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They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, But some voids are left unfilled



You’re my honeybunch, sugarplum, pumpy-umpy-umpkin, you’re my sweetie pie.

You’re my cuppy cake, gumdrop, snookums-snookums, you’re the apple of my eye.

And I love you so, and I want you to know, That I’ll always be right here.

And I love to sing sweet songs for you,

Because

You are so D-E-E-R, deer.


That was Shruti’s take on The Cuppycake Song. We had to spell out the word deer. She stuck to the fact that she had no ‘dear’. Her obsessions breezed past frequently. That was one of them. I remember the girl who sat by the window on the last row of the bus. It had to be there, nowhere else. She had permanently marked her territory.


Raina told her one day, “You have such pretty eyes, Shruti!”


“Thank you, Raina.”


I retorted, “I have been complimenting you for a long time back. I told you so, your eyes are shaped like those of a tigress.”


She laughed at the remark. She was beautiful but never acknowledged that first hand. Her brilliance shone through her smile. A bit tone-deaf, but she never shied away from joining in on our funny impromptu singing sessions on the bus. She was fiercely independent; loved learning to play the drums and carried her drum sticks along in her bag. A study partner, a craft sensei, an aide in playing pranks, someone’s #‘Shruti Tum Na Jama De Te Ho!’ inspiration, a fighting companion; she was just another one of our gang members. She was feisty, smart and always had an opinion. But she was always sweet to the people she called friends. In short, a no-nonsense girl.


Whenever we talked about our old high school friends, she used to say, “I never make permanent friends. They remain as wonderful memories; never keep in touch.”


The response played on a loop. “That’s because you had never met us.”


Once we passed our 12th, the times we met were countable. Maybe she was right. Every other person never kept their part of the bargain. Facebook was a boon. It meant a way to stay connected. She never expected from people. When wished on her birthday she would get pleasantly surprised, “Areh Tujhe Yaad Tha?” 


Absence is to love what wind is to fire; It extinguishes the small; it inflames the great. ~ Roger de Bussy-Rabutin.


But the inevitable happened. She uttered those words. “You were right. I kept in touch with our friends from school.”


She never revealed the reason behind her sudden declaration. I gathered it was, for she believed in having constants. Then one day suddenly, she just packed up and left; an eternity in memories. I couldn’t bring myself to visit her one last time.


“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,

“I’m never afraid with you.”

So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,

There’s always Pooh and Me.

“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,

“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True,

It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,

Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh.

~ Us Two by A. A. Milne


Unrivalled, the beauty of any relation; bittersweet memories imprinted onto our life pages. Leaves behind a spoonful of sweetness and a pocket full of friends.


We wish to relive our treasured days; hoping to create fonder moments. The goofy bus trips, extravagant tiffin sharing customs, sleepy afternoon classes, mass bunks, abrupt clapping and whistling in between classes to annoy our teachers; every small recall pulls you back to the charm of those days when life was uncomplicated and smiling came with ease. As time flies by, we get older and smarter, but our stack of crazy memories are still largely those good times and exceptional friends.


What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. ~ Helen Keller


Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it. ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery.


They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. But some voids are left unfilled. Death is strong and quick. The loss is incomparable. I pray you have found a better place. You will forever live with us as a memory radiating comfort, joy and peace. Requiescat In Pace, dear friend.


#A small piece dedicated to a beloved friend, Shruti Maheshwari. Her body has perished but her soul remains, for all we have now are memories;  Bas Yaadein Reh Jaati Hain, Kuch Choti Choti Baatein Reh Jaati Hain.

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