Saturday, August 28, 2010


My name is Achee Beeja, and I am a ying twing. When I watch the part in Lion King where Simba and Nala look into the elephant graveyard and say "whooaa" I think of chicken corn soup. I shout embarrassing things loudly on airplanes flying out of Lahore and whenever I clean my room, I refer to how Julie Andrews did it in Mary Poppins.

If none of that made sense to you, that's okay. It shouldn't. There are very few people in the world who it should make sense to, and this essay is dedicated to them. More specifically, it is dedicated to people who will not stare at me like I am crazy when I play Monopoly and shout things like "Sit with monk and be a donk!" It is dedicated to people who make terribly ironic music playlists called "lymph". It is dedicated to almost 23 years of inside jokes, reliability and thinking it is absolutely normal to use The Sound of Music as a general guide on how to live life.

Sometimes, all of us need someone to write poems to that contain lines like "agar panties made of jean hain, unn pe discount thirteen hai". Because you see, that brilliant verse holds the secret to my entire childhood. Literally. It's the translation of our well-guarded password to being admitted to our very exclusive club. I'm only sharing it now because that exclusive club will remain that way forever. We finally realised that we never needed a password. A couple of decades of sharing blankets and toothpaste and crayons can easily suffice instead.

I wonder sometimes about girls who say they don't have close female friends. I guess I'm lucky enough to not be able to understand that. I have many groups of amazing female friends, and my membership in all of them relies solely on my experience with my first companions, the ones that taught me I can experiment with being pretty much anyone and always have a home to come back to. A home where I can pick up the phone and ask someone which of my sweaters is the googliest and if we can play a board game that says "the angel, is lington" and get a straight answer.

Friends and schools and jobs come and go. They float up and they float away, and they take away whatever you put of yourself in them. That's when you need to call people who will remind you that the fat man who floats up to the ceiling while singing "I Love to Laugh" didn't achieve that by being sulky. That's when you realise that one day, you will write at least an essay, if not a book, about how much you love them.