First P, then M. Then B and R. at once. Then C, then S. Then another S, then M, and now another S.
P was my very first roomie, and one of those rare roomies with whom I hit it off so well. Ended up being my friend, confidante and guide and free rides from wherever to wherever friend. M and the other M were my endless chai sessions that led to endless pot-luck dinners that led to endless arguments and boss-bitching sessions-friends. B was my partner in crime, everytime either of us were lazy to cook, we'd go out and spend money on good (bad) food. With two lazy people in the equation, you can figure out how often that happened. Well, we didn't just partake in criminal activities, tho. We we went together to the gym and on regular morning walks....unless either of us were feeling lazy and ...you know how that goes..C- My late-night-outs in the lab friend, my personal shrink, and one that kept me laughing in splits, either at my own problems or at others. R- my drinking buddy, my "come-home i'll cook something" friend, and my "if you don't finish that assignment today i'll kill you friend". If not for her, I'd have never made it through bloody biochemistry. S #1 - another drinking, lets get-together and bitch about our bosses buddy. S #2 - the one who saw me through some of my best times and some of my worst- the one that i could count on to lift me up when I was down, to drag me away from the lab and get a life, one that knew when to say "hmm" and bitch along with me, one that ALWAYS made me feel good about myself. And S #3..my comisserator in writing and procrastinating, the only person here who talked to me in my mother-tongue and thus helped maintain a respectable fluency in the language inspite of being away from home for 5 years.
My closest friends, drinking-buddies, bitching-buddies- by a cruel twist of fate happened to be senior to me- and have all left town over a span of the last six months. I've had some great times with them, and great memories. Going to each of their thesis defenses, planning each of their send-off parties, has been a bitter-sweet experience, being proud and happy for them, while realising how sorely i'd miss them when they were gone.
P left last December, and S #3 left today. And as I sadly realise that my suddenly shrinking close friends' circle cannot shrink any more, something tells me that it's a sign. A sign for me to remind myself of the lessons learnt during their finishing experiences, take a leaf from each of their books, and prepare for my own exit. And that, is a happy thought!