Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wanted: A Friend!

Remember those days of "Friendship bands" .....or "True Friends” and "Friends Forever" cards ....those days when your friends were be all and end all of your world!!:-) What happened to those days, certainly seems like a different era now!! Years pass  and we've grown out of an idyllic world into a world of responsibilities!!! Does “Friendship day” then mean the same even today? Well, as for me, I am neither an enthusiast nor a cynic…I am somewhere in between. While I remain skeptic as everyone from private radio stations to retailers seems to have encashed on this Hallmark sponsored day, at the same time, I feel it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge the role played by friends in our lives, presently, or in the past – our old and long-lost friends, new and current friends, work and personal friends, online only friends, tea break friends, travel and commuter friends, once-close-not-anymore, once-neighbor-now-faraway friends …..and the list can go on! Thanks to the social networking sites, we have now managed to get all of them on the same platform. And thanks to the social networking sites, we don’t have to call each of our friends separately, but post a status to say “Happy Friendship day”! Finally, thanks to days like these, we can reawaken the “adolescent young girl/boy” that we once were and in a way will always be!! To all my friends.....Happy Friendship day!

While I have been blessed with good friends all my life, Abhay has not been so lucky, especially after his move back to India. If there is one thing Abhay probably misses the most about Portland, it must be his friends! Though he has friends in school, he not been successful at forging friendship with anyone near home, partly due to the fact there are no kids of his age in our area. ( one of downsides to living in an independent house as opposed to an apartment) So as I was browsing for books at a children’s book fair at RangaShankara, I found “Wanted: A Friend”, I was instantly ready to be charmed by this Lenny and Tweek Adventure by Klaus Baumgart brought out by Pratham publications. A level 2 in Pratham’s Learning to read series, this was originally published in German and translated in English by Braumhaus Verlag. Lenny who lives in his Caravan truck finds one day that there is something missing. As he thinks hard, he realizes that he is lonely and wants a friend, with whom he can have fun. So he decides to pin up a note on a tree that says “Wanted:A Friend, Contact Lenny, if you are one”! Lenny waits for a response but receives nil. As he makes his way to the tree to make sure that the note was still pinned to it, he trips over something that looked like a tiny little caravan. It turned out to be the house of a bug named Tweek, who apologizes for being in the way. Tweek then attempts to befriend Lenny but Lenny curtly refuses to engage in any kind of friendly chatter. Lenny explains that he does not have the time as he has to wait for a friend at home. Tweek offers to wait with him. Friendship blossoms between the reluctant Lenny and inquisitive Tweek who cant stop asking questions to which Lenny does not have answers –  Do you know what a friend looks like? When is this friend coming? So Tweek suggests that they could play together while they wait for this “elusive” friend! So they end up playing hide and seek, flying aeroplanes, treasure hunt, diving into pool and gazing at the clouds, watching the sunset. As it grows dark, Tweek decides to head home and wishes Lenny good luck in his quest for a friend. As Tweek leaves, Lenny suddenly feels alone again and soon he realizes that the friend he was waiting all along for was none other than Tweek! An endearing tale of friendship makes an apt read on the occasion of Friendship Day! So here is me saying on behalf of Abhay– "Wanted: A Friend for Abhay - Contact Onestoryaday if you are one! :-)

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