Have you ever rediscovered a friend in someone? Or have you been acquaintance with someone for years and one fine day you felt your understanding; your bonding with the person is just perfect; without any expectations. The selfless friendship. Just for the sake of happiness, to spend those precious moments of conversation, sharing, accompanying, motivating and boosting morale. The true friendship begins on such note of selfless admiration. Respecting others’ opinion while placing your own without being judgemental. The opinions might differ, but the heart must speak the same language; the language of love, friendship.
Though I believe in not affixing an adjective to friend; yet the one whom we mention as ‘close friend’, in reality, is the only friend; rest all are either acquaintances or contacts. Aakash is such a close friend of mine. One of the oldest and finest gem. Initially, he was just a common friend; our friendship escalated after my return from Kolkata. Soon after final examination of graduation, all the guys within our circle left for further studies; only two of us were left in distance view.
During those days, Aakash was involved with proxy writing business of competitive exams. Since he was a brilliant student – an expert in English and aptitude test called reasoning – his so-called clients trusted him a lot. I personally advised him to try his luck too for a successful career, but he never paid heed to it. He always believed he is cut out for bigger things. Few of his clients joined different fields; like PO in PSU Banks, Officer in Railways and SSC etc.
We used to spend almost whole day together, gossiping, planning our future, engaged in doing some weird things, hanging out, and a lot many other things we thought could be fun at that point of time. Once on a summer afternoon, we decided to go to Nepal. Birganj was nearest Indo-Nepal border from Patna and people visit the place to buy foreign stuff which was not available in India then. We reserved our seats in a night bus, came back home and left after dinner in pyjamas and slippers – for we were to buy all the stuff like jeans, tees, shoes etc.; and since the cops would not allow carrying things beyond a certain amount we decided to wear all of them.
We appeared for our first interview together, at a five-star hotel, for the post of Medical Representative (MR) of a multi-national company. I made three mistakes in pronouncing the name of medicine, and eliminated in the second round while Aakash was selected and called for a third and final round to Varanasi. We went there together by 4:30 am train on a military discount pass he had arranged for both way journey. We visited Kashi Vishwanath and Sankat Mochan Temples and then in the second-half reached the interview spot. The return train was at 10:00 pm so we freaked out and exhausted all our energy. In the train, we didn’t have the berth, approached TTE who asked us to relax on his designated berth. The train moved and after an hour or so as we felt sleepy the giant-shaped gentleman appeared before us grinning, “bachcha log ab apne chachaa ko sone dijiye” [kids, let your uncle sleep now]. We fumed but were helpless to do anything.
Later, Akash completed his one-month training in Chennai and returned after the third day of job in Varanasi. We did our Amway business together; researched on advertising business; attended internship programme at a newly opened advertising agency in Delhi which I joined and he ditched. Aakash stayed there and tried his luck in a number of businesses and one fine day he called me from an unknown number. He was in Delhi. Then for over two months my schedule was to catch-up with him on my return journey from office, do gossip, have snacks, juices; stuffed ‘parathas’ for dinner at near IIT gate and took him along at my place, just to drop him in the morning on my way to the office. Later he moved with me and joined a job in BPO. He celebrated my birthday for three full months, till January.
There are innumerable things we did together at different stages of time. I advised him on many a thing in almost for all businesses he got himself involved with. Aakash was not an escape-goat to avoid them, but he was having compelling excuses for everything he would not intend to do. Still, whenever we touch base our conversation goes for as long as four hours. And that too over the phone!
The last discussion I had with him was his inclination of writing a book which I promised to promote. I am not sure how serious he was, yet there are an endless discussion, advises and planning we had done and could do together. His kind of expert comments and opinions are a never to miss kind of original form of creativity. However, I personally believe, he is wasting his talent by falling for moolah!!
The Friend’s Wednesday Series – No Pun Intended! SIX
The person portrayed above is real life character. The name has been changed to protect the identity.