Ever had ‘chuddy buddies’, the ones that stick with you, no matter what ? Well, I consider myself lucky to have such wonderful friends. Some from kindergarten days, some from college times, a few workplace friends and friends from the ‘mommy gang’ – thanks to my son’s friendship with other kids.
My first chuddy buddy
Image Credit: gracewong
My first chuddy buddy was a little girl, my kindergarten friend and neighbor. We turned into fast friends when our moms walked us home after school, everyday! Together we were involved in some eye popping horrid episodes, horrid by the standard of any kindergarten goer.
Hair raising experience
Image Credit: swambo
Way back in 1985, we stayed at my father’s office quarters. This area was kind of huge with several three storey buildings and vast, green spaces for kids to play. Borivili, back then wasn’t as crowded as it is today. There was this crematorium a little away from our quarters. It had huge, shady tamarind trees. We had seen elder children go there and collect ripe tamarind from the trees. One afternoon around 4 pm, the watchman on duty went on some errand and we went out of the main gate of our quarters. We trotted along for a few feet more, turned round the corner and entered the cemetery. Imagine two little girls hanging out, collecting tamarind in their frock pockets on a peaceful wintry afternoon at an eerily secluded spot! These two little munchkins went further ahead and found a few white pieces of what looked like calcified stone. They collected these ‘stones’ for playing ‘tipri’ or hopscotch, did some more exploring and went back home.
Imagine our mothers’ horror when they saw the white ‘stones’ that we had collected! Those were pieces of human bones from the crematorium! Her mom, the more superstitious kind, did a few evil – eye removal mumbo jumbo techniques before scolding us both. As for my mom, she spanked the life out of me!
Candies are not so sweet…sometimes
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My friend had a grumpy old granny who was distantly related. She would come visiting every month. She was strict and my friend didn’t like her much. This lady always carried a pouch containing yummy sugar candies. And no! The candy wasn’t meant for kids. The grumpy lady that she was, she kept the entire stuff for herself! Once when she was asleep, we took the pouch, finished the candies, filled it with some pebbles and kept it back. Though we got scolded, this incident put off her visits for a few months. My friend – was she glad? Yes!
Every day was an adventure for us. We played, laughed with not a care in this world. One day we had to part ways, though. We moved into a new residence which was quite far. We were too small to write letters and stay in touch. I’m sure she still remembers these funny incidents and laughs at all the fond memories , wherever she is.
Friendship – Cradle to the grave kind
Photo Credit: Randomthoughtstone
Some friendships go way beyond name-place-animal-thing, tic-tac-toe, silly doll games and make believe kitchen games. It feels as if you are together right from the cradle to the grave. This is the kind of friendship that I share with my best friend of more than 15 years. We shifted to a new place and I found a good friend at school, the very first day.
Small things like sharing your lunch boxes at school, having petty squabbles as in ‘who has the best looking shoes’, mindless chatter and silly jokes were a good part of our school days, especially the lunch boxes…Mmmmm… Being a Malayalee I loved what her Maharashtrian mom made, spicy vangyache bhareet (roasted, mashed brinjal side dish) with fluffy bhakris, sabudana khichdi and what not! She loved my mom’s Idli – sambar, mixed grain dosas and tamarind rice.
Culinary attempt gone awry
Image Credit: Dollen
Summer vacations were fun. We read books, played and ate away to glory. Once we decided to try out new recipes. Our moms encouraged us. Of all things, I have absolutely no idea why we decided to make some khatta meetha mango pickle that day! We got all things necessary, asked her mom how to make it and bingo we made some 1 kg of mango pickle. Her mother had warned – Make sure you girls use a dry mango jar and smoke some camphor over it so that the pickle doesn’t get spoiled. That was one overzealous attempt at making pickle! So we did not bother about smoking camphor and all that. 3 days went by and we decided to take a look. What happened next was so disheartening that I did not attempt to make pickles till the time I got married! Our sweet and sour pickle had turned black . We realized that good things often came to you, the hard way. That was one of the many lessons we learned from life together!
Soon we were ready for college. We joined different streams of education. I had to study away from home. Hostel life was fun. She made her own gang of friends while I had mine. We still made it a point to meet during vacations be it summer, Diwali, Christmas holidays or whenever I was home. Juicy gossips, heartbreaks, silly infatuations, hanging out together and shopping till we dropped were a part and parcel of our life whenever we met.
I know she will kill me for mentioning this here – We had gone to watch this super flop movie –‘Pyar me kabhi kabhi’ and there was this scene where a girl’s boyfriend is dying. While we waited for the movie to come to an end, my best friend sobbed her heart away. She used her handkerchief, then mine and a few more tissues. The rest of our gang started laughing and she bawled all the more. To this day both of us laugh when we remember this.
And it goes on…
Post graduation, we took up jobs. We made new friends. We still remained the best of buddies. Marriage and kids have failed to separate us. She took leave from work and was at my bedside when I went into labor to deliver my son. We may not talk or meet every day. But we know that we are there for each other always. And as luck may have it, our sons are good friends too.
So you see, chuddy buddies are a must in our lives. They’ll be there to share your joys. They’ll offer their shoulders for you to cry on. They’ll also be good punching bags for you to vent your frustration when things go awfully wrong. To maintain a lasting friendship you need to get out of the virtual world, though. Meet whenever time permits, call up instead of typing out SMSes by the dozen. WhatsApp is nothing as compared to catching up in person, either. Life and time fly by real fast…