City Moment – Get-Together of Childhood Friends, Central Delhi
Long time, no see.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Repeated hugging. Cries of delight. And now, click-click-click of group selfies.
Three friends of childhood are finally meeting after a gap of nine long years. Sheetal Gurung is from Kathmandu in Nepal, Alina Joo is from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, and Afreen Banu is from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. They have gotten together in a central Delhi fast-food outlet.
“We were all studying in a Kathmandu school, back then,” informs Ms Gurung. Today she is studying engineering in Delhi. Ms Joo is pursuing architecture in a college in Kashmir and Ms Banu is a graduate student in Delhi.
But aren’t such meetings awkward, when old friends catch up after such a long time? What is there to talk about but reminisces of the past? Are there embarrassing silences?
“Oh, there’s always gossip!” Ms Gurung cries. Ms Joo butts in, saying, “Another friend recently got married and we’ve to talk about that!”
Becoming a tad sombre, Ms Joo observes that “we are also observing how different our perspectives have become… If Sheetal says east, I say west.” The other two nod. Ms Gurung says, “I had prepared myself for all sorts of surprises. I came with the acceptance that people change over time.”
Ms Banu looks hard at her two friends and says that she isn’t disappointed with how her school friends have altered through the years.
“Sometimes the change is for good,” she remarks.
Now the three women are served with coffee and donuts. More selfies follow. “But our fourth friend is missing,” points out Ms Gurung. Lubna is living in Kathmandu, and couldn’t join. She is missed.
Friends for long