The story is of two childhood friends who are separated by distance. Will they be friends again?
Vibhav gazed at the clear azure sky, letting his mind wander through the memory lanes. The balmy wind somewhat soothed his outer self while his inner one battling a long subdued storm. Vibhav somewhat knew that this thing was about to happen but he was too arrogant to confess it. ’A friendship of eight years is not easy to break,’ he always thought.
It had been almost eight years when he first met Parth, a lad of ten, the same age as him with a sparkle in his eyes. The day seemed as if it had been just yesterday and today, here they were at crossroads.
The family had just moved in to the new place much to his disappointment. He missed the old apartment and the congenial neighbours. Everything in the new place seemed cold and unconcerned. In this new environment Parth came as ray of hope, a source for new beginnings, from the blue. Vibhav was returning from school after a monotonous day. Just then, a football hit him directly on his face leaving him hurt and furious.
Seeing his angry face, all the lads started laughing except Parth. Parth came to me apologised and asked me to return the ball that was lying near his feet. Vibhav, in his fury kicked the ball towards the road and watched the ball getting punctured as a Tata Sumo crossed it. Now, it was his turn to laugh. Everyone else stood speechless looking at him in pure hatred.
‘It serves you right,’ claimed Vibhav self-righteously.
‘That was unacceptable from your side. I had apologised and now I want a football in compensation for the one you just punctured,’ fumed Parth.
‘Compensation! For what? It is I who should be compensated not you’
‘This is the limit. First you commit a mistake and then ask for compensation. Hey newbie, you better get lost and never show your ugly face here again. I think it would be the best for you.’
‘When is your birthday?’ asked Vibhav innocently.
Parth was surprised by the sudden change in his tone.’2nd June,’ he said.
‘Good. You better ask your mother for a mirror for it seems you have never seen one. If you cannot afford one, I will be more than glad to give you a few rupees for one. The earlier you know the truth….’
Vibhav was stopped midsentence by a blow from Parth. With this, hell had broken loose as the boys started throwing kicks and punches. The onlookers, surprised with the turn of events took some time to react. By the times, the boys were pulled apart both were badly hurt. Their clothes torn and hair dishevelled. That day he found himself at the doors of Mr.Saxena with his mother and a box of chocolates.
’Can’t we just return home?’
‘No,’ said Vibhav’s mother as she rang the doorbell.
Parth’s mother opened the door. The two ladies talked for a while each apologising the other for their son’s deeds. Vibhav was reluctant to talk to Parth. The feeling was mutual after all they had gone through the day. The clock chimed five times. Parth switched on the television as it was time for the Power Rangers to fight some evil monsters.
‘You also like Power Rangers?’ asked Vibhav.
This was the beginning of the endless conversations that they started. With each passing day, the boys grew fonder of each other. They confided in each other their deepest sorrows, their greatest joys, their darkest fears and their craziest fantasies. Everything was going fine. Time flew and none of them realised they had to separate.
Vibhav was going out for his studies. This did not create a rift as the two years passed and now it was time for them to go to college. This is when things got tricky. Vibhav was again going out to complete his bachelor’s degree while Parth was this time forced to complete his degree at a nearby college. He thought that things would just as fine as it was before.
However, the talks grew shorter and he began to feel that Parth was keeping things from him. He thought that this was temporary. Soon, he got engaged in different activities and soon got so busy in his own self that he had little time for other. The calls started getting unanswered. Parth did not mind either.
A year passed and things started to change. When Vibhav returned home at the end of the term, he saw a new Parth and the same change was in store for Parth. They knew something was wrong, something had changed but neither was willing to admit. Change is the most difficult to expect when it alters something you felt would never change. Vibhav returned after a satisfying vacation and things got busier.
With each unanswered call, the two best friends became complete strangers. The meetings grew shorter and less frequent, the talks more to the point. They had reached a point where they barely called each other. With time, they had grown apart.
It had been a year since they met. They both had graduated from college and were enjoying the holidays. Vibhav was brought back to the present time by the honking of trucks. The azure sky was painted with hues of red and orange.
The sun was silently peeking out of the horizon to catch one last glimpse of the place before he left. Vibhav had reached a conclusion. The inner storm had to stop for the result had been arrived at.
He stopped at the chocolate store and made a purchase. Still apprehensive of his actions he stood at the ground floor of the building. His mind was still considering his decision though it had been almost fifteen minutes since he had been standing at door of Mr.Saxena.
‘Can’t I go back home?’ talking to himself.
’No,’ he heard the resolute reply.
He rang the doorbell. The same lady opened the door. She had grown old but was still her congenial self. He made a small talk with her and went to his room. He was watching television.
‘So you still watch Power Rangers?’