Madhu and Akanksha (names changed on request) were the best of friends. Since both had left the comfort of their homes for the first time, the kindred souls became not just friends but roommates too, sharing a common interest: cooking. Routine took over and they settled down to pursue their studies.
Akanksha was very close to Kabir, a boy from her college, whom Madhu too knew. Much as it seemed like they were more than just ‘friends’, the two always denied it: even to Madhu.
Both Madhu and Akanksha graduated, got jobs in the same city and continued to live as roommates. Soon Akansha’s parents got a proposal for her marriage and Akanksha agreed.
Madhu was surprised and intrigued: Being her bestie for so many years, she was sure that Akanksha had a thing for Kabir. The two were inseparable and had taken several trips together. They, however, never admitted to being ‘together’.
Madhu, worried that her friend might be taking the wrong decision, aired her concern. Akanksha, however, told her to stop being ‘her mom’, asserting that Kabir was just ‘a friend’ and that she would marry ‘Sidharth’ whom her parents had chosen for her.
Life meandered on. But on the day of the engagement, Akanksha was nowhere to be found. Her mother, frantic, asked Madhu to look for her. When Madhu called her, Akanksha told her she didn’t like Sidharth as much as she had thought and did not want to get engaged.
Madhu was angry, not because she had sensed this would happen, but because of the humiliation that Akanksha’s parents would have to go through. After several rounds of talks and angry exchanges, the engagement was cancelled. Akanksha came back home (she had been with Kabir all the while), apologised to her parents and life was back to normal — at least, for her.
But for Madhu, it was the start of a feeling of resentment for Akanksha’s careless attitude. How could she be so casual about something as important as marriage, she thought. But there was more to come.
After all the drama that unfolded, Madhu pleaded with Akanksha to tell her parents about Kabir and marry him. She spoke to Kabir as well, but neither budged. They laughed it off, maintaining they were ‘just friends’.
How could they just be friends when they openly addressed each other with names of endearment? Or when those telltale love bites just showed up after a so-called night-out. Were they just ‘friends with benefits’, thought Madhu. This is not going to end well, she feared.
After a few months, Akanksha began to skim through matrimonial sites for a groom. This to Madhu was absurd. As the madness continued, Madhu began to distance herself from her friend. After a while, Akanksha seemed to have found someone she thought she was compatible with (while at the same time ‘coochie-cooing’ with Kabir) and decided to tell her parents about him.
Her parents were wary, of course, and for good reason. They didn’t want the earlier episode to happen again. Akanksha then surprisingly apologised to Madhu for all the pain she had caused and promised to do right by this new fellow. She even stopped meeting Kabir.
Madhu was relieved: she had urged her friend to make a choice, and she thought finally some sense was knocked into her.
The new ‘matrimonial’ guy, Rehan, was a good man, and Madhu was genuinely happy for her friend and her decision. The day of the engagement finally came, and the two got engaged in a lavish ceremony.
Cut to two months later. By then Madhu got a job in another city, and the two besties parted ways. Even though they often spoke, Madhu had no idea about what was happening in Akanksha’s daily life.
Then one day Madhu got a call from Akanksha’s mom, who was violently sobbing on the other end. She informed her that Akanksha had broken off the engagement with Rehan and had disappeared again. Madhu felt that familiar surge of anger again — how callous, how insensitive could Akanksha be?
She called Akanksha and confronted her. Akanksha told her she had eloped with Kabir — and will go back to her parents to apologize. Just apologize, fumed Madhu, what did she mean by apologize? This is not child’s play, how could she play these games with her parents?
A livid Akanksha then told her longtime friend that their friendship was over. Today, Madhu calls up Akanksha’s parents sometimes, but never asks after.
Was it right on Madhu’s part to break that long-standing friendship? Would you have broken a friendship like this?
Have you ever broken a close friendship? For what reason? Share your stories with us. Also put your comments below.