hands They were inseparable. They were the epitome of friendship. One had strengths that compensated for the others weakness. They were the ultimate made for each other pair. They were the stars of the school. Their fellow classmates were in awe of their friendship. They sang and played the guitar. The girls could feel their hearts break when they saw him chat away with her. They stared at them both or rather at her with jealousy that could burn the entire school block. The similar conditions prevailed when the boys watched her play basketball with him. The classrooms, the library, the playground, the corridors were the witness of them being together. People at school were of the opinion that they were in love. Some said that it was mere infatuation. I was of the opinion that they were true friends. They finished their high school. He went on to study at one of the prestigious university in the country. She continued studying at a local college. In spite of them studying at separate colleges, they made sure that they met every day or at least talk to each other every day. They shared every detail of their life with each other. He spoke of subjects that were alien to her but she enjoyed its details because he was happy. She shared her little victories with him because he was always there for her. They kept visiting their school to meet their teacher’s whose pets they were. They roamed like free birds in this not so predictable world. The last conversation they had was something unexpected. He was now ashamed of friend who had to face some financial crisis. He was ashamed of his friend who now had to change buses and trains to reach college. He was ashamed of his friend who could not afford to chill with him at expensive cafes and discos. He could not stand her outdated clothes and the dark circles that were now an integral part of her facial details. He was ashamed of her giving tuition s to support her family. He felt embarrassed to introduce her to his upper class friends at parties because she could not match up to his class. This was another face of his. It was as though somebody else was expressing all of this. It left her devastated for days when she got to know through a common friend that he left for London few weeks back. He did not even bid farewell to her. She used to stay awake with him all night over the phone as the universities posted the scholarship lists in the wee hours of the morning only because he was anxious and could not sleep out of tension and nervousness. I remember the day he was selected for a complete scholarship at the prestigious Eleven years of friendship, eleven years of pure friendship was now in ashes. Those ashes celebrated the triumph of money over human emotions. It has been five and a half years since they last met. She is now a part time professor of economics, a part time radio jockey and a full time writer. She barely has any time to wait. She kept herself so busy that she made sure that she made it home only to catch up on some sleep. Her rise helped her family improve their financial conditions. She worked really hard for that. I have been observing her off late. She has become cold. She has no friends. She does not even bother maintaining the old ones. She wrote, she read, she gave lectures, she put up an artificial facade while doing so. All that she wrote in her novel were true lies. True, because she did dream of such things at one point and lies, because she does not care much for those dreams now. I do not know if she has changed internally (she does not share her mind with anyone anymore). She never lets anybody meddle with her life. She created characters that did not have even a hue of their creators mind. Her novels won the hearts of many but it tore her hearts into pieces. It won her awards but could not provide her with what she wanted from life. He never tried contacting her during all these years. She never tried inquiring of him too. Their story forces me think of human relations and the various emotions that bundle these relations. Seasons change, faces change, relations change but do we really change? What we were and what we are, does it really change? Improving ourselves, our perspectives are highly appreciable acts. But changing our innermost, does that really happen? I do not know. The reason for their separation or rather for his neglect was money? How could he have thought of such a thing! I am sure he will never find a friend like her among all his socially acclaimed and friends and she will never give friendship another chance. Both these once upon a time friends are now strangers. They do not acknowledge of each other’s presence in this world. They have moved on but I know that she has buried her reality and has built a tomb in the name of a relation she had once upon a time cared for. Her faith on all such emotions has vanished and is hard to return. How do I know that? I am her mother. Copyrights 2014 Elsa Thomas

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