For My Best Friend...
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For My Best Friend...

Some friendships can help you find what you need most and sometimes, what you need most is yourself!

For My Best Friend...
Vedica Jha

I had been going through a tough year. My ex-boyfriend had broken up with me a week before I had to leave home to come back to school in another country. I was away from my parents, there was nobody to advise me or understand what I was going through. My friends here tried but they didn’t know the guy and it just seemed like a constant struggle.

I went into some sort of a loop, the aftermath of which kept reducing my worth. And suddenly, out of nowhere, a friendship formed. I met Gio. And, he became my best friend. (Yay! I know you’re reading coz I forced you to :P)

He is basically Americanized me! And, he keeps saying I teach him things but he taught me how to be myself again. The fact that he is EXACTLY like me helped me find myself again. That’s all I needed - a mere reflection of myself. I needed to see someone who enjoyed problem solving, someone who thought differently, someone who enjoyed jotting down quotes, someone who was a good listener, someone who was eager to learn, someone who knew the lyrics to classic rock songs and also “My Humps” (:P), someone who had a different outlook on college, jobs and opportunities, someone who asked bizarre questions and someone who dared to imagine and dream. Basically, someone with the same eccentricities as me!

He is all of those things and at some point, so was I. Looking at my own image, made me realize how much I missed myself. And being in his company, pulled me out of that loop to be honest.

We had known each other since college started and we have taken the same Math classes all along, but it was only this past semester that we became inseparable. And somehow, it made sense. He walked into my life right when I needed it the most. Or I had finally opened up to the idea of letting someone else inspire me.

Even so, I learnt very quickly that he was going to study abroad in London for a year. It only seemed fair for me to support the person who had supported me unknowingly. I did and as soon as the school year ended, we said goodbye.

As fate would have it, we spent 10 brilliant days in Chicago (his hometown) where I got to meet his family and in Wooster (our college town). We drove together, we ate all kinds of food and we made spontaneous plans. I had finally found someone to make impromptu plans with because not a lot of people like doing that. Or not enough people randomly take those risks.

Speaking of random plans: One night, out of nowhere, he called and asked me if he could go to India with me. And, as a proud spontaneous plan maker, I said “Absolutely”, thinking it was obviously never going to happen since at the time it seemed like a long process. However, in one night, we planned this whole trip to India and believe it or not, we even executed it!

Nobody in his entire family has ever been to India, but as a consequence of a casual phone call, he did! And, I would like to believe that I was able to help him gain a whole new perspective as he simultaneously enjoyed a completely new culture in terms of food, behavior, language, society, economics, people, the dynamic between the different cities and states and hopefully more.

Getting to teach some kids Math and English at a Non-profit in New Delhi

As an international student, you keep describing your hometown and country to all your friends. You describe your room, how your house looks, what kind of a street you live on, and where you went to school but you never expect they’d ever be able to see it in person.

Riding an auto-rickshaw in Bombay! (Gio likes to call them "tiny cabs" :P)

When I met Gio’s family, it was obvious I wished he could meet mine. When I saw his house, I wished he could see mine too. When I saw the school he went to or the park he played in, I wanted him to get a glimpse my childhood as well! But of course it didn’t seem feasible. The fact that it happened is still quite unbelievable. There were so many instances when either of us would say, “Vedica, I’m in India! Isn’t that weird?” or ”Gio, you’re in my house! Isn’t that weird?”

Introducing the American boy to Indian McDonald's
So, somehow even though it was unthought-of and weird, it all worked out. I was prepared to not see my best friend for a year and then I got to spend so much time with him despite none of it being planned. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to do that.Us with a close friend from college saying 'Woo' for Wooster at the Taj Mahal in Agra!

A little more than month ago, he left for London and it is unimaginable how much I miss him but he left behind what’s essential to my survival and happiness – the true me!

Thank you Gio. I literally owe you one full me!

Is it weird that we found a London Bus in Bombay?
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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