You’ll always be 16 in my eyes.
But then again, you were never a giggly 16. A self-assured 16? Not quite, not yet. A serious 16? Not that either. Remember singing in Maths class? But then you also tutored the whole class before exams. You taught me Hindi. Very badly, it would seem, considering how I speak it today.
Reading in moving buses is what must have ruined your eyes for a bit. That, and pretending you didn’t see an old friend (albeit someone you’d had a fight with). Even if she was sitting right in front of you. Well, she pretended she didn’t see you either.
Anyway, she made up for it by reading out from the blackboard while sitting at the back of the class. Notes would never have gotten taken otherwise.
Learning to work with other people for the first time is always challenging. But it’s probably not as hard as learning to work with yourself. How about working with someone who you know inside out even when you haven’t seen them in awhile and they know you just the same? Sheer torture. We did it anyway. Because you know, we’re both drama queens like that.
Music and beauty go hand in hand. And sometimes they exchange places for a bit and back again. Only you would know what that means. Along the way they also add bathroom ghosts, icy blue eye pencils, chicken sandwiches and badly made poha. Then there’s always a puked-up quiche and a missed Harry Potter movie now and then.
You are so many people, so many places, so many emotions, so many mes all at once. Why do we relate? So we can be a witness to each other’s lives. Twenty years, my friend. Twenty years and counting, still witnessing. Here’s to witnessing yet another. Because witnessing is all we can do. No explanations, no controls, no bonds except to say, I see you as you see me.
Happy birthday again, best friend.