Childhood memories are countless. But, whenever it comes to friendship one name effortlessly pops up in my mind-Poona, my short-term neighbor, who walked into my town with her parents. Her parents belonged to Barmer (Rajasthan) and they would come in the season of crop cutting in search of work. They would stay at the junkyard of big landowners until the crop season was finished.
Poona was their only child. Pale skin, black eyes and long brown hair. She had sharp nose, pierced neatly with a thin silver wire. She looked cute but was very shy. She didn’t play with anyone around. She would sit outside her little temporary hut and look at the kids playing outside. Her innocence often struck me. I was 7 years old, smart enough to know the meaning of friends. Till that date, I had made friends without asking them for their friendship. But she was special. To bring her out of her shy zone, I had to extend my hand for friendship.
“Will you be my friend?” I asked her, smiling.
She blushed and smiled back, extending her hand to say yes!
So that was it. The first lesson I learnt in my life about friendship was that it was easy to make friends.
Me and Poona relished each moment of our friendship. Singing filmy songs out loud, dressing up like queens, using my mom’s dupattas to drape sarees and dancing all day long. We would often steal my mom’s face compact to touch up our faces and look like actresses.
Days passed, my summer holidays were over and I had to go to school. I wanted Poona to attend school with me. I insisted my dad to convince my principal to allow Poona sit with me in my class. And, I insisted my mom to convince her parents to let her go with me.
Principal agreed but Poona’s family didn’t. They had to leave in next 3 days and Poona was obviously traveling back with them. I requested them to let Poona live with us. I promised I would take care of her like my soul-sister. But they didn’t agree. I hated it and this made me cry.
Dad couldn’t see me crying, so her convinced Poona’s parents to let her go to school with me for these 3 days. I was happier and she was the happiest now. We walked to school hand in hand, sat next to each other in the classroom, I taught her to write her name in Hindi and English. We would play Aam-churi during the lunch time, after finishing our lunchbox of course.
Those three days were the best days of my life. But, they passed very soon. Poona waved me goodbye, to never return again. I missed her for months. I would imagine that one day she would come back and we will play together. But the day never came. Though, with time, I forgot to miss her.
I grew up and went to hostel for my further studies. Lately, when I was back home for vacations, I saw a familiar face sitting with my father, talking to him. It was Lal Jee, yes Poona’s father.
A forgotten friend’s memory shivered through my heart. I rushed to Lal Jee uncle and asked “How are you uncle, how’s Poona, where is she?”
“She is married now Bitia (daughter) has 3 little daughters. She has sent a letter for you and she also wanted your photo.”
I was thrilled to see a little piece of letter, written by Poona. It read-
“Tumhari bahut yaad ati hai Piu, tumhari dost Poona”
[Translation: I miss you a lot Piu, Your friend Poona]
Wow, her smiling face appeared in front of my eyes. She had learnt to read and write the biggest gift she could ever give to me. I was in tears.
I handed over the only photograph of her I had, in which we both were going to school. The only memory that I had of her. But I believed she deserved it more than me.
But, I couldn’t write anything in response to her the most beautiful letter for me.
I would like to thank Dove Contest for letting me relish the wonderful memories I had with my best friend.
This post is written under Dove Guessing Game Contest organized in association with Indiblogger.
Know more about wonderful Dove Guessing Game With My Friend
Know more about the contest here-#DoveFaceTest