Monday, 23 December 2013

Friends Forever

Afreen was in full panic mode. What was she thinking while saying yes to a date with Ratish? Was she out of her mind? She didn’t even have a single dress in her wardrobe. All she had were jeans and sweatshirts! What will she wear? And what about her hair? She can’t even remember when she had had her last haircut. Oh God, what a messy situation it was.

Just when she was staring despondently at her plate of samosas, Keny banged her books on the table and grabbed a seat.

“I tell you, that professor is a lunatic,” Keny told Afreen with disgust. “Now he wants us to complete a 15-day project in 2 days. Is he out of his bloody mind or what?”

Afreen was too much immersed in her own misery to lend a crying shoulder to her best friend. When Keny saw Afreen preoccupied, she was surprised.

“What are you thinking? Why such a long face?” Keny asked, helping herself to Afreen’s samosas.

Afreen couldn’t control her misery and started weeping. “Ratish asked me for a date and I, like a moron, agreed to it.”

On one hand Keny was happy for Afreen and on the other, she wanted to smack her. “Why? Are you crazy? I thought you had a crush on him.”

“I do like him.” Afreen was sobbing as if she was diagnosed with cancer.

“Then what’s the problem?” Keny was reaching the end of her patience level.

“Have you looked at me? Don’t you know what the problem is?”

Keny had enough of Afreen’s dramatics. “Listen up gal. I know you since kindergarten and I don’t find anything wrong with you that you have to cry so much. Now shut up, have some water, take a deep breath and tell me the issue.”

Following Keny’s order, Afreen calmed down. If anybody could see her predicament, it was only Keny. Although they were best of friends, they were as different as day and night. While Afreen was a book worm, spending all her free time and money on books, Keny was a cute, popular girl who loved shopping and who knew which top would go with which skirt. Afreen sucked in those things. She didn’t even know how to apply nail polish.

“Ok. Here is my problem. Ratish is taking me to a party where all his friends will be there. But I don’t know what to wear? I don’t even have anything except jeans. And just look at my hair! It’s like a bird’s forsaken nest. Now you tell me, how will Ratish feel when I go with him wearing jeans and T-shirt?” Afreen wanted to cry again.

Keny felt like a heel. Why didn’t she see this problem from the first moment itself? “Awww, Afreen. It’s not that bad. I will help you. You are really beautiful. Just dress up a little bit and see how everybody will start noticing you. Now tell me when is this fantastic date?”

“It’s tomorrow.” Now Afreen was feeling better. Keny had taken charge of her problem. Everything will work out now.

“Ok. Let’s go.”

“Go? Go where?” Afreen started getting depressed again. If Keny won’t help her, who will?

“Shopping? What else? We need to buy a nice dress for you and some good sandals. As you have already realized, you can’t go on a date in jeans and sneakers.”

“But I don’t have any money!” Afreen started weeping again. “I spent all my pocket money on new novels.”

Now Keny was not only exasperated but hurt too. “Did I ask you for money? I have enough for our shopping trip. Just come with me. I will handle everything.”

“Now wait a minute. Are you going to spend the money which you were saving for a new Channel purse?” Afreen asked Keny suspiciously. She knew how much Keny was sacrificing to save enough for that purse. She didn’t want her to spend her savings on her.

“Don’t be silly. My money is yours and yours is mine. Now come on, let’s go.” Keny started pulling Afreen out of the college canteen. She didn’t want Afreen to realize that they are going to bunk next couple of lectures in favor of shopping. Anyway Afreen studied too much. She needed to loosen up, and it seemed Ratish was the perfect guy to compel Afreen to pursue her feminine side.


“No buts…unless you want to talk about Ratish’s butt.” Keny couldn’t help teasing Afreen. It was the first time Afreen was sweet on a guy and it seemed he too was reciprocating that feeling. She didn’t want to see her best friend hurt.

Afreen was too overwhelmed with Keny’s plan to speak anything. She decided to let Keny take up the reins of her fate. Alas, what could be worse than jeans and a shirt on a date?

By the end of the evening, Afreen was exhausted. Keny had dragged her through several shops just to buy knee-length frock made of net and satin. They had even purchased open-toed black pumps to match with the outfit.


“Thank god we are done. My feet are aching.” Afreen heaved a sigh of relief. She never knew shopping was such a nightmare.

“Yes, we are done with the shopping. Now we just need to decide on your accessories and makeup,” Keny said with quite a bit of satisfaction. She was happy with the way Afreen looked in that little black number.

Afreen was aghast. Now what on the earth she was going to do about accessories and makeup.

Seeing Afreen’s reaction, Keny hastened to add, “Don’t worry. I will come tomorrow evening to help you dress up. I have one wonderful pair of golden earrings and a purse. It will look great with your outfit. I also have the perfect makeup for you. You don’t have to do anything. Just sit back and enjoy.”

Although Afreen wasn’t sure about make-up, she didn’t say anything to dampen Keny’s enthusiasm. It seemed she was more excited about the date than she herself was.

Next evening at 5 o’clock, Afreen was pacing her room. She was nervous. Her palms were sweating. Keny would arrive anytime. Ratish will pick her up at 7. Even though she was 20, this would be her first date. And probably the last one. She didn’t think her poor heart was made to take so much of excitement like this repeatedly. Just when she was on the verge of calling Keny, she rushed into the room.

“Sorry, sorry. I am bit late. My Activa was refusing to start. I think I will need to put it up for service. Anyway, just go and wash your face and THEN change into the dress. “

Following Keny’s instructions, Afreen sat in front of the mirror. “Just close your eyes and don’t open them until I tell you.”

Afreen was nervous. As she didn’t think she could take minute-by-minute process serenely, she followed Keny’s instruction. With closed eyes, she started dreaming about Ratish. From the moment she had laid eyes on him for the first time, she was mesmerized. Even though he belonged to the happening group, he had always been kind and polite to her. Before Ratish asked her out for a date, she never suspected that he liked her. She just hoped that Keny turned her out okay and so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed of her. She wanted to look beautiful for Ratish.

“Now open your eyes.”

As Keny sounded happy, Afreen concluded that it was safe to look at herself. When she opened her eyes, she couldn’t believe it was her. An ugly duckling was transformed into a beautiful swan.

“Oh my god! Look at me!” Afreen felt like weeping. She was beautiful. She wasn’t just a nerd.

“Don’t you dare cry. I don’t want to redo the eye liner and kohl. And Ratish would be here anytime now. Do you want to keep him waiting?”

Keny’s pragmatic statement sobered up Afreen. She didn’t want to ruin Keny’s hard work. She wanted Keny to be proud of her too. Although she knew Keny wasn’t much on emotional demonstrations, Afreen gave her a tight hug. “Thanks is a very paltry word for what you did. I love you and no matter what, I will be always there for you.”

Giving her a squeeze, Keny pushed her out of the room toward Ratish. When Afreen looked back, she could see Keny’s eyes welling up. Waving her a good bye, Afreen went out with Ratish.

After 12 years

She couldn’t believe Keny was getting married. She finally found love. Since childhood, they both had thought that Keny would be the first one to get married as she was more outgoing and confident. However, Afreen married Ratish right after graduation and settled down in the married life, while Keny went abroad for post graduation. After spending 5 years in London, she came back home and found a job locally. Despite being well settled in career, Keny had refused to get married. She didn’t want to marry a man of her family’s choice; she wanted to find her own man and that took time.

Afreen was happy that her friend finally found what she was looking for. She wished Keny would find the same warmth and love that she herself had found with Ratish.

Thinking maybe someday their daughters too will become best friends like them, Afreen went to get ready for the wedding ceremony.

This post was written for Dove Guessing Game with my friend! Contest held by Dove in association with


  1. WooOoo!!! that's a lovely write up
    Seriously read each word and some where felt connected to Afreen :)

  2. This is a short story in its own! I loved the descriptions and the thoughtfulness of this post Pankti!
    Very well written, and I hope (genuinely) that you will end up winning this one :)

  3. Rakhee (Indi-ogre)23 December 2013 at 09:53

    Creatively done! I hurried down the short and muddy lane unlike you, and btw, that does not mean read my post 'coz I've read yours ;-)

    1. Thanks Rakhee...but still I am going to read yours :P

  4. Beautiful story Pankti. I love Afreen and Keny (interesting name) reminds me of one of my fashion savvy saviour cum friend. All the best for the contest :)

  5. Nice, smooth narration. I hope the dove people love your story line.

  6. Wow, lovely story with nicely kept up narration. did not loose my focus while reading through...

  7. Simply wow…loved reading it Pankti… a really nice short story of it own kind
    All the best for contest :)

  8. Replies
    1. Well, it that depends on how you define feminism. If you say, I am not supposed to do certain things just because I am a female, then yes, I am a feminist. As long as I can do what I want to, irrespective of my gender, I am fine :)

  9. Wow, Pankti :) Really cool one... I wish everyone had such a friend :)

  10. Their daughters surely will! beautifully narrated pankti...

    All the best to you!

  11. Yes, hope their daughters too become best friends and carry the legacy forward! Lovely post Pankti! :)

  12. oh, i didnt realize it ws for the wishes.....that was narrated well