‘The Dove Guessing Game with my friend’ contest reminds me of the various notorious friends that I had in college, talking about friends how can I not talk of my best friend and the priceless friendship that I cherished with her.
Friendship is very important for your mental diet:
Mostly friends that you make in your early years are friends for ever they are the ones who accept you unconditionally and love you for what you really are, they know you inside out so much that they are the first to spot that first grey hair or first wrinkle on your face and make fun of you but they are also the ones who will catch even a speck of grief behind your smiling eyes. They can predict when and what you are going to do they are also the ones who teach you the value of relationship. Rain or shine true friends are omnipresent during your lows and highs cause they know the intricacies of your inner soul and will stand by you unfailingly.
Even if time and distance have separated you or if some of those dear ones are lost somewhere in the melee of life those nostalgic memories you had with them are unfading and always with you reassuring and refreshing the goodness of friendship. That’s the way friendship is engineered to keep minds connected.
Today I am going to meet Shashi after so many years, as I drive my mind cannot help but slip into the past as I can see large pictures of yesterday run in front of the windshield captivating me completely and I fell into hallucination.
I had just stepped out of school I was all of fifteen and was very excited about my new college. I could not wait for my first day in college but on the D day I was completely nervous about the new milieu that I was going to enter, a hazy feeling of uneasiness chemically mixed with euphoria thumped in my heart spinning the adrenaline haywire but I still managed to trod the unknown path and walked up the corridor of my new learning home scanning the various new faces to check if there was a familiar one even as my eyes roved to look for my classroom and quickly settle down. It was like an ocean of unfamiliar waters, a milky way of unknown faces who coyly sparkled their smiles amongst themselves walking in groups while some walked very swiftly as if to conquer all the aliens around even as some kept stopping by asking for directions but amidst all this pandemonium I speckled a tall frail figure with a neatly brushed mane like hair smiling hesitantly as if to look for acquaintance trying hard to conceal her fear beneath those expressive eyes who looked equally perplexed as me. I dashed towards her and asked if she was heading to 1E she quickly confirmed she was looking for 1F so bingo we were in the same bucket okay adjacent buckets. I was suddenly more confident and headed straight cutting through the crowd and reached our respective classes. That was the first time I met Shashi.
As time passed we had comfortably settled down in our classes and I usually met my first day first friend during my language classes, during lunch, before the classes and went to the bus stop together. We practiced this routine religiously and soon had discovered a lot about each other. Soon we were done with our pre university education and our long cherished dream of hanging out together came true in our degree college. The like-minded birds flocked and the twosome had grown into a big group of notorious girls in an all women college.
We were a perfect team who did everything together yes quite literally, even if someone had a boyfriend he would invariably become a boyfriend for the whole team and ended up treating all of us without a choice. In fact me and Shashi acted as scare crows guarding our friends from predators as they had to pass the litmus test and all our stress interviews before we said amen, most of them ran away after our torture.
Each day was a celebration at college, along with studies we thoroughly enjoyed all that togetherness of kick-ass moments like biting on the hot butta(corn) underneath the bench, squeezing lemon on blue making the whole class reek, loads of silly jokes, thunderous roars of guffaws and vehement preparation of ‘tough question a day’ which was like ‘thought for the day’ that we shot at our teacher just to keep pace.
Being the most happening bunch of girls we were the fashionistas, the chatter boxes, culture fest queens and the first graders who left the first benchers fuming at us. One day we had a let off hour and somebody in the group wanted to make hay in this sunny break and visit the beauty parlor, the whole team bleated and followed. It was a half day at college on such days we normally carried only a diary. Our friend was done and the flock headed back to the class. As the lecture began we opened our books and I was shocked to see that the black diary that I carried had been interchanged I had picked the appointment diary of the beautician by mistake as it looked exactly the same as mine. I borrowed a few sheets from my friends and made my notes and soon the bell rang. I revealed the diary to my friends we opened the book to see how much money she must be making. Pages and pages ran loaded with beauty savvy demands as if the beautician held a magical wand to turn everybody look like Angelina Jolie. I wondered how would I differentiate if every one looked like Jolie. There was every treatment under the sun to soak scour and squelch you to bring out the Cleopatra in you. Many of which I had never heard of. I looked at Shashi and she was already smiling an evil smile I screamed a big no but there she was already writing on one of those pages ‘amount fully paid’ and then she demanded what treatment shall we opt for? With loads of mascara and lipstick on my face I still announced that beauty was just a mindset it was all about confidence with which you carried yourself flawlessly feeling good about yourself wholesomely and that I didn’t need any of those treatments. At this the saints clapped and declared that ‘with this kind of speech you are going to lose even in an ugly pageant if there was one’. (I refer to my group of friends as Saints as they keep giving me Gyans or enlightenment now and then).
Shashi was adamant so she said okay let’s rejuvenate wholesomely and quickly wrote out an expensive facial under the treatment column. Although at all other times I was the dare devil and she played the dull damsel this time she was the smug and I was all too scared. All the other saints cheered us and said it was just for fun and no sin ever in any book so one of them went back to the parlor and politely gave back the diary and got back ours.
On the scheduled day of the appointment the two of us walked in bravely and quoted the treatment. This was the first time I was ever getting a facial done we were led royally to a reclining seat a team of massagers kept attending to me and my friend. We were trying hard to be our usual self but couldn’t help giggling now and then. The scrubbing was done and now it was time for the face pack, she smeared Shashi with a disgusting dung like paste and covered her eyes with a slice of cucumber I couldn’t help but laugh now it was my turn to get smeared but lucky me she couldn’t laugh as the pack on her face was just tightening and whitening, after a while we both looked like barn owls. Soon we were relieved of the faceoff masks and steamed and cared we thanked them and left as our friends waited at a distance gulping down pani puris whose consumption speed only increased as we neared them. That day we were in no mood to rob them of those pani puris as we felt very regal about ourselves looking fresh even at the end of the day, we went home feeling accomplished.
The next day morning I got a call from my friend saying she had terrible itching on the face since the previous night to which I sheepishly confessed that even I had developed rashes which was soon turning into acnes. There was a silence but we didn’t want to acknowledge our mistake we blamed the face pack and the hygiene of the massager and even analyzed that our skin was too supple for such a harsh treatment. We declared we really didn’t need one or maybe we should have given a dhaan (donate) of our fortune or maybe the parlor lady knew our tricks and just did a tit for tat.
That day we studiously went straight into the class and sat in the front benches to avoid being spotted with so many spots. But how can the eagles and vultures not spot their prey we were soon located and dragged back to our seats only to bear the brunt of nonstop holistic teasing by the whole group. We all had a hearty laugh that day. We also realized that we had duly borne the fruits of our mischief. Looking at our faces the gyani preached ‘Truth alone is flawless which reflects the confidence within’ at which we were hurling our bags at them.
It’s been almost 15 years after that incident but it has been a very memorable experience for me which makes me laugh even today looking back at how silly we were.
The Dove Experience:
Today I am a busy woman with different roles to play a mother, a teacher to my kids, a wife, a daughter in law, a blogger walking the rough roads with a smooth flawless attitude, today I do not have the time to soak scour or squelch all I have to do is Just Dove it.
Using Dove beauty bar is like dipping yourself in a religious river of suppleness that will free you from all greasy vices and daily dryness. You are just left with pure gentle sacredness.
Unlike other soaps that leave you with a feeling of tightness and a white film of hardness on your skin Dove is moisturizing bar that simply gets the skin ready. Generally with other soaps after bathing you have to explicitly apply a separate cream for your face and a separate lotion for your body but with Dove say hi to silken smooth skin and bye to brittleness.
As I drove closer I decided to involve my partner in crime Shashi in the Dove guessing game and indulge in some fearless flawless fragrant talks of yester year fantasies to ascertain if we have really realized them.
I truly thank Dove and Indiblogger for organizing this contest as I had really lost touch with my friend in the marathon of life so after I read the topic it was as if I reeled back in time like a movie flashback I suddenly realized that I really needed to re network and get back my old buddies. I dug up the internet and found her, like luck would have it she had just come to Bangalore for a short trip and we quickly grabbed this opportunity to meet up.
Meeting Shashi Again:
Meeting someone after 15 years I was a little apprehensive of what if she had changed but the moment we met it was the same draconian smile that flashed more brilliantly and confidently this time and I was reassured that things were the same.
As we drove we made sure not to let go of even one minute, we kept talking all along our way recollecting all the names of our classmates and lecturers delving deep back in time.
Soon we stopped by at a chat shop which we used to haunt those days. Now it was time to talk about each one’s love life in our group. All the gossip and ladies talk began.
Me : Did you know that Lizzy ditched her all time boyfriend and has settled down in the US with a doctor husband?
Shashi :Oh! Thank god she did figure it out finally that he was no good for her by the way what is that poor chap doing?
Me :Oh! are you going to lend your shoulders?
Shashi :No it’s just that I still don’t like to pay my bills.
And we guffawed out. She was the same mean thing who refused to grow up.
Me: What do you do Shashi?
Shashi: At college I was kicked out for talking and thinking differently but today I get paid for it.
Me: You know what Shashi if you do an anatomy of our then class it is so easy to see through it, all the first benchers have become good housewives or good admins, all the middle benchers have become accountants or CAs or and all the last benchers are into HR, people management jobs in the marketing world.
Shashi: Some people like me and you who stood outside the class have become writers.
Analyzing that way my sons will probably become a Sanjeev Kapoor or some foodie anchor who would feast around the world as they are always in the kitchen. So you have 2 sons male dominated house I must say.
Hey where is Kummi that arts section student the always hungry monster who robbed all our food? Is she still practicing those martial arts and I responded maybe on her hubby, we exclaimed together ‘if she ever got married’! Kummi hated men for reasons best known to MANkind as she was never kind to any man whatsoever. No trace of Kummi not to be found on any social network I said. Thinking of Kummi how could we not talk of our strike adventures.
Me: Shashi do you recall that strike incident, we led a group from our college for a famous students’ protest we had gone to various colleges shouting slogans calling people to join in, as we entered one of the very strict colleges the principal had chased us, we ran and escaped amidst the crowd but the silly girl got caught and her ID card was seized and sent with a note to our principal. But I don’t remember how we were not pulled up by our principal.
Shashi: Kummi was a hard nut to crack so they had suspended her for a week during which she attended our classes.
We agreed that she was a strong silly.
Shashi : Okay where do you protest now?
Me: The heritage is alive and kicking it happens in the kitchen, at the office, at meetings wherever there is imperfection.
Shashi we are going to fantasy world now. Are you nuts! The giant wheel cable would snap with my weight. Just wait and watch I said and drove her to our college.
Shashi: I just have only one word ‘Thank You’.
Me; Silly they are two words I giggled.
We were both in tears we parked the car and simply walked down the corridor for some time we had suddenly become silent as old memories ran in the mind like a sea of slide shows. Without any talking we reached that monumental stone bench which now stood lamely as if to say ‘I Miss You’ as it was the sole mute witness of all that fun we had. We sat down there looking around at the playground, the canteen, the basket-ball court and the auditorium. Suddenly we were not in a hurry and felt relaxed.
Shashi: Hey! Hurry! We are late for the appointment.
Me: What appointment?
Shashi: Hey the herbal gold mitti facial?
We just fell off the bench and laughed out loud.
In years we had not laughed like that.
We spotted our bhelpuri wala at the rear gate we ran to grab some spicy stuff and say hi to him, he had grown old and was unable to recognize us, we got the plates and sat back chatting and gossiping.
Shashi : Hey do you remember our flop dance shows and all those funny skits?
Me : How can I forget we were almost stopped on the stage and sent back as we were dancing for some Bollywood number a strict no-no at our college. That was too embarrassing to be stopped like that.
Shashi: And later we joined every other dance group that day and danced in the background like junior artistes.
Me : That’s the reason the girls wanted their revenge, so the next year they danced for ‘Hai Rama Ye Kya Hoova’ and our honorable princi believed that anything that had ‘Rama’ in it was a devotional song.
Giggles and Guffaws!!!!!!!!
I wonder why our principal was such a bad cop, was she dumped by someone we thought or was denied a chance in Bollywood and there was an iconic guffaw again.
Shashi: See we don’t even spare someone up in the heaven,
Me: Its not our fault you see it is this bench its like Raja Bhoj’s seat you know.
Anybody who sat on the seat of Raja Bhoj would take wise decisions likewise anybody who sits on this bench cannot help but gossip.
I swear….Laughs out loud.
Shashi: Do you remember Dimple how furious she was with us as we had finished her lipstick in just one day.
Me: Probably the whole class had tried that shade as we kept saying ‘pass it on..pass it on’ we are playing a game.
But Shashi amidst all this villainy acts the only virtue I can think of is saving Hamsa from that early marriage by convincing her mom to allow her to continue her studies.
Shashi: Oh yes definitely that was really hard but very fulfilling. How is she now?
Me: Hamsa is a manager in an all women’s bank. Maybe we should go and ask her for a loan.
We then played our famous game of talking without using the words ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘of course’ ‘not’ .
Shashi I must admit it is this silly game that has taught me to play with words and keeps my writing interests alive.
We walked giggling and remembering many more incidents.
We were suddenly hungry and headed to the canteen as we approached it I could smell the Bisi Bele Bath that we longed for 15-20years back. It was the same small busy hall buzzing with many new faces. We asked for BisiBeleBath(BBB) and there it came all steaming but with a sizzling sound, things had changed and our humble BBB had gone hi tech. It tasted a lot different as it was a sizzler, BBB was not served anymore but eating out with my best buddy after so many years in that place made me feel as if it was just yesterday that we were worrying about the nasty pimples. But fortunately today I didn’t have to worry about caring for my skin as Dove took care of it all.
Just then Shashi asked me don’t you Cook Clean or Care at all don’t you get stressed how come you have such young looking supple skin? What do you do? I am born like that Shash, oh come on tell me the truth she pestered. Shashi when the parlor witch cast an evil spell of pimples on us there was a good witch in me who steered my mind and waved her magical wand to save me from the spell so out came a beautiful white bird that has descended upon me ever since then. This pristine white bird is the symbol of purity that illuminates positivity and perfection into your life by letting you glow in its radiating brilliance. Guess what?
Hmm hmm she mumbled, okay I give you another hint it will make you the
Damsel Of Velvety Empire, oh I know I know DOVE it is but why this obsession? I am just mesmerized with its touch, with its fragrance it’s like a lullaby to my olfactory receptors. Let us play the Dove guessing game. I tied the dove ribbon around her eyes taking her hands near my face okay now tell me which side is smoother? Left side, is it the dove side? Yes but try it again.
This time she touched the right side and said is it the dove side? Yes but try it again.
Are you kidding me, now don’t leave me alone here looking like a fool I know that you are famous for your infamous silly tricks, I pleaded this was the rule please try again.
This time she touched and said left side, is it the dove side? Shashi you will have to try one more time I said. She was losing it now.
No not anymore she said and pulled the ribbon and gosh there were shrieking and shrilling hysterical cries.
I had secretly called 4 of our old buddies and they were all part of this guessing game. We were all overwhelmed and screaming in joy and hugging each other. It was a perfect reunion of friends.
This is my entry for Dove Guessing Game Contest in association with Indiblogger.