I don't remember the first time I met Purni. Maybe because we were born cousins a year apart, and grew up together in the same neighbourhood. Anyway, ever since my memory box started being functional, and memories began to be heaped into it in bunches, Purni featured in most of them.
She was there when we first began to ride bicycles around the block, never stopping and going on in spite of the many bruises.
She was there when we played house-house, plucking most of the flowers from her house's flowerpots, much to the ire of her mother.
She was there when I got my first serious cut, playing hopscotch in the courtyard. She was the one who raised the alarm bell by screeching out aloud on seeing the open wound, and she was there when I was taken to the doctor.
We were an inseparable duo, adventurous and ready to try everything. Everyday after school we would meet by our houses and plan new adventures. These were the days when Internet had not crept into our lives and playing outdoors was the most fun thing to do in life. We would sneak out of our houses and go walking around the neighbourhood, when we were not supposed to. We would go to her father's juice factory and roll around on the heaps of oranges. We would play with the neighbourhood dogs.
We rarely fought too. Once or twice, we would fight about which Barbie would be our character in the plays we staged, or which person would have a go first at hopscotch.

High school came and soon we found ourselves in two different cities. Letters became our bridges, hers would be short and precise complaining about how much she hated her school, mine long and totally random. Being in boarding schools, we could only rely on letters to still share our thoughts and feelings.

College came, and we now find ourselves countries apart. And yet nothing has changed. In the memory box of my life, those memories of us still occupy a majority of the space and there are many more added each day. Facebook and Yahoo Messenger and nowadays even Skype has helped us keep together this bonding we share.
I do not remember the first time I met Purnima. And I guess it must have been just another ordinary get-together or something. But I remember everything about her- the way she freaks out when she sees blood or hears thunder (yes, she goes under the bed in such situations), the way she hates to see people sad and brightens the lives of all those around her, the way she has stayed so innocent with not an ill thought about anyone, the way talking to her makes everything seem okay...

Through the cycle rides together, intense sessions of house-house and even teacher-teacher games and gradually through more and more 'mature' conversations, Purni has become such an important person in my life. Not just a sister, but a friend, philosopher and guide (Sorry PG Woodhouse, I HAD to borrow your lines).


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