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Vani was heading towards the school cafeteria and saw Kavya coming out of the library. Vani waved at her, calling her.

“Hey. somebody looks super engrossed.”, Vani spoke only to receive no response.

“Dude. I’m here too, I’d really like some attention.” She attempted again, now snapping in front of Kavya’s face.

“Huh? Oh yeah. I was just at the end of an awesome chapter.” Kavya finally responded, closing her book after putting in a bookmark.

They came to the cafeteria where they found Chaitanya and Neil playing cricket using a lunchbox and a ball of foil and Kisha completing her pending work.

They all gathered around a round table and Chaitanya pulled a chair from an empty table. 

Amongst friendly banter and sharing lunches, Kavya spoke up.

“How did you guys meet? Everyone knows that Vani offered me a place in the reading competition team and then you guys practically adopted me. But I have no idea about you. I wanna know.”

Neil spoke up as if lost in the thoughts of some distant memories. “My mom and Vani’s mom are great friends from college. So we have basically known each other since we were born.”

“Interesting. What about Chaitanya and Kisha?” Kavya raised her eyebrows, taking a bite out of Vani’s sandwich.

“Our sections were shuffled in 6th grade. Kisha became friends with Vani after Vani saw her reading her favourite, Little Women. And I couldn’t resist learning the awesome finesse shot that Chaitanya kicked during our first P.T. period.” Neil spoke all of this in one breath.

“And that’s all about how we guys met.” He said, finally stopping for some fresh air.

Vani put her elbows on the table with an amused expression. “Neil. Lying is bad manners. Don’t you know.”

“What? Lying? Me? How? I don’t understand.” Neil responded clearly confused.

“Yes you. It isn’t all about how we guys met. If you’re telling a story, at least tell the complete one.”

“But that is all I know bro.”

“Oh really! My bad. Sorry.”

Even though she said sorry, Vani wasn’t looking like was sorry.

“Guess you actually don’t know the whole thing.” She was now looking at Chaitanya with her eyebrow raised. 

Scratching the back of his head, Chaitanya replied, “Yeah. About that. It’s nothing.”

“Oh it’s nothing? Let me tell them then if it is really not that big of a deal.” With that Vani started speaking as if she waited all her life for an opportunity to tell this. As she spoke, Chaitanya became more and more embarrassed, yet seemed to quite enjoy the anecdote. 

“Well I was going around making a list of the people who wanted to participate in the Annual Day Function. Then I came across this guy”, Vani said pointing to Chaitanya, “and asked him his name. He replied, ‘Chaitanya. Though it doesn’t matter. You won’t remember it.’ All I could say at the time was, ‘Ohhhkay… We’ll see about that.’

And  I believe it’s safe to say that I do remember your name, Mr.You-won’t-remember-my-name?”

“Don’t tell me that’s true bro.”, Neil managed to say it in between fits of laughter.

“I’m afraid it is true.” Chaitanya was trying incredibly hard to hide an embarrassed smile.

“Woah! That was one hell of an awkward introduction. No wonder you guys kept it a secret.” Even Kisha couldn’t keep herself from commenting on this introduction.

“Kisha and Neil you should thank me. If I never brought this up, you would’ve never known this introduction that is making us laugh till we’re crying.”

“Really dude. A big thanks.’ Neil said, giving a fist bump to Kavya.

Kisha made an observation while putting her books back in her bag. “Huh. See? No matter how much of a bumpy start you get, you can end up being pretty good friends. The beginning need not dictate how things go after that. Clearly a rocky beginning does not equal to no ending. Though, it would have been nice if you said something smarter Chaitanya. Or maybe stuck to just saying your name. Either way you guys are friends. And if anything, we have something so hilarious, yet so awesome to talk about. I am kinda happy that you guys did have that hella awkward intro because now we’re all together. Anyways, gotta go. See you guys later.”

Just like that recess was over and everyone rushed back to their classes.


Maybe Kisha was right. You need not have a perfect introduction, or start anything perfectly for that matter. Things always have a way of working themselves out. And by no means does a rough or even an awkward start mean you’ll be distant or awkward forever. Someday you’ll be laughing over your ice breakers, promise.

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