Children

Truly a best friend

Natasha and Nandini were best friends from the time they had joined Indus Academy Girls School in first grade. Now, five years later, their friendship had deepened.

The two girls sat together in class and pursued the same extra-curricular . Natasha often ate roti, sabzi, dal, chawal and laddoos from Nandini’s lunch box, while Nandini enjoyed the pasta, pizza, burgers, sausages and muffins from Natasha’s tiffin box.

In fact, there was a joke in school that, if Natasha was in a room, Nandini wouldn’t be far behind. The teachers called them The Twins and the students called them N and N. The two girls had a lot of similarities and mutual interests; both were good in studies and games.

A birthday plan

There was only one difference between them: Natasha came from a rich family, while Nandini belonged to a family with a modest income. But that never came between their friendship.

“I plan to celebrate my 11th birthday in style. I’ll be inviting the entire class — all 45 girls — to a five-star hotel for my birthday party,” Natasha told Nandini one day.

Nandini’s face fell. “I don’t think I’ll be able to attend,” she said.

“May I know why, busy lady?” Natasha asked. “My birthday is on Saturday, so you can’t even give the excuse that you are busy studying or completing your assignments.”

Truly a best friend

“I have no new outfit to wear,” Nandini said in a small voice.

“You can always borrow a dress from me. In fact, I have two new dresses, which I have never worn and no one from our class has seen them,” Natasha said. “Problem solved.”

“You know I won’t do that,” Nandini made a face.

“I will never have a party without you,” Natasha said adamantly. “If you can’t come, I’ll cancel the party.”

“Don’t do that,” Nandini said. “Your parents have been planning this party for ages. They will be disappointed.”

Natasha’s mother had called Nandini the previous night to ask for her help in deciding the return gifts and organising the games and the prizes. Nandini knew that the birthday party would be a grand affair and, in her modest clothes, she would stick out like a sore thumb.

Her mother had given her a choice: she could either buy herself a new dress or a gift for Natasha. She couldn’t do both.

Solution found

“I’ve an idea.” Natasha’s eyes shone with excitement.

Seeing the classroom empty, as the teacher had just left, she announced loudly: “I’m having a birthday party on the 15th at The Grand Paradise Hotel and everyone is invited.”

The girls sighed. The Grand Paradise Hotel was like a palace; the most beautiful hotel of their city.

“The party starts at 4:30 p.m. and the dress code is casual clothes,” Natasha smiled.

Nandini’s eyes turned moist. Her best friend was really the best. She knew that Natasha had decided the dress code keeping her in mind. Now she could attend the party as well as buy a nice gift for her best friend.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 6:26:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/a-short-story-by-rachna-chhabria-on-friendship/article36602601.ece

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