“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera
This is a story of a girl who came across wonderful people in her life. Some who decided to stand by her always, some who decided to leave her when she wanted them most and some with whom it just couldn’t last long. But what she couldn’t find in them, she found in her four legged furry friend and made her believe that if there is anything or anyone in this whole wide world that loves something or someone more than it loves itself is undoubtedly a dog!
Her tiny hands carrying a water bottle and her tiny shoulders carrying the only responsibility at the time, a school bag, she walked through the gates of her life’s first adventure. But what she wasn’t aware of was that while embarking on this adventure she would find not just one but many companions who would be willing to stick by her through thick and thin. But most of all she would one such companions who would be there when no one else would be.
Kindergarten was not all about ABCs and 123s. It was about her innocent heart meeting new people, accepting them and getting accepted in return. People with whom she would share her memories while making new ones everyday.
She laughed, she cried, she shared with them her sorrows and joys, but we all know there is always one person that stands out from that lot of 10. The one we think, no matter what will never leave us. The one we call our best friend and just like us she found one without whom kindergarten would never be the same.
But is life all what we think it is ? Certainly not. Is there any possible way to make a five year old child understand that their best friend leaving the school is not the end of the world. Well there is not. You can just help them cope up and prepare them to take on the next phase of their lives with a smile and that is what her parents did.
Maybe the five-year-old her wouldn’t have believed if you would’ve told her then that she would soon find a new best friend. but the seven year old her believes it.
From strangers to best friends, class teacher’s imposition to befriend the new girl and sit with her had brought them a long way. From getting into little fights and arguments to always having each other’s back they knew that through all the ups and downs that would come along, their friendship would always keep going strong.
Age twelve, she made new friends and even connected with a few new souls. Connected enough to call them her new best friends, though it did not make her lose her old ones. The posse soon became the IT group of the class. As time passed, so did quite a few friendships. The twelve year olds had now grown into beautiful and she had understood that sometimes its not about having just one person whom you can call your best friend. Sometimes its about having a bunch who say they’re there for you and have proved it too.
But with unbreakable bonds comes some questionable thoughts. Especially in her case for she knew nothing better than she knew how to over think. She came with her own set of doubts and insecurities. It was not because she didn’t trust them or the bond they shared. It was because she knows she is not the only one. She is left to share her best friend, the person she believes to be her own. Sleepless nights keep her awake, where she often wonders to herself –
“Am I really that important?”
“Does my presence even matter?”
“Would they ever prioritise me the way I prioritise them?”
And mostly it’s times like these that leave her with her dreaded thoughts. She is left thinking whether or not she is good enough for them, whether she is investing her emotions somewhere they’re not valued.
What kicks in the insecurities more is not the fact that she is sharing her person(s) with just a mutual friend but with the fact that it is someone who has been there long before her, someone who has been in their life before her and does not shy away from corroborating their importance in her best friends’ lives and how much she has been there for them through their good times and bad. How is she supposed to compete with that ? Is she even supposed to compete with that ?
Maybe not. And it’s probably about co-existing and cherish all the moments she shares with them whether they’re of her while in the limelight or of stepping back and gazing at those old friends from the sidelines, which is not always distressing for the other best friends sometimes brings out the side that you have possibly never witnessed.
Like someone once said “Friendship is not about whom you have known the longest…It is about who came and never left your side.”
And sometimes what you’re looking for in someone, you find in someone else, say, a four legged furry friend?
Because that’s where she found her freedom from self doubts and insecurities. From the day she rescued the little puppy from the streets to the present day where they are sharing lives, she has never cherished anything more. Whoever said a dog is a man’s or in this case a woman’s best friend has never been so right. He is her biggest fan, and her biggest motivator. She feels safe with him the way she has never felt with anyone before.
She does not feel the need to be constantly assured about herself for he is always there, sitting in her lap, dripping his wet nose on her favourite pyjamas while they both enjoy binge watching their favourite t.v. show.
She still had her friends, she still shared the same bond with her best friends but she was finally over her judgemental views about herself and her unwavering self doubts for now whenever she needed a helping hand, she would find his paw at all times of need.
Each day spent with the button eyed furry friend was like a thousand lost days coming back to her.