10 May

I am here reporting for my missing friend. She is about 5 feet 4 inches, has dark hair and has the sweetest and most selfless soul. About two years ago Seatle stole her from me and I have tried a zillion times but am unable to find her. So if anyone you think fits that description and reacts to the name: Shilpa, please inform me.

Years ago we sat in her room. Promises to stay friends forever. Promises to be each others bridesmaid, to have our kids be best friends just like us. I clearly recall our driving lessons together back in 2004, her first car shopping and the regular spins in her car. How we progressed from a rickety scooty to a brand new Hyndai Santro? Memories that today hold no meaning or significance but just a sigh.

Yesterday I was driving home from work and a very soothing song was playing on the radio and I was transported to an event that took place 6 years back. It was Shilpa’s birthday when we went to Chandni Chowk for dinner. We were three girls totally young and outrageous, teasing everyone we found on the road, exercising our new found freedom on four wheels. We called out in particular to a car with a couple enjoying there moments and were racing them and yelling and cutting them-teasing and embarrassing them till we got into a verbal fight. Oh, what a rush. And now I jus simply drive for convenience not for fun. I have a car but no friends to join the fun ride.

Distance 1 – She left the complex we stayed in.

Distance 2 – She left the town to work in a different city.

Distance 3- She married and left the country.

We lost touch and somewhere lost our friendship too along the road. Some things come without a notice and so did the end to this friendship. I had more to be blamed in this distancing than her, I must admit.  She always kept in touch and tried hard to mend the distance. We never had a fight in 10 years of that I know her. Now that talks a great deal about our friendship, doesn’t it?

She was always my shoulder to cry on. My heart aches to my new crushes and those endless moments of gossip and walks in the society. Now ours is not an ordinary friendship. Nah-ha… I am going to unveil to the world (which means anyone who reads this) how we became good friends. It was this one rainy evening in 2003. We were cursing Mother Nature, because rain meant less or no people would come down to play. So that left only her and me taking shelter in a garage under G1. We did not know what to do in such a confined place, but we were one innovative girls. So we decided to play lawyer-lawyer. I know what you thinking we were too grown up to be playing anything that has a reiteration but well what can I say we took our time to grow up. So, as we were running short of people, obviously, we took on two to three roles. I was the judge-the convicted and a lawyer, while she was the plaintiff-opposing lawyer and an eye witness. I am sorry I do not know the law terminology but this is how the game progressed. At one time I had to be the drunken guy who ran over her and at the same time be a sober judge. Man how much we laughed. We played this game for straight one hour or more. Isn’t it Shilpa? Oh, well who am I asking she is not around.

How can I forget those long working hours at Robocon. She introduced to me few good friends I may have forever and some I may never see again, but nonetheless, a reason for a new beginning. Our friendship started in a small garage but reached oversees with her moving away after her marriage. But like any movie and real life incidents we lied, we will always keep in touch. Always.

I know- Pleading you to find my Best Friend seems absurd. Looking around for someone who is right in front of you is bizarre. Knowing someone so well and suddenly seeing them as strangers is weird. I know you will say nothing’s changed, but I know a lot has. I know you will say things are the same, but I know that they may never be. A lot has changed in all these years. Things I could swear would remain constant have changed beyond recognition and things that I could bet would change have remained constant.

I know a lot of you reading this have friends you have around you but still seem like you have lost them. Most of you maybe in touch but it’s not the same anymore. As for me, I may never find the Shilpa I have known but I will always have the memories of that Shilpa and Susan who made promises to stay friends forever. I thought maybe putting my thoughts into words I will be able to find her and somehow she will read this, pick up the phone and dial the number she used to so often dial to drown her pain or share the enjoyment. I will wait patiently for that phone to ring and hoping against hope that everything will be the same.


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