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Ghosts of ‘Friendship Bands’ Past: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Do you remember the time we tied friendship bands in school?

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Ghosts of ‘Friendship Bands’ Past: A Trip Down Memory Lane
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A trending hashtag on Twitter, WhatsApp forwards, and glittery discounts. That’s how I presently sum up Friendship Day, at 24.

Now, let’s rewind to 10 years back – the good old school days!

‘Friendship Day’, in school, was not just any ordinary day. It was a day that involved a lot of planning, drama, and ermm... a little bit of showing-off!

A very crucial ritual of this day, amidst the hustle and bustle, was the unforgettable tradition of tying ‘friendship bands’. Let’s just say, back in those days, getting ‘friend-zoned’ was a privilege... not a tragedy.

Memories of Friendship Day in school open a floodgate of nostalgia!

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“Greet-Meet-Exchange...”

Even though, through the year, we would all voluntarily divide ourselves into groups, this was one day when all batch-mates would converse with each other. After all, there was a friendship band at stake! Greet-meet-exchange... aah the little joys!

On this day, everybody was somehow... united. This was the beauty of Friendship Day back in school.

Always spoilt for choice!
(Photo courtesy: Stuti Shukla)
I remember having endless arguments with my mother about the number of friendship bands I wanted to purchase every year. She would just shoot me a puzzled look and ask, ‘Where did SO many friends suddenly come from?’
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The Friend Pyramid

Back in those days, most of our friendship bands were purchased from the colony market and we would start buzzing with excitement almost a week in advance.

“For some of us, it was nothing less than a festival without a holiday.”

While choosing these bands, there was always a list to keep in mind. A list of priorities. First came your BFF ‘gang’, then came those you had ‘friendly’ conversations with every once in a while, and last, but not the least, came those you wanted to be ‘polite’ with!

The bands would... ahem... get less fancy as one moved down the ‘pyramid’.

At times, I would even purchase something as basic as a colourful thread to save my pocket money.
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The ‘Coolness’ Quotient

Right from the bus journey to school to the one back home, our hands would be full of colourful bands. Friendship bands would be on our mind all day.

Life pretty much looked like a typical high-school drama... there would always be a bunch of popular kids who would get more bands than the others. There was a silent contest of sorts among students where friendship bands were the primary currency of popularity.

Batch photo of the year 2006.
(Photo courtesy: Stuti Shukla)

The irony? Everyone forgot about these friendship bands the very next week. To be honest, after returning home, these bands would just lie forgotten in some corner of the room.

But, every batch would have a bunch of students who would consider themselves far too mature for all of this! Funnily enough, we all joined this club at some point in school life.

(P.S: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai took it too far, i think. I mean, how many of us tied friendship bands, while in college? Honestly, no Rahul has impressed a Tina with a friendship band. Forget college, friendship bands made an exit (from our lives) after eighth grade itself! )

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Years Later...

Even though years have passed by, the sight of a friendship band, displayed at a store, reminds me of school days and the memories come back to me with a mad, mad rush.

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