I was cleaning my shabby room after lots of pesterings from my mom.I retracted old class albums in the process.Its been years that I've had even a mere glance on them.They were a part of past.Flipping through the photos,and recalling bitter old memories I felt so nostalgic.They were all my friends once.I don't know where they are now,how they are now.
I was surprised I remember all their names...Santhosh,Rachana,Madhuri,Varsha,Tanmay, Athulya....Athulya...that name woke up a sick, strange darkness in me.
We were classmates from U.K.G to class III.I always admired him in class secretly.He always stood first in class and was a favourite among teachers.He was a really cute boy..with a pink face and chubby cheeks.He was a rich kid and half -American- born.He let only 'class A' people in his friends circle and obviously I was'nt a part of it.He rarely looked in my way, let alone talking to me.
My joy knew no bounds when my teacher made him my benchmate in class III.He was sitting to my immediate left!!Oh how I used to love going to school then.There used to be only awkward silence between us.We rarely spoke to each other.I used to feel my heart racing even to ask him if I could borrow from him a pencil.
It was his birthday the other day.He throws up pompous parties on his birthday to which I was never invited.It was break-time and he was distributing party invitations among his close friends.I was lying down on the desk gloomily and wondering of all the possible ways I could impress him and get admission to his 'class A' friends group.Maybe I should buy an expensive b'day gift and win his heart...But what do I give?...he has everything in this whole world.
He came from behind and interrupted my thoughts.
Me:(startled): Yeah. Happy birthday Athulya.
Him:Thank you.Well, here's the invitation for my party.My house address is mentioned in the card.The party is at 5ó clock.I would be glad if you could make it to my party.
Me(with dropped jaw, dilated pupils and stammering):Eh...um.....su-sure.I w-would be r-really h-happy...
He did notice my tension and smiled back at me.The sweetest killer smile any boy could have.Next he distributed toffees in a bowl to the class.He came to me offering chocolates in the bowl.
Him:Which chocolate do you like?This is with nuts and fruit and that's with almond and this's with raisins...
I really had difficulty choosing the right one with so many options available.Seeing me perplexed he picked up a 50-dollar chocolate from his pocket which I guess is a special gift from his grandpa in America.He distributed only 2 -rupee candies to others but gave an American imported chocolate to me!I could see people getting jealous around.I muttered thank you to him.It felt really nice inside that he gave away a special gift to me.And all these years I thought he didn't care about me.He looks at the other way when I look at him as if I did'nt even exist.I thought he would'nt even know my name and he offered to invite to his party to which only his close friends are allowed.I was totally wrong.Maybe even he wanted to befriend me.But I guess neither of us had the guts to break the ice between us.
In the party I had a great time,played many games and ate delicious food.I won in 'paasing the parcel' and got a goody gift in return.We became good friends in the party and from the next day in class we were totally comfortable with each other and clicked on really well.
He used to come to my house too for collecting notes if he was absent to class.And whenever I go to his home he used to teach me a great deal about computer.
That was 11 years ago.My dad got transferred to Bangalore later and I lost contact from him.I don't have his phone number now.And its been too long.I don't think he would even remember my name now.I don't know where he is now.The last time I heard about him was from my old friend that he was preparing for IIT and looking for studying in abroad.I thought of searching for him in orkut but I don't know his full name.I let those memories fade away from my mine too...until I saw that photo album.
I don't know of what importance I hold to him in his life.But to me he is my best friend.I don't care if he doesn't consider me as his friend now or if he does'nt even remember that a girl called Aparna existed and that I was his classmate once.You must have heard of one-way-love.This is one-way-friendship.