It is 5.30 pm. S has just entered home, back from his day care and activity center. I had gone to pick him up after winding up my ‘writing work’ on my laptop and tucking it away safely where S won’t notice it, hopefully. On most days he comes in, sits with me as I inspect his bag and lunch boxes, eating his evening snacks and then drinks tea if he is in the mood for it.
Then he gets busy with his toys, taking a car in each hand and running them all over the house. I ask him if we shall go out and play, he refuses, being already tired from his daylong activity. For the past two months, I too did not insist on outdoor activity much due to the rains. However, I did not want him to be playing alone too.
So, one day I invited my neighbour and her son for a play date. The son, let’s call him V, incidentally is also S’s classmate. I was not sure how S would react to another child, but to my pleasant surprise, he really loved the company. And from then on, S insists on playing with V every single day, and meeting V is the greatest inspiration for him to get dressed and go down to the school van every morning.
The boys don’t play with each other yet; rather they are just beginning to. For most part they play near each other, with separate toys. But the little exchanges they have are so cute that no words can amply describe or no picture can amply capture. V teaches S how to key a scooter toy, and S shows V the different colored engines he has. They both run around for a few minutes then each ride a tricycle.
For now though, they are happy to part with each others toys if the other wants to play with them, but God knows the fighting will begin soon. But until then, it is really endearing to watch them shake hands, sometimes hug each other and hold each others cheek, with that happy grin in their face at having had a great time with a friend.
Seeing S and V, I am reminded of my ‘best friends’ during different stages of growing up. First it was F in primary. Then S during secondary and even till now. Then another S during college. When we were together, there would not be one thought that crossed my mind and I did not share it with that friend. We would stick close to each other every moment of school or college. My other friends still call me and the S from secondary the ‘Inseparable Duo’.
However, as time goes, our paths went in different directions. Now each of us is living in a different city, sometimes separated by few hundreds of kilometers, sometimes separated by few thousands of kilometers. The warm glow of friendship still continues to brighten my heart though, when I think of them. Of the chubby, bubbly F, the dainty basketballer S and the simple but hot beauty S. I yearn a lot to go back to those days, when we could give each other undivided attention, when nothing in the world meant more than my friend. Alas, if only it were that simple to go back!
I have tasted the sweetness of friendship a lot, and even the bitterness once or twice. Now it is my little S’s turn to do so. When I see him putting his arms around V and peering closely into his face with obvious glee, I smell the fresh scent of the first friendship. And I hope, this bond will grow stronger, and many more will follow. My little Sweety Pie, may you be surrounded with wonderful friends all your life!
Yamini is a software professional turned work-at-home-mom. Amidst her domestic responsibilities and a very demanding 2.5 year old son, she snatches time to write academic papers, freelance content, fiction and poetry. Her stories and poetry have been published in various online literary magazines and anthologies by Penguin Books and Cyberwit Publications. Yamini voices her thoughts now and then at http://myexpressionsandme.