This Boy Though... - This Free Soul
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This Boy Though…

I first saw him sitting on the freshly mowed lawn, playfully plucking the trimmed grass and throwing it back on the ground. I stood meekly behind the tree looking at this boy who was clearly oblivious to his surroundings. After a good one minute the bell rang and all the children came rushing outside to play. It was recess and we were all about five years old.

I saw this boy on a daily basis as I sat playing with clay or coloring my pages with another girl, Tanya in my class. He would never speak much. This became a daily routine and honestly nobody cared. I, being the talkative girl would always speak to everybody and this boy was not an exception.

“Hi! I am Shruti. What is your name?”

He looked at me, blurted out “Kunal” and left.

That was the only conversation we had. Until a month later at the swimming pool, this happened.

I loved the pool. I loved the water and splashing it around. I loved how strange I felt under water, light and free. It was summer time and all the kids were being taught swimming in school. We stood in a line, waiting to jump off the diving board in the deeper side of the pool. I was so excited to jump off into the cool water. I began counting on my tiny fingers.

Just three more kids and it was my turn!

Just two more kids and it was my turn!

Just one more kid and it was my turn!

I was barely able to contain my glee just thinking about the thrill of diving. Gradually my excitement began to drop and frustration started mounting because a boy standing in front of me won’t jump. He simply won’t jump! I could not even fathom why. It was like the water beckoning me. I waited restlessly for another two minutes and without thinking I nudged the kid hoping he would dive into the pool. The nudge must have come as a shove to him. He fell and my immediate response, the minute my hands touched him was of guilt. My eyes shut tight as extreme guilt washed over me for doing something so dangerous and stupid. I don’t know till this date exactly when his survival instinct kicked in and he splashed around bewildered and shocked. I opened my eyes and saw that the boy I just shoved into the pool was Kunal. All I could do was curse myself mentally and pray to God that he would be fine.

***

It’s the year 2015. I am at a coffee shop. I sip on my hot coffee. I look at my watch and steal a glance at the door. Just then I hear ‘Salted wound’ playing in the background. I pick up my book to resume reading. It is my favorite track and I am lost somewhere. Just as Sia croons at the end, somebody taps at my shoulder and I jump startled. For a split second, all I can really see is a grinning face. The grinning does not stop and just as he hugs me fondly, I hug him back grinning stupidly. I suddenly hold him at an arm’s length and I thump my book on his head playfully, “Kunal! You moron! You scared me!”

He plonks on the chair and still does not stop grinning. “I know! I simply love doing that to you!”

We sit and continue bickering, fighting and chattering away for hours together.

It has been 21 years since we have known each other. We have been in same schools together, studied the same things, discussed life, partied a lot, talked a lot, shared our deepest secrets and saddest truths, listened to the same songs, fought a lot and annoyed each other. Basically, we have been through so much that everything has changed between us. We have become friends from strangers. Starbucks has replaced other coffee shops for our monthly rendezvous. We have become crazier and wiser by each passing year. It has become a habit to talk almost every day. Clicking selfies and celebrating a few occasions together is a tradition we ardently follow. We are social misfits and completely narcissist. Too honest and too vulnerable is how we live by. We wear our hearts on our sleeve and fall in love heads over heels with people. That is the bond that we share today.

He is my support system, one of the few men I rely on for even trivial things and to crib about our respective ex-es. They say friendship is like wine. Truly, our friendship has aged perfectly with us. We depend on each other and are very protective about each other.

Today Kunal is a successful man. He is tall and too handsome and very responsible. Yet, when I see him today, I still see the shy and tiny five year old Kunal, waving goodbye excitedly when I passed by him on a street. Neither did his smile change nor did my best friend.

And yet people say  that “A boy and a girl can never be JUST friends..”

Here we are, defying the basic stereotype.

Every girl needs a guy best friend. I got mine!

#bestiesforlife #socialmisfits #TwoPeasInAPod

Dedicated to simple, uncomplicated and strong friendships.

*Names have NOT been changed because we love the attention!

Much Love,

#thisfreesoul

5 Comments
  • Kunal
    Posted at 22:58h, 10 October Reply

    Am simply speechless!!its prbbly the most suitable manner we can be defined and you know how much I love and adore you !!decades have passed by and when I sit and look back it seems like yesterday !the horse riding lessons ! The chats during classes !the trying to cook you a new phase ! Healthy meal mind you ! And look at us ! We have evolved to be such fabulous human beings and am so proud of what you have turned out to be ! I can truely say that the first choices are always the best ! Prbbly that’s how a girl from primary school happens to be my bestie 21 years down the lane which happens to make me feel nothing but simply blessed and grateful !
    You go girl !

  • Shefali Gupta
    Posted at 06:16h, 31 October Reply

    Beautiful

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 21:03h, 10 October Reply

    Beautiful 🙂

  • Sarah
    Posted at 16:11h, 03 February Reply

    you really captured our imagination in your friendship developing over the years xx lovely

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