AN UNUSUAL GIFT

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To the guy lovingly called SSDPS by his best friends.

He had his birthday a few months ago. Usually guys ask for gifts or treats. Better, they don’t ask for anything from girls (how cute they are :P) But this man had something else in his mind.

One fine day, after a few days of his birthday that he celebrated by taking all his friends to a posh restaurant, he thought that he should give me a treat as well {let me tell you that last year too, he had taken me for a lovely treat :)} So after a delicious lunch, I asked him what gift he needs (because I am a dumb when it comes to gift, especially to guys :P) He posed a very strange request.

“I need a greeting card.”

So I took him to Archies and told him to pick one card. But he was adamant.

“No, I want a handmade greeting card.”

I looked at him. Never ever in my life had I heard of a 20 something guy asking for a card. Men love perfume, shaving kit and stuff like that, as per the websites disseminating knowledge on *top 101 gifts for men* ”

I thought about my last art and craft project at school back in 2006. It had been so terrific that I had been awarded a C grade.

“I need a handmade greeting card”, he continued, ” so that I can keep you alive in my memories forever. This is our last year in college, you know.”

Each and every word of his seemed legitimate to me. The word memory hung in the air.

I came back home and begged my sister to draw something exciting for him.

“I’m busy. And moreover, he’s your friend. You should put a personal touch in his gift.”

And hence started my epic journey towards the center of the DIY gifts on YouTube. Let me tell you that the journey is not easy. Channels of these Indian viners come in between and distract you from your main goal 😛 Anyways, I found an idea that looked easy and I started making it.

It has been more than a month but the craft’s still incomplete.

2013 was a year full of new experiences. It was a big change for me: getting out of DAV- my home for 14 straight years. I had got habituated with the same classrooms, same building, same teachers and friends. Even the barren school field reminded me of the infinite happy moments spent, sprouting from the gardens of friendship and innocence. It seemed as a big family: a home away from home.

My mind races back to my initial days at KIIT. August 2013. I had just got enrolled in the B.Tech course of Mechanical Engineering. New institution. New faces. One classroom. 70 hearts.  I had to quickly replace my Odia with Hindi: KIIT has students coming from all over the country. The campus is always over flooded with people,  bursting with excited talents , ever ready to showcase their best. A person coming from a limited sphere like me felt lost in the ocean. The once outspoken girl in me suddenly changed into a quiet person, quite often forgotten in the crowd. I always tried to mingle but then again stayed aloof from everyone. I was scared of the new surroundings. What if I said or did something wrong? Then people would laugh at me. Nuts. All screwed up.

One day while a professor was taking our introduction, SSDPS got up and said his name. Durgaprasad Sahoo. From West Bengal. DAVian.

Whoa! It struck a chord with me. Finally, an Odia guy! I had noticed him before, but he never spoke in his mother tongue.

I went to him to talk. And he was (and still is) a very shy guy. Would only answer to your questions. Didn’t blabber like me the whole day. Reserved kind of man, but very sweet, cute, knowledgeable and kind. Perfect person to make a friend!

Our interactions are always limited to library, classroom and WhatsApp. Our conversations are always related to assignments and exams. Durga never misses to notice and comment on my changed WhatsApp profile picture. While I keep on changing my status every now and then, his status reads “Patience is the key” since June’16. He truly lives up to his status. He’s a brilliant and a hardworking guy. He can always be seen inside the library, his nose buried in books. Whenever I need any help while solving assignments, he’s always there. Whenever I need to get any information from the notice board, he’s usually the first person to convey that message to me. When I go out of the line and I don’t feel like studying, he’s there to boost my morale and bring me back to the right track.

But sometimes we manage to have fun, like we went to watch Airlift last year with nearly 15 friends and had a lunch program afterwards. (we managed to achieve this after bunking K.C. Singh sir’s class…we should be given a medal for this magnanimous feat :P)

There must be zillions of moments like these, we have created a lot of happy moments that are gonna be cherished for a lifetime. Maybe we didn’t have much fun (I couldn’t join him for trips and photo shoots). But our extraordinary friendship that stemmed up from an ordinary conversation is unique and special, and I have loved and enjoyed every moment of it. I hope that you have enjoyed it as well.

Gifts might get broken, photos might get deleted, contacts might get lost, but the place reserved in your heart for a friend is never sold off to someone else. Sometimes it lies forgotten, but never lost.  I am freezing you in my memory with this blog post. Do remember the link 😛 Even if we stay across the globe, my wishes and prayers will reach out to you, no matter what. May you get the laurels and rewards that you deserve. You have done a lot of penance.  Now it’s time for the golden ripe harvest! I hope that you get success in each and every road you take.

Happy birthday, Durga, not only for this year but for all the good years that God has set for you in future.

Your crazy friend,

Debashrita

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