Everything the elder one does is to stay one step ahead of her best friend S. They are both in same section of the class; they go to school in the same bus and play, study and fight together.
Everything she does is immediately compared to S.
“Papa I got 24 out of 25, one more than S, she got only 23”
“Papa I want to join Taekwondo classes, and you know S is also joining, we can beat all the boys together”
“Papa I have to watch “Milkha Singh wala Movie, S is going with her parents, they have already booked the tickets”
And it goes on and on and on, nothing in her world is complete without S, sometimes we feel we have 3 daughters such is the presence of S in our life. But sometime this competition can go very far. And one wonders what happened, are they friends or frenemies or just kids.
Here is one story.
She came back from school on friendship day with her hands covered with all kinds of friendship bands. Before I could say anything she started
“Papa I need your phone”
“Why” I asked
“I need to call R bhaiya in Mumbai, N didi in Delhi and I will even call little K, so that they all send me friendship bands”.
I was as puzzled as our government about the fall of Rupee and not knowing what to do.
“But you have so many friendship bands on your hands why do you need more?”
“You see papa I got the maximum amount of friendship bands in the class, even 2 girls from another section gave me friendship bands because I keep a seat for them in the bus”
“So what is the problem?”
“I had the highest number of friendship bands in the whole class, see my hands”
Indeed her hands were barely visible under all kinds of bands, thanks to this new fad of friendship bands on friend’s day.
Any ways, I got back to the kiddo, “fine, but what has all this got to do with your cousins spread across the country?”
“Ok, you tell me are cousins friends or not?” She demanded an answer in a manner that would have made Arnab Goswami feel that competition is around the corner.
I felt like a poor panelist in the news hour who could only raise his hand but is never allowed to speak.
“I know cousins are friends, but they are family first, so they are not your friends as such, because they are your family and family is not allowed to give you friendship bands. I mean they are allowed to give you friendship band, but how can you count them? I mean you can count them but friendship bands from cousins should be called cousin bands and not friendship bands. Even if you call them friendship bands, they are actually cousin bands, and should not be counted. Right??
My head was rolling faster than a guy whom the Great Khali is about to spin out of the ring, and I could not understand where all this is leading, so I just muttered “uhh, well”.
But our Arnab in making was not finished yet.
“Ok, so she wants to count cousin bands, so I will also call all my cousins and ask them to send me bands, and I have got 9 cousins, and if each sends me one band I will be ahead of her once again”
The moment Princess used the pronoun “ She”, matters became a bit clear, apparently S had brought friendship bands given to her by her cousins, and thus her count of friendship bands was one more than our daughter’s friendship bands, hence S was the winner. My head felt a little better and I felt proud at my deductive logic in solving the Cousin puzzle.
“But sugar, if you have to call for friendship bands do you think they count and do you think it will be fair? I tried to show her the futility of numbers game.
“Papa! You are on my side or her side?, if only my cousins were in Hyderabad, they would have all given me friendship bands, so it is only fair that I remind them. Even S had gone to her cousins home on Saturday to get her friendship band from her cousin, and she never even told me otherwise I would have immediately called my cousins and got mine. I am telling you Papa I am never talking to S again, if she calls on intercom, tell her I am studying, and mom you also please remember I and S are no longer friends”.
I was wondering what kind of friendship bands are these that have made two friends to fight.
While I was trying to console daughter dearest, our door bell rang, I opened the door, and as every day S walked in. Our daughter did not even looked towards her and said, S I am studying, and can you come later.
“No problem’ said S, “I just came to give you my friendship band, because in our fight today I forgot to give you my friendship band, while you were the first one to give me my friendship band today”.
Suddenly the weather changed, tempers cooled, smiles returned and our kiddo did our maths once again.
“So now both of us have equal bands, you are my best friend S, I would have never remembered if you had not given me friendship band, and you would have been winner, but now we are equal”
“See papa that is why S is my best friend.” Then both the girls winked at each other and hugs and kisses were exchanged. I and Sasha were wondering what all the fuss was about. But I got the answer to my question. S and our daughter are not just friends, or frenemies or just kids they are all three together and that is the fun of growing up.
I miss my childhood, but am happy to live it through my kids. What about you?
Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.