“True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

—Amanda Kunkle

The watchman opened the gate. I drove my car into the garage. While pressing the door bell, I saw my daughter was playing in the lawn with her friend. I smiled and walked into the home.

Rubina – Rohit! today is Sonia’s birthday. We are invited to attend her birthday party. Have you remembered or not?

Rohit – Yes, I remember.

Rubina – How can you be so much irresponsible! I have told you to come early. We had to go to the market to buy a birthday gift for her.

Rohit – Rubina, you know the work pressure! It was a last moment meeting.

Rubina – You always have such type of excuses. Anyways, get fresh quickly. We have to go to the market for her gift.

Rohit – Rubina, can you manage today’s party by yourself. I have to go somewhere.

Rubina – Are you mad or what. We are already late for the gift and you are saying you are not going to the party and going somewhere else. May I know where you are going?

Rohit – Nehru Park

Rubina – And to meet whom?

Rohit – Gaurav

Rubina snatched the car key from my hand and left the home. I called up the maid to look after my daughter. After the maid reached home, I started walking towards Nehru Park.

I was watching TV on that day. My mobile screen flashed with an unknown number. I picked up the call.

Rohit – Hello, Rohit speaking.

Gaurav – Hey Rohit, Gaurav here. Friend from NIT Rourkela.

Rohit – Hey Gaurav how are you? After a long time man!

Gaurav – I am fine. How are you?

Rohit – I am also fine. How is your mission going on?

Gaurav – Going good. I am coming to Delhi to discuss with an NGO on this regards.

Rohit – Great man. When are you coming? Surely meet me.

Gaurav – Date not decided yet. I would let you know.

That white WagonR horned me. My thought process broke. I stepped onto the footpath. With my moving foot steps towards Nehru Park, I looked behind. A college bus crossed me with high speed.

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Why these college buses run so fast! Don’t they know the speed limit within the NIT premises? I looked towards Gaurav, smiled and told, now we have to walk fast otherwise Mahapatra Sir would not allow us to enter the class.

It was the fourth year. Campus placement was approaching. Everyone was busy preparing for interviews. Myself and Gaurav were roommates. We were also in the same race, spending many sleepless nights solving Shakuntala and R. S. Agarwal. I was an 8 pointer and was pretty sure about cracking an interview among the first five companies. Gaurav was a 6 pointer. He was scared that whether any company would allow him to sit in the placement. But he was trying his best. In reality, he was needing a job very badly to support the financial condition of his family.

I got through the third company visited our campus. But Gaurav was not getting a chance to sit in any interview process. Days were passing by and the chance of getting a job was getting dimmed for Gaurav. Towards the end of the session, our placement officer declared that a company would come which would allow everyone to appear for the interview and the people who are already place would not be allowed to sit for the same.

That night, Gaurav was not able to arrange a tie for the interview on the next day. I have given my tie to a friend staying outside the campus. I told him, you go through the probable questions, I would get the tie for you within an hour. I went to my friend’s home, to whom I have given the tie. He told me, he would drop me in the hostel. He was riding the bike, I was sitting behind him. Suddenly a car flashed his head light and our bike hit the divider.

I fractured my hand and got a neck injury. My friend was lying on the next bed in the hospital with a broken leg. Gaurav had to spend the whole night sitting near me. Next day I woke up around 10 am in the morning. I saw Gaurav was sitting next to my bed. I saw the time in the wall clock. I shouted at him “What are you doing here?”. You had your written at 9 am. He smiled and said, “This is not the only company in the world, but my only friend is lying on the hospital bed. You don’t worry, I would get into a better company”. I was speech less. At the same time I was feeling guilty and grateful.

Till the end of our engineering degree, no other company visited our campus who allowed the 6 pointers to sit in the interview process. Gaurav struggled for 2 more years appearing in different interviews and finally he got through ISRO.

Last to last year I came to know his parents expired. He did not get married and he left the job from ISRO. He has been teaching the unprivileged school kids for the last 3 years.

I reached near the gate of Nehru Park. Gaurav was waiting for me. I hugged him. We sat for two hours in the park, and re-winded all the beautiful memories of the college days. Then we walked out of the park and stepped towards the nearest metro station. I heard a car horn from behind. We looked back. She opened the door and told with a smile “Gauravji, Dinner is ready and waiting for you in home”.

I smiled and introduced Gaurav with Rubina…

This post is written to remind everyone that: Take out little free time, Sit alone, Think about your old best FRIEND, Dial his phone number and Talk with him/her to recall all those precious moments spent together.

True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget…
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