This ain’t just a story of a boy and a girl, brother-sisters two year apart. It is how twenty-somethings, who have grown up in the 90s, look back at their memories of the first Sunday of August.
Mihran Siddiqui, 12, is a happy-go-lucky boy with at least a dozen friends from the colony, ­another dozen friend from another colony, many from school, tuition, art class ... the list is endless. Mihran’s ­younger sister is Nuha, 10, who has grown up in the shadows of an extremely popular, likable elder brother, who though isn’t a great shake in studies, has an army of bankable mates.
Nuha, an Arabic word meaning intelligence, has truly lived up to her name with academics par ­excellence and aptitude much advanced for her age. She, however, does not have many friends, has issues with most girls in her colony and is ­consistently looking for a friend in whom she finds ­mental resonance. It is August 2, 2015, first Sunday of August. Happy Friendship Day!
The doorbell has been ringing since eight-o-clock at the Siddiqui residence, with Mihran’s friend professing their friendship to him through bands and rings. Both his hands are covered with colourful strips of ribbons. Meanwhile, not a ­single kid has dropped in to tie Nuha a band. Her heart sinks a ­little more with every ­doorbell. A Friendship Day can’t get sadder for her with Mihran proudly flaunting his popularity on his arms. “Mera koi friend nahi hain… mujhe koi ­friendship band nahi baandha,” Nuha ­complains to her mother, pulling a long, sad face. She asks her mother tie her a band. I wish I could have tied her one, too. Midway through the noon hours, Nuha decides to make some bands out of wool for her friends who seem to have forgotten her. But the girl is a smart trader and like they say, friendship is a two-way street. She ties friendship bands to only those who ­promise to tie her back and takes back her bands from those who go back on their promise.
Mihran has his own set of issues. He enters the kitchen ­stamping his feet, ­seething with manly ­indignation. “Mumma, Ankur ne mujhse band ­waapis le liya hain … ab hamari friendship khatam,” he declares to his mother. These kids will wear their bands to school for at least a week, as a testimony to their coolness.
No, friendship bands will never go out of fashion. Adults may feel it is juvenile to wish Friendship Day or hug each other or tie a band… but the first Sunday of August thrives in the ­innocence of childhood. We sometimes over think it in an attempt to act adult. But there can be nothing more refreshing than seeing 50 year olds hugging each other on this day! So, if you still haven’t dropped a friendship message to your buddy ­thinking you will sound ­stupid… please do so now! He probably didn’t call you thinking the same. Mihran and Nuha plan to celebrate friendship for the whole week! We can begin with a single day.