My friend Paru (aka Parvati) and her brother Praddu (short form for Prahlad) used to stay in front of our house. We stay in flat 401 and they stayed in flat 402. Though they shifted to Kerala, we remember them as very good friends. They have kept their house, neither sold it nor have they rented it out. Every year they come to their house for two weeks during summer vacations. When they come to Hyderabad, they take us to Funcity, for lunch and give us gifts. We too take them out for movies and for lunch or dinner. Auntie’s (Paru’s mother) dosas are the best in the world. Often we have them for breakfast, sneaking in, drawn by the aroma of the dosas.
At night, we have different kind of fun. My brother, Paru and I sleep together in a room. Since Praddu is only 4 years old, he sleeps with his parents. We stay awake till midnight to have midnight parties. When the entire house is asleep, we sneak out into the kitchen and have biscuits and titbits. If we sense someone is awake, we run back to our rooms and pretend to sleep. We try to control the giggling, but sometimes one of us gives away. This year, for some reason, my brother fell asleep. When we tried to wake him up, he felt disturbed and went to our parent’s room. They came out and asked us to go to sleep. That was the end of our midnight party.
We enjoy a lot when Paru and Praddu come. The two houses become one, the front doors are always open and we have a grand time playing. Other friends from the apartment also come to join us, but the mid night parties are just our secrets. We fight sometimes too and cry a bit. But then we become friends again. When they leave, we feel very sad. After a while we start looking forward to next year. I am very lucky to have them as my friends.
Illustration By Brishti Chatterjee