The alarm shrieked in the Malik house like a war siren and in the room across the hall, little Akash buried his head in the pillow, trying hopelessly to drown out his mother’s voice asking him to wake up. Another school year had begun and it was no different, school was still dreadful.
After the daily wrestling, Akash was finally ready. Mrs. Malik handed him his lunch-box and planted a kiss on his forehead and said softly, ”My darling boy. Be good in school and study nicely. Finish your lunch, I have packed your favorite sandwich. I’ll prepare Rajma-chawal for you in the afternoon.” His eyes sparkled on hearing his favorite dish.
Akash wasn’t really a troublesome boy, he just hated school. He was now in the third grade and has been studying at Carmel Convent since first grade. He was amiable and smart. So, he was liked by his classmates and teachers. The only trouble was he couldn’t make good friends. He would make friends and then after some time they would drift apart. He was not really a loner, but he always felt like he didn’t belong. The kids of his age were interested in video games and phone games, whereas he liked reading, sketching and his most favorite pastime was imagining.
He dragged his feet to the bus stop and waved at some of his classmates. A few minutes later his bus pulled up in front of them. Akash got into the bus and looked around for an empty window seat when suddenly his eyes met with a nervous pair of eyes. It was a boy of his own age, with freckles and oversized ears. His eyes were big. “He must be one of the new admissions this year”, thought Akash. The new boy looked lost and lonely, so he went and sat on the free seat beside him.
Akash stretched out his hand and said with a warm smile, “Hi, my name is Akash. What is yours?”
“My name is Mayank. Which class are you in?” he replied and shook Akash’s hand.
He answered, ”I’m in 3-B and you?” Mayank’s face suddenly lit up.
“I’m in the 3rd too, but I don’t know my section. I will once I reach school.” He said softly. Akash was silently praying for this shy boy to be in his class; this surprised him.
Once they reached school Akash showed his new friend to the office and then waited for him outside anxiously to know the section. The door opened and a beaming Mayank came out, “I’m in 3-B.” Hearing this Akash happily grinned.
They both were inseparable that day. They sat together and shared lunch too. For once, Mrs. Malik was going to find a completely empty box.
The teachers were surprised to see a very talkative and interactive Akash. They both complemented each other perfectly. Few things were similar between them and few things were contradictory. Like Mayank was bad at Maths but good in Science, Akash was the opposite. But they both loved English.
As Mrs. Malik waited for Akash she saw a very rosy faced and sparkling eyed boy coming towards her, she realized with a surprise that it was her little Akash. Akash couldn’t stop talking about his new friend. As she heard him go on and on, a stray tear trickled down her face. She had never seen her boy so happy about school. She already liked this Mayank kid.
Akash was a little scared that they might drift apart, but he liked Mayank more and more every day. They would fight and then sort things out. And their friendship was so deep that you could tell that they would finish school together, go to the same college, fight over the same girl, fight for each other and stand by each other through thick and thin.
Akash had finally found a friend for life.