Even if I rarely went to college, I made a few friends there. Tikaram, Sitaram, Dataram, Babulal, Deepak, and Narayan became my good friends. We gathered before our exams and studied in a group working on questions we thought might come up in the exams. Mostly, we discussed English literature that we majored in, talking about characters and plots and meanings of the texts. Babulal and I did Mathematics in his house. We stayed working on problems until late at night and woke up early in the morning. We even went to the edge of a green pond near the farm, spread a plastic sack on the ground as insects buzzed around, sat cross-legged and practiced mathematics for hours. Kumar lanky and fast talking was another friend of mine who came to my house frequently to discuss English literature before our exams. We went to the bamboo bushes and spread a mat under its shade and read a few lines of a poem and interpreted and discussed it, guessing probable questions that might be on the exam paper. The temperature at times rose to 100-degree Fahrenheit and we glistened, drenched in sweat, but a gentle breeze from the bamboo bushes relieved us. Kumar was also the name of my best friend from my Janata Secondary High School. Those were two different Kumar—Kumar from school and Kumar from College. Kumar was my best friend from 6th through 8th grade, when he left for school in another district where he had come from. He used to live in his grandmother’s house at Gauradaha. After he left Gauradaha School, I always missed him; he was kind, helpful, generous, and friendly. We used to spend time together while in school playing Chungi or doing quizzes and homework or stealing cucumbers from people’s farm s, climbing up guava trees and eating guavas or playing in a swing or eating snacks or playing hide and seek or Chor and Police. After he left I always wondered where my school friend Kumar was or what he might be doing. Many years later, I met him at a bus in the capital city of Nepal, and he again became and remained my best and truest friend. (Note: An excerpt from a memoir “A Thatched House” I am working on)
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