For the longest time, I’ve wanted a Starbucks mug. And people either laughed at me, or considered it too ordinary a present to give. Mostly, they just forgot. Till date, there hasn’t been a single occasion at Starbucks where I haven’t run my fingers over the row of mugs, telling them which one I loved the most and why. Yes, I know I’m crazy, but its an adorable crazy as opposed to scary psycho crazy. Adorable crazy.
After all these years, one person remembered. This person happens to be the one person I’ve known all of my life. Actually, all of HER life, considering she’s younger than me. She’s one of the people I’ve loved most, and fought with most. We’ve been cold, cuddly, angry, loyal, silent, confiding, resentful – After 17 or so years of being an integral part of each others lives, there hasn’t been an emotion we managed to leave out. More than the fact that she is the reason I’m holding the most beautiful pale blue Starbucks mug in my hands, it hits me – that she remembered. After all the fights and bitterness, she remembered my conversation with this one mug. Telling the mug that he reminded me of my mother, round and serene, and that I’d do anything to take him to India with me, a little reminder of my adorable crazy mother. She remembered. And on Christmas Day, he became mine.
Tucked inside him, was a letter that struck me stone-cold when I first read it. So after copious amounts of alcohol, I came back home, held the mug in my lap and read and re-read it again. I remembered sleepovers and secrets, and how she’d be the first to know anything. From the bitchy teachers to the new shoes I craved. Then high school began, and the drift began. Then college began, and the drift became geographical as well as emotional. Boarding school didn’t help matters. And somewhere, it tugged my heartstrings that we weren’t the first people to call each other when we reach Dhabi soil. It became a habit, not a need.
Sometime in 2008, she’ll sail away to start a life in medicine and get her first taste of college. Sometime in 2009, I’ll sail away to start a career in the media and hopefully pursue a Masters. And it struck me that for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out when we’d see each other next. The flashbacks began as did the fast-forwards. Of pink toes and white nails, of chick-flicks and chick-lit, of boyfriends and body shop, of shopping and secrets – of all the days we’ve spent of all her life and most of mine. And how wonderful they were, even the messy in-between parts. They were my childhood and nothing can take that away.
To Rohini: Here’s to thinking about our childhood, and how, despite everything we are the oldest and dearest of friends. I love you.