Thursday, April 26, 2007

Truly best friends

Do you know who your best friends are?

I bet if you really think about it, all the friends that you have do not really fall under this category.

So who actually is a best friend?

To me, it’s someone who understands you and knows what you want even before you do; someone who you can share your darkest secrets with and not be judged by; someone who you can discuss your dreams and desires with and your lives become stories that you verbally piece together, like a lego set; Someone you can talk to continuously for long periods at a time, even into the late hours of the night, just small talk; someone whose presence is enough to comfort you even if no words are exchanged; Someone who listened to you when you need to be heard; Someone who will go to great length to ensure that you are not discomforted in awkward moments; someone who will stand with you and comfort you when you break up with your first love; someone who will willingly do a favour and does not ask for anything in return; Someone who will share his breakfast with you when you forget to bring yours to school.

I had friends like this, but as faith would have it, they have all moved on to bigger and better lives, many of them are now in other countries; leaving me behind, alone. Don’t get me wrong; I have lots of friends that I talk to and go out with, but they can never replace the presence & comfort provided by being with your ‘best friends’.

Now a days, the word ‘best friend’ is used loosely to describe any and all the people we know. This is not so. True best friends are mostly made when we are young, in our school years and our neighbour hood.

In my school days, I had six best friends, each in a different period of my life, and they have all moved on;

1) Mohsin (Bahraini); my very first best friend; this was in my Junior 1 & 2 years. I remember days when I went to his house or when he came to mine, times when we played at school and the day he stopped talking to me for no apparent reason, that same year he transferred out of our school and I never heard from him again; and never have since.

2) Ali (Bahraini) ; Junior 3 to Junior 7, I met him when he first transferred to our school, I remember our class room door opening, he and his mother standing in the door way, the teacher giving him the empty seat next to me, and the rest as they say is history. We were very close, went out together, we were inseparable, weekends, holidays and special events. He left, for America to complete his high school and then went on to college. He later came back, worked for three years and returned to the US, he is now works there; is married and has a daughter, Layla. I have not spoken to him for the past two years but I still get news of him from his brother.

3) Ramzi (Bahraini dad /British mum); Junior 4 & 5, I once chipped one of his front teeth during a friendly skirmish. After school, we used to walk to his grandmother’s house, in Manama, wait till his dad picked him up and then I would continue on and go home. Ali, Ramzi & I had formed a play group and called ourselves the ‘Panthers’. He left after Junior 5 and I never heard from him since.
4) Jim (Seychellois); Junior 3 to 5, His father was a cook and worked at a Sheikh’s house somewhere in Zallaq. He always came over on weekends and we used to spend hours walking in the Manama souq. We used to read a lot of comics, and we always trying to see who was better at this or that; two events that come to mind are playing bean bag and a shop listing incident that I am not too proud of. He too returned back to his home country with his parents.

5) Nadaav (Indian); Junior 6 to Senior 1, we clicked from the first time we met, we were inseparable; anything and everything would get us giggling and then we’d burst into all out laughter. We gave names to all the teachers; our favourite was ‘Rat face’. We joked all the time and made fun of everyone. Alsa, he left with his family who were immigrating to Sydney, Australia.

6) Meraash (Sri Lankan); Junior 6 to Senior 5; We used to sit for long hours and discuss our dreams, what we wanted to do and what we would do if certain things happened, we shared our sadness and rejoiced in our happiness. He left for Sri Lanka when we graduated from high school; and later got a scholarship to a college in NY, USA. He loved reading comics and his favourite character was ‘Wolverine’. He was very talented and had an unbelievable ability to drawn fantastic sketches.

When you revisit certain memories in your life, one usually finds flaws in them, or remembers them differently than they actually occurred; I want to remember my best friends the way they are in my mind now.

I thank them for the good times and the bad; I will cherish the memories for all eternity. The moments that were shares together have made me the person that I am today; the visited we had gave me the confidence I have today, the discussions and ‘constructive’ arguments we had allowed me to aspire to bigger and better things.

I now have one best friend, my loving wife.