“Hi!!” he came to her and greeted.

“Hi” she replied back, a little cautiously.

“Are you new here? I have not seen you around” he asked. “Yes”. She gave a mono-syllabic reply. “Want me to show you around” he inquired and without waiting for a reply, picked up her bag of books in his hands and waited. An introvert that she was, she did not expect this and was a bit hesitant and a little taken aback with his brashness, but stood up never-the-less. He, just the opposite very talkative, playful and cheerful. She could not help but answer him back in a couple of syllables. It took a few moments of awkwardness but she found herself enjoying his company and allowed him to lead her everywhere.

They met the next day, and the day after and then it became a habit to seek each other out as soon as they reached the gate of their institution. Since they were also in the same class, they often sat together during the classes. Both of them were five and it was their first year of kindergarten.

Years passed, their friend circle expanded, and he became one of her numerous friends. In standard III, his father moved to another town. Her first friend got lost in the hustle bustle and business of life though she often missed him.

Economics was the subject she wanted to major in and she took admission in one of the best institutes in the capital. She had a lot on her mind, “I must get a room in the hostel, she thought to herself, else dad will never allow me to stay here so far away from home”, she was thinking, when she felt something stir.

“Hey! you new here” she heard a voice call out to her.

“Yes, Eco Honors,” She turned back and replied -tried to place the face. He looked familiar “You… aren’t you…?” she wanted to talk. She needed a friend, and hoped to find one as she had on her first day of the school.

“Hosteler?”He ignored her question

“Yes” She replied back and asked hopefully “are you in Eco too?”

“Report in the auditorium at 7 p.m tonight.

She shouldn’t have been, but she was disappointed. She desperately needed a friend in this huge campus which looked alien. She felt alone.

She gathered her skirt, kept her purse by her side and sat in a corner waiting in the auditorium.

“Hi!” he said, “Can I sit here?”

“Hi” she replied tentatively not sure what to answer.

Without waiting for her reply, he sat next to her. “Aman.” He said. “Eco Honors. And you?”

She told him her name hesitantly.

“Isn’t it funny?, I mean look at us newbies. We look just like kindergarten kids. Completely lost on the first day of college”  He continued talking, she replied to him in monosyllables at first, but soon found herself talking freely. The warmth of new friendship surrounded them as she began her first day in the college.


On 8th Of February, 2007, Aasim gave an exam for his Karate Orange belt and passed it.

The very next day, on 9th February, he had to appear for an entrance test for class IV at “The Jain International School (TJIS) Nagpur, which he passed in flying colours scoring 85% in the written test. He even gave an impressive one to one interview to the School Principal who asked him questions like ”Tell me about yourself“ and ” what are the criterion’s on which you decide who is your friend“ The boy spoke of things we did not know he could understand, let alone make his judgments on them – one of the things he listed as an answer to the second question by the principal was -”personality“ and even went on to explain it. The interview was tough, but Aasim came out of it impressively resulting into his getting admission at TJIS, Nagpur.

On 10th February, he did his first Karate Camp -a three day camp at Fun and Food Village, about 30 kms from the city, A first overnight camp for Aasim and a tough camp for all karatekas -it was meant to teach the basic tenets of Karate, discipline and self control. The boy came back stronger but extremely tired and totally tanned (thanks to the water park where they enjoyed during their off time from training).

Life since then has been been back to normal, he keeps talking of things like ” I have my rights too“ but then those are perhaps his pre-teen harmones kicking in.