For Poonam Das, Lead Storyteller at OHM, real friendship is “One who breaks you out of jail, not puts you in one.” Friendship for her is much more than love and affection. It is about loyalty. Let’s read to the story behind her unique definition of friendship.

My best friend’s name is Aditi Jain. We have been friends since class 7th. We were good friends before that, but we became best friends when I started going for tuitions at her place. Her mother was my tuition teacher.

For me, friendship is a relationship of trust and loyalty. A person who will bail me out of jail without any question (if the situation arises).

It was October 2009. This incident is about a time when, Aditi and I sneaked from our respective homes, to watch Indian Ocean concert. To give you a little backstory, I was (still am) master of mischief, a full-on prankster, who would rather spend her time and energy making conspiracies than studying. Aditi, on the other hand, was a (still is) a straight-A student. She would always come first in class and would have her head buried inside the books. We were two people from different world, bonded together because of puberty, teenage drama, and mutual hate for authority.

Aditi and I were huge fans of “The Indian Ocean” band. The Indian Ocean was performing in our Durga Puja Festival. As my parents were Durga Puja Committee (Premium) members, hence I was able to sneak in some VIP front seats. However, they were performing quite late (around 11: 30 PM), and we were not supposed to stay out beyond the curfew time (which was 9: 30 PM during Durga Puja).

We planned to go for the concert post-midnight (when our parents will be sleeping) and had a great time until we got caught. It was her mother who found it out, and from there we were dragged to my home immediately. Our parents kept on scolding us for two straight hours. Aditi and I held our hands the whole time and kept on crying. For us, it was the end of the world. The next day our parents decided to keep on two months lockdown with no contact with each other or the outer world  (other than school). It was not so difficult as I had been in and out of such punishments before. But, Aditi, on the other hand, was a first time offender. Aditi was a school topper and good kid (according to her parents, my parents, and our neighbours); she could have saved herself from the whole situation easily. But she went through the entire punishment along with me. That dreadful autumn break made me realize, that she is my best friend. That one friend, whom I will cherish throughout my life.

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