There are friendships that begin with an awkward "hello", as you take measured steps towards knowing the other person, with the passage of time you build a bond with the bricks of moments that are shared, that are cemented stronger by bearing witness to each other's various emotions. And before we know it the measured steps become an instinctive jog with every passing day as we take those steps towards each others worlds whilst we lay bare our fears, joys, guilt and anger, those secrets that we have locked deep within to each other. Last night on a crowded street, I bid adieu to a close friend of our gang as we took our last snap - by stopping a passer-by and posing in front of a building with onlookers giving us weird looks during rush hour. At that moment none of the looks nor what others thought mattered, for that could probably be the last snap we might take for a long time. On a Friday evening we wished my friend the best for his new endeavor in a new land and parted our own ways, knowing that he will be missed in our weekend hangouts at the multiplex where we ogle at the girlfriends of other guys.
When the evening began, we were stuck amidst the Friday rush hour with no proper schedule planned and short of a farewell gift, and short of money in our wallets, more the reason to recruit a woman in the group to bring order among chaos. Moreover, ordering an exotic mint tea that could have made Listerine taste like the elixir from Fountain of Youth did not help the cause. Due to lack of a proper ambience we shifted to Coffee Day, where we spent more time gossiping about our colleagues at work and yanking each other's chain all in good humor, while we spent lesser time in deciding on what we wanted to eat. I feel our complete lack of regard towards our expanding paunches played a vital part in speeding up our decision down to the most fattening yet drool-worthy drink they had to offer. (Mental Note: Must wake up at
5 a.m 6 a.m 7 a.m on Sunday for a long 3 kilometer jog short fifteen minute walk). We were thankful that there were no girls involved in our evening, not that we are spoilt for choices when it comes to women, but still - the ones who wanted to be a part of our evening thankfully turned it down as it dawned on them that they had better things to do than to hang out with a bunch of guys who pay their bills at Coffee Day through Sodexho coupons (Divine intervention exists!). Amidst women, our evenings might have been well-planned and controlled, what with them in charge and calling the shots, yet our topics would have been limited to the more articulate stuff like Ra.One, Harry Potter, Justin Bieber and the job opportunities that the companies would offer for my friend who is off to do higher studies abroad, instead of the "job" offers he could avail from the women in his campus. And thankfully, we did discuss a bit on the latter topic (kidding, we discussed a lot on the latter option).
With no proper gift to buy him we ended up taking our friend to Landmark as we shopped for something proper to gift him, as one of us diverted him by taking him towards the most expensive goods section and humored him with loose talk of how tempting the products seem, I and another friend fled to other section, thus quashing all his hopes of getting a costly gift (yeah, we are smart and classy like that). With a book titled "101 ways to get girls" not having published yet, and my idea of buying him a wind chime labelled as "something girly" we decided to stick with gifting him something manly. No, not a Swiss army knife. As the last few minutes of us being together neared, I realized that friends do not need a dimly lit, air-conditioned ambience where you have someone at your beck and call to take your orders on the overpriced stuff that you want to eat. All that you need to have a good time is a couch, a cup of coffee and your close friends who accept you for the way you are. As for the topic, who needs one when you are with friends?