Meet my childhood bestie, Madam P Madan:
She's a total "Madam", you guys! Especially now that she's a bad-ass corporate lawyer lady living alone in London. But if you ever get to meet this female, you'll see how she's a total bawse-lady who'll make you want to say things like, "Please, let me worship you Madam!".
I wish I had another picture of us but this post image will have to do for now. All of our childhood pics are still in India and we're now left with the task of making fresh memories together. But nothing much has changed since then I believe, because she was always a foot taller than me and we grew up having the same height difference from the time we were 10. So without further ado, let me take you back in time to 2001 when we met and immediately
fell in love became best friends.
2001 was the year in which we both started school in Trivandrum. I had just come to the city from Delhi and she had just come from (insert name of the city I can't remember for the life of me) but she's originally from Delhi so she kept saying, "I'm from Delhi too!", to which I kept asking, "Which school did you go to before coming here?", hearing the answer to which I'd say, "I've never heard of that school". That went on for a while because we were idiots when we were ten. But wait, you haven't even heard the rest of it. Oh God, I'm already feeling too embarrassed to expose the nerdy-nerdiness of my 10 year old self but let's get with the programme. Also, both her parents, like my dad, worked in the Air Force so like most military kids we were automatically drawn to one another.
I loved my school in Delhi, so leaving all that happiness behind to live in Trivandrum was a HUGE change in my life. I'm pretty sure that's one of the reasons why I clung on to Madam Madan because she was like a part of my former life that somehow managed to travel with me all the way to the Southern tip of our country, to keep me safe and sane.
We shared the same school bus because we lived very close to each other. So one day after class, I saw her sitting by herself in the school bus and asked her if I could sit with her. And that was how all the "I've never heard of that school!" started. We were allotted different classrooms around that time because everyone was still trying to figure out the transition from lower to upper primary segregation based on the second language you pick (if that even makes sense) so I remember how we'd meet up during the lunch breaks just so that we could chat. We finally got allotted the same classrooms so we almost spent all our time together, during and after school, for three whole years of our lives. So now that you have your introduction to how I met Madam Madan, let me list some of the weirdest shit we used to do.
- We used be the biggest Harry Potter fans. I know a lot of people like to say this but tell me if anyone reading this has been as nerdy as us. We used to
a) Speak in the British accent. A LOT. And that too, very loudly in the school bus and in classrooms. I remember how at some point there were some Korean exchange students who attended our school and we tried to make friends with them by doing the accent. Yeah, that didn't end so well because we managed to scare those poor kids away.
b) Ask our teachers if we could call them "Professor (insert last name)". And believe you me, that is NOT done in Indian schools. Some of our teachers reluctantly said yes because they probably just wanted to get rid of us but some others gave us "the look". You know the look you give people when you realise they might be a tiny bit cray-cray.
c) Read up portions in advance so that we could pull off The Hermione Granger in class. You know exactly what I'm talking about. We were those annoying idiots who always raised their hands in class because we really didn't give a shit about what others thought of us. We just wanted to live out our own Harry Potter fantasies. I think I might want to go puke before moving on to point d.
d) Skip the first and last steps on all staircases in the school because that was our way of making our regular boring school-staircases as interesting as the ones at Hogwarts. We liked to believe that stepping on the first and the last steps on those stairs would suck us into a "Jelly Portal of No Return". I still avoid the first and last steps on all staircases.
e) Wait for Hogwarts acceptance letters because we were just going to turn 11. I even got into Mazooka School of Witchcraft and Wizardry because I had a best friend who didn't want me to be disappointed so she sent me a detailed letter of acceptance along with a list of books and other supplies that I will need to bring with me. It was addressed to 'Ms Ankita Narayan, Room on the Right, First Floor, Grey Bunglaw' and such, by her Mother (Hi Renu Aunty!!) because Madam Madan didn't want me to recognise her handwriting. I still have that letter. It's one of my most prized possessions.
f) Conduct movie marathons during the holidays. I remember how during a sleepover at my place, we started watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at around 5 a.m after we stayed up all night chatting.
I think I just swallowed some of my own puke so let's stop talking about the Harry Potter madness phase, shall we? Moving on...
We thought we could sing and dance really well so we grabbed on to all opportunities to just get on the stage. I remember how we were a part of organising the 5th Grade Class assembly and introduced funny scripts ("laughter is the best medicine" was a big deal back then) and skits into the program with all our friends. We even got a special appreciation from the school Principal for that. One day after the regular school assembly, our Principal announced that the stage was open for a talent display by any student who was confident enough to perform. Guess who marched up to the stage and sang the "Ketchup Song" (complete with actions and wrong lyrics) together. I still perform the Ketchup Song for The Husband because WHY NOT?
The singing practise mostly happened in the bus because we thought that was appropriate. So let me paint a word picture for you. There's a regular yellow school bus with a bunch of school-kids and maybe two teachers in it. Most of the kids liked to stand because kids are weird. But we were the kids who reserved a special seat on the bus (I sat by the window because I was the tiny one) and made the newbies who made the mistake of occupying "our seat" get up because we literally had our names written on it. While other kids did normal boring "kid stuff", we sat on that seat of ours, singing and speaking in the British accent. No wonder people stared. And by people I mean people on the road whenever the bus stopped.
I remember this senior of ours, a boy with huge teeth who said something about the singing at some point. Boy oh boy, did we find ourselves an enemy or what. We may have been bullies to someone who was not only 4 years older than us but also almost twice as big as us. Since he didn't like the singing, we even made a parody song about him (and his teeth, which is funny considering I had huge teeth myself) that we sang every time we knew he was paying us attention. Sometimes he'd purposely come and sit right in front of us and that obviously did not make us happy so we kept kicking him from under the seat, forcing him to get up and leave. If you're reading this now, Boy From The Bus, I'm really sorry about all of that. I'm sure we went a little overboard but we were idiots back then.
We went through an eyebrow raising and winking phase after the movie Devdas came out and we saw Madhuri Dixit doing cool shit with her eyebrows. We practised for ages and now we can both raise a single eyebrow. And about the winking, we realised that random people on the streets had very interesting reactions to two little girls winking at them from a yellow school bus. WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING?
Oh, and before I forget, Madam Madan totally beat my mother to "the talk". Her mom's a doctor so she did a pretty great job at explaining everything thoroughly to her daughter who in turn, did a great job at imparting all of that knowledge to me. Complete with drawings of the human anatomy. I specifically remember her telling me, "You know the choo-choo (insert kissing action with two hands) that men and women do in English movies? Yeah, that's how you get pregnant!", to which I said, "Really, I thought God puts a baby in your tummy when you fall in love with a man because that's how it happens in Bollywood movies. Are you telling me that it's okay for me to fall in love and that I won't get pregnant as long as I don't do the choo-choo?". I'm totally going to call it "the choo-choo" when I explain human reproduction to my kids.
I got my first period on her thirteenth birthday and I think that makes her very special. Congrats, Prinki, for this is supposed to be a great honour!
Oh and the "Boys" movie phase. We both fell deeply in love with Siddhart, the actor in the Tamil movie 'Boys'. I think we watched that movie at least 13 times without following the language or anything really, because we were in love. Someone put the idea in my head that I resembled Genelia Desouza in that movie and I was over the moon. I dressed like her and thought I was cute like her when in reality, I had buck teeth and a large forehead :) But coming back to Sidharth, I'd be lying if I denied the fact that a small part of me is still in love with him. Sorry Shane, but first love is first love. In fact, The Husband really doesn't care about people hitting on me or those love letters I receive from some of you guys or even about my being friends with ex-boyfriends. But the minute I mention Siddhart from Boys, he get's really insecure for some reason. He even refused to shop at Peter England because Sidharth was their poster boy! But what I find funny is that we were both in love with this dude and we were both totally fine with it. Like, "I can share my boyfriend with you because you're as important to me as he is". No, it was weirder than that.
When she left before 8th grade, I got a little depressed because you know, we were a little bit in love. It's funny how I had my first boyfriend in the 8th grade only after she left because that's when I finally started noticing real boys as opposed to celebrities who didn't even know that I existed. I also stopped being all that active in class and in stage activities because she quite possibly left behind a void that was hard to fill (insert mushy sentimental background music).
We promised to keep in touch forever and ever, and up until our 10th grade I believe, we used to write each other hand-written letters and talk on the phone regularly. Then the talking got reduced to once in a few months and on birthdays. And then we both got into college and "life" happened. When she saw on Facebook that I was getting married, she got in touch with me again. She couldn't attend the wedding because she was doing a semester in Paris. But three months ago, she moved to London. And now we're back to texting everyday and making plans to meet again. Looks like we'll be travelling back and forth a lot :)
And I just can't wait to catch up on more than 10 years of each others lives. I can't wait to for us to be a couple again :D
So let me end this very long piece with some juicy juiciness:
Have a great day, y'all!