I have my own reasons which compel me to write to you here. Some of them you know already and some you don’t. They say ‘open letters’ are not always pretty good or acceptable. They rob you off of the privacy that a letter ought to hold. They expose you, your feelings and your thoughts but they also do one thing: They connect you to the world; they make people realize how strong friendships can be, they make people sort of find their own selves in the words written. Today, I want to write to you here because of what you mean to me and what the world must know. I have addressed this letter to my friend and that is You. You can be the friend I made when I was just two years old or the friend who helped me with assignments in school. You can be that friend who stuck up with me on the phone each day or the friend who met me after school for cycling. You are also that friend who saved the little pennies with me so that we could go for picnics on the terrace of our apartment or the friend who fought with me with all vigour, all force. When I think of you, I can think of every moment I’ve lived, every idea I’ve shared and every smile I’ve smiled. You are this friend who has held me strong in times of pain, wiped off tears from my wet eyes, clutched my hand on the roads each day, tucked me in to sleep every night; bought me gifts, little cards and pictures; made me laugh like a hyena, enthused me to make bucket lists to fulfil and hugged me tight to show you care. This makes me reflect how small a word ‘friend’ is to explain what you mean to me.
Friendship does it all for me: It completes my being, my essence. It somehow chimes a bell in the ear and adds a charm in the eyes. I thank you for this. I thank you for being there in every chapter that my life went through. Do you remember those days when we used to argue over little things and I couldn’t just live without talking to you; so I would make little ‘Sorry’ cards and place them just outside your house, ring the doorbell and run away? Do you remember the summer vacation camps we attended where we danced and sang and swam and laughed in the sunshine of the day and the mist of the night? I can still go back to that day when we stole a few sips of your father’s whiskey and left for a sleepover and how we were so scared of even trying it so we threw it in the lake. Then there were those times when we stayed up all night to chat on the Yahoo messenger and most of it included discussions contemplating whether we would go to school the other day or not. We always slept thereafter on the last bench of class and made random plans when we got up: plans to conquer the world. We constantly had these amazing sleepovers which were supposed to be study sessions for our National Cadet Corps (NCC) Certificate exams but turned out to be hours full of gossips, sandwiches, noodles, internet pranks and regrets (for not going through the lessons). You have given me myriad memories, immeasurable amounts of delight and that sentiment which tells me how my life has been so magnificent, so absolute till date.
If I think of you in the present, in the phase that I see now, I feel overwhelmed with joy for having you as the most prized possession of this survival. I am writing to you today because I always write a letter to you on Wednesdays and no matter you respond to them or not, it doesn’t make sense for me to stop writing entirely. For the friend I see in you and around, I can put forth so many stories of togetherness and ecstasy that we have built together. I can never forget how we sneaked out in the midnight and stood at unknown bus stops to reach Café Coffee Day and had no idea how we would get back home without a vehicle. I will always remember the food expeditions we have had, the chicken we love, the Whatsapp messages exchanged, the cooking together, the childhood games, those irrelevant conversations, the tears we share and the world that’s ours.
For me, friendship doesn’t revolve around just one of you because it is not just a relationship, it’s an emotion; it’s a way of life. You came, you left, you kept coming, you kept leaving and yet you were always there, in one form or another. Yes, I have always been blessed with a friend. More of you are going to penetrate my world and some of you may even go away but there’s one thing that will always remain: Love.
And also one more thing (yeah sorry I made a mistake above): Memories. I still remember it all and I will never disregard all the moments, all the bonds and the relationships that adorn my subsistence. As I end this letter, I pass on to you a hug and a little kiss to say: I love you and I’ll always be there.