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First impression is the best impression. I however, cannot abide by this. Simply, because all of my best friends were made after initial meetings that were far from good.

M: I had just begun my new school and was eager to make my mark. And then came the unknown name, M, in the other section. She was the class topper of the last year, the year before that; since the beginning of time it seemed. Teacher’s pet, beauty and brains, Ms.Paragon-of-Virtues, and a faceless creature. For a whole year, I had not seen even a whisker of that elusive Know-it-All. Sometimes, I even wondered if she were a figment of all my classmates’ imagination or was it mass hysteria? Fate conspired against me for a whole year and I did not see the girl in the other class who had become my arch-enemy. Sure, I was making myself known as a splendid student and talented young thing, but I desperately wanted to meet her. School began again the next year and I realized I’d be in the same class as her. Yippee! I thought, “Now we’ll see who is the better girl.” I entered class and there I saw in the midst of an adoring audience- a pretty, fair thing. She WAS lovely. Muted though was our uniform, she still managed to look beautiful in an ethereal sort of way. And her first words were, Welcome.

And in that instant, I knew that indeed, she was the better girl. Since that moment, we have remained the best of friends. And yes, from that day, I decided that I’d never allow myself to prejudiced by hearsay.

V: A bespectacled, curly-haired annoyance was my first impression of V. What else do you think of  a stranger who keeps talking a good ten minutes as though you were best of buddies. Enter my twin sister. And a gasp from my unknown fellow conversationalist. It was the second year of college and I had thought that the whole world and its little brother was aware of my being one of twins. Not so for my soon-to-become bosom buddy. Yes, she had bumped into my sis in the previous lecture and discovered that the two were soul-sisters. And my existence was unfortunately the only topic under the sun that they had failed to discuss. But after the mix-up and my annoyance were dispensed with, we became and still are BFFs.

N: Had anyone asked me seven years ago for possible locations to find your best friend, I would never have uttered the word Powder rooms. But now I will. Yes, N and I kept bumping into each other in the girls room. After several instances and awkward conversations, we decided to meet at our college cafeteria. A samosa each and a shared plate of Hakka Noodles later, we knew we were destined to be lifelong pals.

MD: Do opposites attract? Yes. I was the chatterbox, flashy, dressed in bold colours girl from Mumbai. She was the soft-spoken, soberly dressed, quiet intellectual from Chennai. She was not a Tamilian but spoke the language. I am one but my Tamil can barely pass muster. Most people including us thought that we were a bad idea as far as training partners go. A week of professional behaviour and tentative smiles had almost set the seal. Until we searched for a companion for our beloved four o’clock cuppa. Pleasant discoveries, shared confidences, soul baring and the beginning of a marvellous friendship. Yes, a lot CAN happen over coffee. Try it sometime.

K: Our friendship is the shining example to the worst launchpad for a friendship ever. He thought I was too intrusive, overly attention seeking and opinionated. I tagged him too reclusive, rude and khadoos. But six in the morning is perhaps not the best of times to forge friendships or form opinions. Not for overtired and hard-working software trainees. For a few days, we harboured the same unkind assessment of each other. But debugging can bring the worst of enemies together when you speak software. We progressed to coding together, moved to coffee, that delicious elixir for engineers, graduated to hurried lunches [Meals are merely tasks for interns and not a bodily necessity and hence, must be accomplished with the same haste and lack of concern]. We have become good friends now and and can only laugh over that first sorry meeting.

And that is why First Impressions are definitely not the Best Impressions.

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