we were talking about so many things and sharing and remembering old times. And I ended up telling N about my blog, and how I have started writing regularly.. And I’d like to write about the special bond we’ve shared for what seems to be forever now!
N and I met a little over 8 years ago, in the first year of our undergraduate degree, and he has been one of my closest friends ever since then. It’s ironical that in this case, he was the one who remembered the date we met – it was November 19th 2005.. We met through a common friend in my final exams of first semester of engineering, and we were texting all night even though I had an exam after two days. What started as a silly friendship based on (maybe?) infatuation 8 years ago has grown into one of the most supportive relationships in my life..
When I try to remember how we became friends, I’m not really sure. If I was to meet N today, I wonder if we would still become friends.. Maybe that’s why they say, friendships made in college last the longest – because you’re more mature than you were in high school, but still naive enough to open up and expose your vulnerabilities. Anyway, I digress.. So N and I never had much in common. Our interests were always different and yet, we always had a lot to talk about – maybe because we both were thoughtful and cared about other peoples’ feelings and emotions. I’m not sure what was/is special about this friendship for him. For me, it has always been about being able to share my deepest secrets with him. When I was in college, he always listened to my stories and fundas in life and never judged me for that.. In retrospect, it seems like he always accepted and respected me for who I am.. I always felt that he was always proud of me for who I am.. And he always knew how to bring a smile to my face.. When I was with him, I always felt special.
Looking back on our times together, there are so many happy memories.. A month after we met, he gave me a card for my birthday. It was the first birthday card he ever wrote for anyone, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was the most special card I have received so far in life.. We always talked about traveling together to Mauritius.. I wonder if it was inspired by Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? And then he would hang out in the girls hostel quite a bit, and would be ragged extra hard in his hostel because of that.. I remember helping N with one of my favorite courses that he had to take as well, and how much he enjoyed preparing for GRE! We would spend several hours talking on the phone at night (even when either of us traveled to our hometown), hanging out in the library lawns, hostel parking lot, walking in the campus, sitting on the college stairs, but our favorite hangout used to be the CCD and Barista close to campus.. I remember both of us sharing our sob stories about relationships and friends, and fears and hopes for the future..
N was the first one to call me a doctor, saying I had a PhD degree, not in science or biology, but in love and friendship.. N was also the most encouraging friend whenever I wanted to take up additional responsibilities in Magboard, the college editorial board or other random things I decided to pick up in life! I remember N and I talking about how I will write an autobiography someday, and he named it ‘No Regrets’. You see, at that time in life, I thought that I always gave my 100% to any personal or professional commitment I had and so, I had no regrets about how I lived my life. I wonder if this was naivete or if I was actually more mature than I am now, second guessing everything I do in life!
One thing that stands out to me is that N and I have never had a fight.. I do remember times when I would ask him – N, how is it that you’re never angry with me about anything? N always said that the best relationships are when there are no expectations from each other. I always said that that’s just not possible, how can you not expect anything from people you’re close to. And I don’t remember ‘not expecting’ anything from him, so maybe he was always there for me whenever I expected anything from him. I don’t even remember him ever getting angry about unfulfilled expectations from me. So maybe we had low expectations from each other. Yet, I think that we’ve always been there for each other through the darkest times. This makes me wonder if our friendship would change change if we were to meet everyday or expect certain things from each other?
When I had just come to the US, the movie Wake Up Sid came out, and it reminded N of us, of our friendship. I didn’t get it then, but I do see it today! It was a perfect depiction of who we both were when we met, and how we changed with time. For a long time, everyone I knew thought that N loved me. Somehow, I secretly started believing it as well and almost suffered a heartbreak when he decided to get married, and of course I shared all my feelings with him. I am so thankful to N for not judging me then and for being so understanding. It took me some time to get over that phase but it had no effect on our friendship. In retrospect, looking at how differently we live our lives now, maybe it’s better that we didn’t get involved in a romantic relationship. The biggest difference between N and me has been that N always valued family over himself and he was willing to compromise his desires to keep his family happy. And it so happens that I am quite the opposite, so a relationship would never have worked out, and I would have lost one of my most cherished friends.
I have always been skeptical about the arranged marriage system. I remember freaking out when N was going to meet R for the first time, and he had to decide within that day, if he wanted to marry her. I remember the happiness I felt on being able to travel to India for his marriage, and on meeting R for the first time, but I also remember being scared that N getting married would change our friendship…. But thankfully, R is a really nice person and we get along quite well and N and my friendship has stayed the same. I always thought that N believed in ideal relationships based on 100% honesty that are not sustainable in the real world, but maybe I was wrong. I know that R and N share everything and I’m sure it’s not easy for them but I think it also strengthens the bond that they share.
So N, I just want to thank you for accepting me for who I am and for never judging me. Thank you for believing in my crazy ideas and dreams, and always encouraging me to reach for the stars! Thank you for always making me feel special and loved! Thank you for always keeping your promises and showing me that 100% honesty in relationships can work! And finally, thank you for being you and for being my best friend!!
Song on my mind – Itti si hasi, itti si khushi from Barfi