We are delighted to bring you the poem “Finding Friends among Strangers” by Shrubaboti Bose. This piece was an ode to a group of juniors at her university, who embraced her within their social circle and made her feel like one of their own at one point. We love how this poem celebrates the impact of friendship. Enjoy!
It was a strange evening,
For which I had no plans.
But suddenly I got an invitation,
And in the midst of a party,
I found myself the odd one.
A bit too old yet a little bit naive,
Not quite lost but dazed alright.
I had walked into a celebration,
With my head stuck in the air,
Into a gathering of laughter and wine.
Surrounded by people I barely knew,
Scared of going back to the empty room,
Only too willing was I to crash the night.
But as the giddy joy slowly left my soul,
Apprehension wrapped around my mind.
Invited I had been, but afraid I was still.
Doubt haunted me within and choked I felt.
Maybe they didn’t really want me here
Maybe they were just being polite.
And right when I was preparing to leave,
They started reading out their poems to me.
One of them made some space beside her,
With gestures she asked me to join them.
As each of their voices rang out loud and clear,
In the deep silence of the night I could hear,
Poetry heartfelt and emanating warmth.
I barely knew them and yet I felt I did,
An unusual connection their words had spun,
Somehow leaving me comfortably warm.
Their faces glowed softly in the fairy lights,
I felt accepted, though strangers, yet
Old friends we might as well have been.
Having ice cream way past midnight,
Eventually they fell asleep on either side.
Our limbs entangled and hair dishevelled,
Long after the celebration had finally faded out,
I lay awake wondering what a beautiful day it had been.
Shrubaboti Bose is a budding writer from India, currently doing her Masters in English Literature from Jadavpur University. She dabbles in various genres of creative writing such as poetry, short stories, prose pieces or memoirs. Also working as a film critic, her articles have often been featured on the Asian Movie Pulse and UK Film Review. See her other works at www.shrubaboti.wordpress.com.