1992. I was in standard five. My (my first ever) best friend and classmate, Riju Chatterjee, was moving to Calcutta that summer. We decided to visit each other's homes before we parted. I went to his house and we had the greatest time. The day he was supposed to turn up, he didn't. I did not have a telephone in my house at that time, and after frantic attempts to contact him, I realised he was gone.. forever. I hadn't noted down his new address.
(Man, I actually lived in an era of no mobile phones, no e-mail!!)
For years after that, I pounced on anyone who said they were from Calcutta with a street name that I thought I had heard Riju mention. As I grew older, I realised that it was as stupid as an Indian movie hero going to America with just the heroine's childhood photo in hand to track her down. But that didn't stop me from making efforts.
However, the jokes, the songs, the music, and the conversations only ten year olds can have, have remained as fresh as ever in my mind. I don't have as much memory of my first crush as much as I do of my first best friend. And I thought he would remain a memory forever.
I found him! And took four days to deal with the extreme vibrations of happiness the excitement caused in my body. I learnt that he had been trying to find me too. Never asked him why he didn't turn up at my house fourteen years ago. For I was too shocked and sweetly surpised that he remembered the jokes, the songs, the music, and the conversations only ten year olds can have.