I’ve been meaning to write about the driver of my office bus for a long time now. He deserves a mention somewhere, and since I have a blog, I should mention him here. I’ve been traveling by the office bus for over 2 years now. The driver who I’m mentioning here was recruited (I guess) roughly 6 months ago. The previous driver was uncouth, indifferent to the pregnant women sitting in the bus, cared a hoot about traffic rules, drove on the wrong side of the road (no kidding) and behaved like he was going to drive without stopping; if you could get on and off the bus without hurting yourself you were free to do so. No one ever chatted up with him because he was perennially in a caustic mood. How he is still employed isn’t exactly a mystery, I’m assuming drivers of huge vehicles are like that. In stark contrast, the new driver seemed almost angelic. The first day he came, I still remember he looked back to see if the bus was full, asked us if these were all or that more people would be coming, gave us a smile and drove off. From then on, I have noticed, before taking off he always looks back to see if all the people have come, he drives like he needs to get us early but without killing us, he smiles at the passengers and has never, ever broken a traffic rule. There is a group of colleagues who have become fast friends with him now and they always have some joke to share. The group of colleagues close the windows of the bus while getting off and we have never had a problem with him, of any kind, ever. Now when I travel, I am always glad to see that he’s at the wheel (at some times, the drivers get exchanged between buses) and he always has a smile on his face and some friends that he drives to office and back. It’s a different sort of friendship that they have.

Our office canteen doesn’t have some majorly amazing food. It’s like all normal canteens that dish out lots of food that is not always up to the mark. I don’t eat at the canteen, I always carry food from home. However, I do buy snacks from the canteen and have almost never been given bad food, so to say. There is this person at the counter who takes our orders and collects the money. Let’s call him P. My friends and me always address P with his first name. P ensures that the food we get is better in many ways. We’ve been interacting with P for so long that we almost always get good food and share laughs as well. he tells us not to buy stuff that may not be very good, so we don’t touch it. When one of us isn’t there he asks, when he’s going on leave he tells us and we celebrate festivals with him too. He’s a part of our every day lives, unacknowledged until now.

It so happens that we walk into new lives and never anticipate or imagine for people to become a very important part of our lives. I think such friendships are always destined and not built intentionally. That’s how I feel about K. My every day life isn’t complete without her and to be honest I never thought I’d be able to be friends with a girl at this age of my life. (I have some girlfriends since I was 12 and they’re still with me, I thought that was all.) K and me are different. Very different. But sometimes, I feel that we relate to each other much better because we see a part of ourselves in each other. I never ever thought I’d be so attached to K, but I am. K is one of those friendships that nonchalantly walked into my life and is here to stay.

…in the background.

All of us have fast friends. The ones who we run to when we need someone. The ones who have been around no matter what. The ones who will be at our side the day we get married. We always acknowledge these friendships at special moments. But some friendships remain in the background, getting us through each day. These friendships, I believe, fall into the background and make for us to be able to acknowledge the allegedly “closer” ones. While I am extremely grateful for all those people I can always count on, I am also thankful for these unlikely ones that make up my routine so wonderful.

To the blessing we call friends—happy friendship day!

P.S: To all my friends who made this year memorable—specially K, N, R, D, U, F, C and everyone else—happy friendship day.