A deeper look into the bond between 2 besties.
Most students who are enrolled in the college hostel begin their hostel life with a mixture of excitement and worry. Excitement, because it’s a new chapter in their lives, and worry, because, well, there are so many things to be worried about. But the foremost worry is whether they will make good friends and who the roommate will be.
Samaira and Tanya didn’t need to worry about that, though. It was a coincidence that both these roommates happened to be from the same city and cultural background. They were also enrolled in the same course. They were equally meritorious and hard- working. They had the same ambitions. There mannerisms were very similar, and many swore that they looked like sisters.
Since they would spend a lot of time together, they seemed inseparable and were branded besties in the very first month. Everyone liked both the girls equally. They wore both pleasant to talk with, intelligent and very sweet. As the semesters passed, the pair topped consistently. If Samaira topped in the first semester, Tanya was a close second, and inevitably the next semester’s topper was Tanya, closely followed by Samaira. They always spoke so highly of each other and were over the moon when the other topped.
Because of all these rare coincidences, everyone knew them and everyone liked them. They liked each other very much too. They held each other in high regard, and recognised how talented the other was. However, inspite of their best intentions, negative feelings did creep in every now and then. The teachers, their classmates, and even the folks back home always compared the two of them. And in the hearts of both, was a tiny desire to be better than the other.
They hardly fought. They were always outwardly good to each other. But that’s because both knew how much they needed the other. Samaira would readily help Tanya in Paper 1, but that’s because she knew she would need Tanya’s help for Paper 2. This relationship of convenience went on smoothly, until they graduated. Perhaps they thought that the future would prove who the better one was. Eventually the best- friends lost contact and were fully occupied by their own lives.
However, after a good ten years, they decided to meet again, for the first time since graduation. Inspite of their ambitions, life had pre-decided different paths for both of them. Samaira held a great position in a leading corporate company. She was smart, single and sexy. Tanya started out as a journalist, but chose to take a break when she married and became a mother. She decided she would resume work once the kids were all grown up.
“Oh wow! You look absolutely stunning!”
“And you are glowing because of motherhood!”
“I envy you though. You’re so thin even now.”
“Don’t envy me. I work really hard to maintain this body shape. I’ve completely given up sweets and fries. But you were always the prettier one and you are still so pretty!”
“Oh well! Of what use is that? I spent all day at home. I think you’re lot is better. You have a glamorous job. You meet so many people and earn so much. And you travel so often…”
“Well, my life sure looks very glamorous but there are quite a few cons too. I am barely in touch with my family and friends. I sure do want a relationship, but I have no time to nurture one. And I’m always so busy that I don’t have the time to do the things I want. I do love the travelling. But sometimes, I just wish I could stay curled up in bed all day but I can’t afford that luxury.”
“Oh well… I guess there are two sides to every coin…”
“I heard you gave up your job because you wanted to be there for your children while they grew up. I really admire you for that sacrifice. It’s really selfless.”
“Hehe… I do intend to return to the workplace when they are a little older.”
“That’s good. It’s a shame if all those talents you possess are left unused.”
“By the way, I know someone I think you’d like. His name’s Arjun and he is a family friend.”
“Somehow, I never could connect with anyone, but if an old friend like you tells me there is someone who might click with me, then I’ll surely give it a go!”
“By the way do you remember that day in college when…”
Dear reader, if you thought the meeting went like this, then you live in an ideal world.
What follows is a more accurate narrative:
“Hey youuu!! Look AT you!” Samaira squealed joyfully; but in her mind she was thinking, “She looked decent in college, but now she has lost whatever charm she had. And look at her clothes. How desperately she tries to look young!”
“And look at YOU! You are glowing!!” What Tanya really felt was, “She’s grown so fat! She must have been so embarrassed to meet me. Now I know why she avoided meeting me all those times in the past.”
“So, tell me about yourself! Update me!”
Tanya triumphantly thought, “This is payback time. She was always the better one but now the tables have turned.” And so she bragged on and on about her amazing job, the countries she has visited, the famous people she has met, her jet- setting lifestyle etc.
Samaira felt the sting. Afterall, these were things she too had dreamt about. “Oh! How wonderful!” was what she uttered, but she was seething inside. “Look at her arrogance! That’s because we took different paths. I CHOSE to give up my career. If we were in the same boat, I’d still be way ahead of her just like I was in college. She knows that.”
And so, when it was her turn to speak, she cheerfully chirped for a good ten minutes about the joys of being happily married and starting a family and how she loves her life right now, and never regrets the choices she made. “That’ll shut her up.
She has had a string of failed relationships and doesn’t know a thing about love and sacrifice, which is what life is really all about.”
Ofcourse Tanya was stung by the barbed remarks, but she made sure she hid it. Being hurt would mean accepting defeat.
As the conversation progressed, Samaira was struck by the thought of how Arjuan would be a great partner for Tanya but she brushed it aside. “Arjun’s too good for her. Let her find someone on her own.”
The next day, she posted a selfie they took together on Facebook with the caption, “Best friends foreverrrrr!!!”