My best friend – he strolled places with a DSLR camera hanging around his neck. Photography was his passion. Born in an affluent family in Kerala, he migrated to the city of dreams with dreams in his eyes. His father acrued enough wealth for him to sit and eat in his whole life. But my friend had a vision. He want to be the best photographer in the world. He wanted to win awards and accolades. During his initial days in Mumbai, he struggled a lot. Language barrier was a key contributer to his struggles. Wherever he went, people showered him with unpleasant comments and labelled him with words such as Madrassi, Kaalia, Anna, Lungi wala and so on. But he was defiant! He was rebel and you very well know that rebels don’t give easily. It was during the winters of 2009 that we both met each other. I was born in Mumbai. We both turned out to be good friends and later on we both shared apartments too! I am going to narrate you the story of my best friend.
“Life would have been different if it wasn’t him. I love you, bro!” I thought as I reclined on the bed. My best friend sat next to me. He was tired after his days work. He transferred the photos on his laptop and shared with me. I was watching the EPL football match between Arsenal and Manchester United.
“Isn’t this amazing?” he often used to ask me whenever he showed me his work.
Well how do I tell him that he was the most talented person that I had ever met in my life.
He put his arms around my shoulder and asked, “Brother, thanks for entering my life.”
Such an amazing friend he was! I was very young to him but he didn’t let the age difference cause any harm to our friendship.
At times at night when he used to sleep, I used to look at him and thank Almighty for giving me this amazing friend. Yes, I would proudly call him as my best friend.
“You know what, I am planning to take you along with me for a job assignment,” he said.
I almost jumped out of the bed and started celebrating. I always wanted to know what kind of work he does! Yes, the day would be awesome, I thought as I went to the breakfast table.
He locked the room as I waited for him outside the apartment. We were going to travel to Khargar to cover the picturesque views of the mesmerizing mountains and the greenary around. Travelling in the harbour line was a big pain. I could never imagine my friend travelling all the way from Borivali to Kharghar every day for his bread and butter. I’m sure his father must have been an unhappy man. Being an orphan, I very well understand how much it hurts to live without parents and lo my friend had left his family to pursue his dreams. We sat on the promenade outside the Kharghar Railway station for a while. It was 5 in the evening. It was a Thursday! We walked for a while. As we walked, we saw a group of thugs chasing a young girl.
The guys cornered her. For a moment, Kharghar seemed like a deserted place. There was no one in sight for miles. She fell down. They started passing derogatory comments on her. We both hid behind a tree and monitored all that was happening. The man with thick mustaches caught the girl by her shoulder and tore off her dress. The girl was constantly weeping. The other guy was recording a video with his smart phone. My blood boiled as I saw the barbaric act in front of us. My friend asked me to remain silent as it would be dangerous to attack those guys. My friend was clicking photographs so that he could make a story out it. I was perplexed. Man,its about the safety of a girl! A lot has been said about woman safety in this part of the country. But such a gesture from my friend made me upset. As he clicked a picture, one of the guy found us hiding behind the tree. They chased us as we had a crucial evidence that could land them in jail. We both started running. In this process, I fell down drastically and hurt myself. My friend was running. Finally the goons caught my friend and snatched his camera. I lay down helplessly looking at my friend. My friend was pleading and requesting those guys to leave him. My heart skipped a beat when I saw one of them removing a knife. I mustered enough courage and started running towards them. I had to save my friend. I chased them and got close to my friend. It was an unpleasant sight to see my friend plead for mercy. The guys were clicking random photos with my friend’s DSLR camera and started laughing at my friend. I stood in front of them like a maverick. They started making funny gestures at us. I got furious! I soon pounced over one of them and dug deep into his belly with my canine teeth. He tried freeding himself from me but I was a rebel too! I bit him on some important areas of his body and glared at him. The others dropped the DSLR and ran away without even looking back. I turned aside and looked at my friend! He smiled at me and hugged me.
“You are my best friend!” he said and ruffled my hair.
“Thanks brother!” he said to which I licked his cheeks and obediently sat next to him. Yes, he always addressed me as a brother.
“Baaun Baaun!” I barked