I have Faith in Friends


Feeling nostalgic and sentimental and a little teary today. I don’t know why. Nothing has happened to make me feel this way. The children are in good shape. Which means to say that they are bickering regularly with each other (Which is a good sign, really!!!) The hubby is good too. My youngest one, a one year old pup is lying peacefully curled up at my feet. Life is fine! And still from the moment I woke up today I feel the urge to cry. To go back and revisit – my memories, my childhood and my life. It is under this compulsion that I am sharing with you an old memory that makes me smile as it makes me cry and as is with all such things… very special!

There was a point in time, when I believed I was jinxed. My granddad died 13 days before I was born, my mom when I was hardly 6 and my dad had to leave and settle abroad when I was 8. I wondered “Why do I always lose the people I love?” By the time I turned nine, I found myself in a girls’ hostel. Because I had joined mid-term and there was no space in the hostel meant for girls from my class, I was put in with the older girls.The girls were nice, sympathetic perhaps, but they were young and I was younger and there was no meeting ground. I was a lonely child, so sad inside that my eyes brimmed up if I ever heard a kind word from anyone.

And that is what happened when she first spoke to me. “She” was a fifth grader (A year older than me), her name was Sminu Jindal, and she was beautiful! I was walking back alone from the dining hall at night. She called out to me and asked if I was alright? She spoke to me in the gentlest voice. That’s all it took..Three little words to bring tears to my eyes. I was embarrassed by them. But it seems she understood and walked by my side.

That night she told me something I will never forget. She said people who leave don’t go away forever. They become stars and watch over you. And then she pointed to the part of the sky with three stars in a row and said “See, the middle one there..That’s your mom”. I looked at her, as if she was handing me a magic wand.. and she said “Ya, it is” “Go ahead, call out to her…if she is listening, the star will blink”. With wonder and amazement in my nine-year old eyes, I did as she asked, tentatively calling out to my long lost mom in my mind. Guess what? The star blinked. From then on, whenever I was low or sad or lonely or even happy, I called out to my “mommy star” and it blinked a blink specially for me.

As it did the day I got the sad news. Sminu had met with an accident and could walk no more. She never came back to school, and I never got a chance to tell her, how thankful I was for her gift. She had gifted me faith and belief in the shape of a special star. I still regret not being able to thank Sminu for her special gift. Life had handed her a tragedy and she didn’t deserve it. But knowing the person she was, even as a child, I am sure wherever she is, she is ‘blessed’!

Friends are often parents’ favourite punching bags! They are the ones our teenagers spend hours chatting to over the phone, they are the ones who are forever enticing them away from studies and homework to play gully cricket or just ‘hang out’. But friends are also our children’s confidantes. The ones they can turn to when something goes wrong. And if our children are really lucky they may find a friend like Sminu who can truly empathise.

Do you have any friends who gave you something memorable? Not material things maybe, but faith or hope or love and care when you needed it the most. When it comes to your children, do you have faith in friends?

A mom of two, Sapna is a business woman, an avid book lover, a stand-in decorator for her restaurants, a movie buff, a social worker by training and a ‘change maker’ by choice. A dreamer like her name suggests, she says she is dangerously sentimental and an idealist at heart. Married to her childhood sweetheart, she lives in a small city in Rajasthan with her kids Maya 8 yrs. and Kabir 7 yrs. She started blogging a year back and uses her blog Just Another Wake Up Call to make new friends and connect with people.

  • Anandam Ravi

    What a lovely article! Thank you for sharing!