Short Story: Kismi Bar
Remember the days when you were just a little kid, unaware of the world and people around you?
I do. I remember everything clear as crystal.
I often went to local market with my parents to buy weekly grocery. After making all purchase, the friendly shopkeeper would ask which toffee I wanted. (Then chocolates were for the rich kids, not the largely middle class neighbourhood). I, with my little, but vivid imagination, would look at the jars, full of toffees and look at parents to seek approval. They; however would always say to not ask for things when we were outside, would give an approving node. It was closest to have the greatest joy one could ever have.
I would give a cursory glance at bright red Pan Pasand jar, Dull grey Swaad jar, Transparent jar of Orange candy, flashy yellow Mango Bite jar and stop at Red and black jar of Parle Kismibar.
There is something really special about Kismi bar, though I never thought why it was named 'Kismi' until I grew up and saw the TV commercial.
I would point at the Red and Black jar and shopkeeper would take out one Kismi bar and I would ask for another for neighbour's daughter Neha; my only friend. We would often spend summer holidays wondering why no one else stayed home. Remember, everyone used to go 'nani ke ghar', but we were the two kids who would never go. No one told us why, we never asked either.
After taking all the grocery, we went home. And I was all smiling, feeling good about the world. Off ‘course it indeed was a great moment. I got two Kismi bars from shopkeeper, and just couldn't wait to go again, and probably have Poppins or Roll-a-Cola. I told my parents that I am going to neighbour's house to give Neha her share of Kismi bar. They didn't stop me. They couldn't.
I shouted her name, threw a small pebble on the window, but no response came. I saw a big lock hanging on the door. "Must be gone for a walk" I thought and came back.
Mother asked if they were home. I told they were not.
"Rohan, they got transferred to other city." she told knowing I don’t know anything.
"But they never go nani ke ghar. When will they come back?" I tried to comprehend meaning of the word transfer.
"Never here. They will now live in the other city." she tried to explain in easiest possible manner.
"I can eat this Kismi bar?" I felt a little rich holding two bars in hand.
"Yes, but Not at once." father said.
I nodded, and rushed to watch TV, thinking about having two Kismi bars.
It took me a few days to realize they will never come back. I might never get to see my only friend again, unless a coincidence brings us together. I looked around for the pencil box where I kept the second Kismi bar.
I wondered since Neha is no longer living here, hence I don’t need to bother about sharing it. I thought of eating it right away, but couldn't. Rather kept it back in the box, thinking of devouring it later.
It took a week to start gathering the memories I had with her. Last fight we had, last sand castle we made, last homework we did, last hide 'n seek we played, last Kismi bar we had...
It took a month to realize that I will be going school alone in the new class, and there will be no one who would share tiffin, no one reminding to complete homework of maths, no one to call in the summer holidays to play all afternoon till evening.
It took a year to realize I will never have another friend like her, never be close with someone, never think of going class after class and grow older.
It took twenty years to realize few things we never forget. And I closed the green pencil box keeping Kismi bar back.
Goes without saying Everything you read is fiction and has nothing related to people I know.
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