It is my best friend’s wedding today.
Well, I should be really happy about it, after all, that ba**ard will give me a treat at last! I should now be at his place, enjoying myself as well as helping in the arrangements. There were so many things that we had planned, before, about how our weddings are going to be, what kind of suits we are going to wear, what kind of food is going to be there on the menu card, how many foreign drinks will be there in the la carta de vino, where will our weddings be held, how many celebrities would come to attend our wedding, and most importantly, which actress are we going to marry! I chose Katrina Kaif, but awkwardly enough, he liked Julia Roberts. Well, these are some very secret topics of discussion that only stays between two best friends, or rather, two brothers.
Our friendship started very awkwardly though, well, it was awkward for me at least. It was my first day in school, I was in a different city and hence obviously in a different school before, so my first day in this new school, I came late, as I always am, and there was no seat except beside a thin, short and shabby looking, yet-with-a-pair-of-bright-eyes guy.
We didn’t talk. We didn’t pass cheats. We did not fight. We even didn’t ask for our names. Well, we ate. We hid under the desk, and ate our chocolate pastries, and I must mention here, I happened to bring his favorite pastry, and he happened to bring the pastry that I loved. We shared, we ate, we had a great time, until that mathematics class. The teacher out of nowhere called out his name, “Where is Arijit today?” He slowly got up from underneath the bench, his mouth all brown with the chocolate cream. The teacher immediately became stern, came to our desk, looked beneath the desk, found another boy with a similar chocolate smeared brown face, took the two tiffin boxes and they went flying into the dustbin. We were thrown out of the class.
Amidst the high profile teachers, all the very well dressed and well mannered people, stood two young seventh standard boys, with brown mouths and brown fingers, chocolate stained their white ironed shirts and parts of their body. Well, after a few minutes, they started liking their fingers and also started scribbling out as much chocolate as they could assemble from their shirts and all, with their finger nails and licked them. After this tedious work, highly satisfied, they greeted each other with a wide grin, showing their dark browned teeth and lips.
We were sent to the principal’s office. Our parents were called. We came out of the office, scared of what they would tell our parents, and how much scolding and beating awaits us. We again licked our fingers. Our heartbeats became fast. We didn’t know what to do, we didn’t know what to say, when he broke the silence, “Hi, I am Arijit.”
“Bring the pastry tomorrow again okay, it was delicious.”
And two chocolaty hands shook, as if after signing a deal. And we walked back to our class, with proud steps and brown shirts.
Well, this was how it all started, way back in class seven, thirteen years back. We have been best friends, we have been our sharpest critic. We have had our first smoke together, our first drink together, we promised not to smoke again, and smoked again the next day, and also we had done many such weird things together which cannot be mentioned here! I remember when I was driven out of home for failing in Mathematics, how he spent the whole night with me, how I ate pizza with him after being driven out of home, how we played games on his laptop after being driven out of home. Those moments are never to be forgotten ever!
These are just glimpses of our bond. When we fight, we are like the worst of enemies ever, and if someone else fights with us, or in that case, any one of us, we are the best of friends ever. But one thing, we have never, never ever, stalked on girls. We found that particular job pretty boring and a bloody wastage of time it surely which according to us is a much important job, and should be practiced. Well, it was just us.
He was that kind of a guy, who would find true love almost every month, and sometimes, every week! I remember, how he used to tell me, with much enthusiasm and passion, about how much he liked a girl. I used to enjoy those short sessions after the tuitions when he used to tell me about the looks and talents and many other fascinating things about his new found love and how she happened to be the girl of his dreams, and when I used to ask him, “But you saw her only today dude, then how come you already have dreamt about her?”
“I will start dreaming about her from today onward.”
“And what about your ex-crush?”
“No”, he used to say with a sigh, “She doesn’t match our intellect.” And we used to laugh our way back home.
And I must mention here that yes, I also had a crush, yes and it was a permanent one, sorry, it is a permanent one. Yes, I still love her. And the good part is we are still in contact and she isn’t married yet. But the thing is I remained only her best friend till now, I have never been able to tell her about my feelings. And hilariously enough, it was Arijit himself who made me realize that I love her. It was our farewell day, passing out of school, after spending half a dozen splendid years in that school. Farewell day, so a bit hangover we were towards the end of the day. We were sitting in a park, at which part of the city I don’t even remember, well not really sitting, but we were in some strange positions, like I was sleeping on a bench, with my right leg over the upper part, i.e. where people use to rest their backs, and Arijit was sleeping on the grass with both his legs on the bench.
“You know, brother”, I said, in a very sad and monotonous way, “No one loves me in this world. My dad threw me out of home once, and my mom has stopped making tea for me. Not a single girl likes me, I am such a miserable soul, I can’t be loved.”
“Well, so, you need a bit of free advise…”
“Tell me only if it’s free, otherwise I don’t have any more money today.”
“I don’t really give out advises for free generally, but you are in need of some of my brilliant advises now, so I will just switch my social working mode.”
I laughed out. And then said in a tone of misery, “See, even you are giving it to me for free because you want to do some social work, not because I am your friend.”
“I don’t help people with my position.”
He stood up on the bench. “I am the chairman of world’s best advises committee.”
“You are so rich. Still you won’t give your advises for free to your poor friend.”
“Okay, stop crying poor boy”, he said in a merciful way, “Only because you are my friend, and you buy me hajmolas, I give it to you for free.”
“Yeah, okay, but you still owe me those hajmolas, don’t forget that you moron.”
“Such a miser.”
He sat down in a meditation pose. “Now listen to me very carefully. There are three ways to know, if you love somebody or not.”
“And how many ways are there to know if somebody loves me or not?”
“Firstly, you should miss that person very much, you will only think about that particular guy or girl..”
“Hey I am not a gay”, I protested.
“Okay then only girl, everywhere you go you will always want her by your side.”
“I guess my parents and friends will like my company at some places, not all.”
“Secondly, you must feel jealous if anyone else talks to her or flirts with her, or in a more delicate situation, if she likes somebody else, you would want to kill that person.”
“My dad is always wanting to make my mom happy, but I don’t think of murdering my father.”
“And the most important thing now. The first two points are relevant for both boys and girls…”
“Hey, I am a boy only.”
“Whatever. But this point is mainly valid for boys. You will dream of getting intimate with her.”
“So, my child, tell me, for which unlucky girl do you have these feelings?”
I thought hard. “Well, I can’t think of any except Katrina Kaif.”
“Think within your limits, moron”, he made a poker face.
“Well, what about Utosree, is she within my limits?”
“Utosree”, now I made a poker face.
Wow. I still remember it. I feel proud myself. It has been so many days, but these things stay on with us. And I don’t know why, from that day onward, I grew a feeling for Utosree, I don’t know why I liked her, I didn’t expect anything back from her, it was just that I liked her, I just couldn’t find anyone more beautiful and more talented than her, she is really a very nice girl. And I should add, Arijit got another chance to pull my leg, and every time I tried to talk to her, he was present, pulling my leg. Well, these are bro stuff which most people will fail to understand.
He studied engineering, so did Utosree, while I studied literature. Our meetings lessened, I mean mine and Utosree’s, how can anyone think of me and Arijit not meeting each other.
We grew up, we got serious about life, we had to build our carrier. And I must admit what a fool I had been in life, for not listening to my dad, who warned me of the struggles of studying in a general stream. Arijit became an engineer, got a descent job from his college. My dream of becoming a writer, well, never really took off.
I am basically alive due Arijit’s constant support, he still believes that I have bright future ahead, I will be a famous writer one day, and then I have to give him my books for free, in return for all the free advises that he gave me once upon a time. And obviously I can’t forget about Utosree, well, as I said before, I still love her. I always feel the urge to prove myself in front of her, so that one day she can like me more than a friend.
But putting aside all these depressed talks aside, our friendship remained as strong and close as ever. Even I helped him in convincing his crush, that he is one of the best and most loyal boy ever and that he is the right guy for her, and today, she is going to be his wife in just a few more hours.
So, I guess, I should get out of bed now, its almost my lunch tie now. It is my best friend’s wedding today, I should be happy and enjoying myself now, instead I feel like procrastinating. I am constantly having this feeling that things are going to change, things will not be the same henceforth, our friendship won’t be as strong as it is now, it will be, kind of, uncomfortable. I feel scared, I feel defeated.
I got up, checked my phone, 24 missed calls and hundreds of texts all from Arijit. I called him back, and made some fake excuse for being late, to which, obviously, he wasn’t fooled.
I hurriedly had a small lunch, put on my best suit, and left for his place.
I haven’t yet bought any gift for him, although he repeatedly had told me that the only gift he wants is my presence at this special occasion of his life. But I genuinely want to give him something, something that will stay with him something that will remind him of our friendship, in case my fears of losing him as the closest mate becomes true.
I roamed through numerous shops, but I couldn’t really find any such thing, everything was quite delicate and not something that he will like. Those are expensive gifts, that he will be anyway receiving, but I want my gift to be really unique, something totally out of the league, something which will not only remind him of me, but also he will be able to see this very face of mine in front of him in his mind’s eye.
Tired of not being able to find any such thing, I just bought a bouquet of flowers, and a card.
When I reached his place, it was late in the evening. Everything was beautifully decorated, there was the touch of richness, as well as down-to-earth-ness in the atmosphere, that’s Arijit for you. The whole place was happy, joy and laughter was filling the entire surroundings. Everyone were just so full of life and elan, only I could not find happiness in my best friend’s wedding!
I entered, and immediately got greeted by his parents and also got a tad bit of loving scolding from them for being so late. I sat in a corner, with my bouquet and card. There I see him, in his best suit, with the Julia Roberts of his dreams, all smiling and blushing, I felt happy for a single second. I put my bouquet aside, took my pen out, opened the card on my thigh. I thought of the various names by which I used to call him in childhood. I remembered I used to call him chota Hrithik Roshan because of his acumen in dancing.
I wrote on the card,
Chota Hrithik Roshan and Ulto on your marriage,
I took a single red rose from the bouquet, and went to greet them.