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Vinu – As special as it comes

by Sunil J

Few people are lucky to identify a person as their best friend throughout their life, and I am one of them. For me the first and last name when it comes to best friend is my cousin Vinu. I am not sure when we met first, but one thing that I am sure of is that we took to each other from the moment we met. The holidays that I got every three months were meant for going to my grandparent’s house with my cousin. I would eagerly wait for the exams to be over so that my father could take me there, and the night before the journey was the worst ever, for me as well as my parents. Sleep was impossible, for me as well as my parents, because I would wake them up constantly to find out if it was time yet to get ready.

The journey too was not that easy. I always felt the bus was too slow and it took too much time at stops. I would run and skip the few hundred meters to my grandparent’s house, and most often, I would find that I was the first to reach. Then I would be constantly watching the path to see if he was coming.

Once he reached, both of us would be too shy to talk, at least when we were young, and we would follow each other and talk once we were out of eyesight. With around two and a half acres of land, which we could call our own, to explore there were many places where we could get out of eyesight and earshot. We would talk about movies we had seen, things we had done and a lot of other things; imagine we were fighting demons, wild animals and bad guys and generally spend time with each other. We would go swimming in the river, walk through our neighbors’ rubber estates, chase rabbits and be a nuisance to everyone.

We would get into some kind of trouble every time we got together. Once both of us were with our sisters and they left us on some disagreement. Being together made us do things that we might not have done alone, so I encouraged him to throw a stone at them, and he did, with deadly aim, straight at their head. But they were walking and he neglected to factor that into his calculations, and the stone hit into a window directly behind my father and grandmother. Needless to say, I got a good hiding from my father, and he from my grandmother. My grandparents never replaced that window and I remembered that incident every time I saw it.

Usually most of the troubles that we got into were due to our sisters. Once we were foolish enough to show them our cache of cigarette bits, matchboxes, a Re.1 note that we found and pretended to smoke by lighting a reed. They ran and told my grandmother. We got a beating and all our loot was confiscated. We learnt our lesson from that and found another hideout in a trench by the edge of our boundary. We sneaked off with ‘beedies’ and matchboxes and spend a lot of time at our new hideout.

The influence that this one single individual made on me is immeasurable. Even though he is younger than me in age, the knowledge that he has is vast. He was the person who introduced me to computers, a 286 I believe. Books (Hardy Boys), sports (Cricket), games (Chess)… you name it, most probably he introduced me to it.

No man in not born with principles and ideals, they evolve along with him. The evolution does not happen automatically. Circumstances, parents, teachers and friends influence the evolution. The people with whom you share your thought and their input is what influences the evolution. For me, this is that guy.

There is a lot to tell, but quite a few are secrets, and the rest too special, that it is difficult to put it down in words.

We have been through a lot, sometimes dangerous, sometimes fun, but now, we do not get holidays to meet. We meet once in a few months, if lucky spend a few days together. But this guy will be my best friend throughout my life. I know that.

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