There are a few hugs you never forget. And the people who gave those hugs. One such hug was given to me by my friend Minal, when I was in college, about 8 years ago. I was studying for my Bachelors degree in a town called Pune in India. It was my first year of college. My family was back in Bahrain. I was living alone, away from family, in a new city, surrounded by new people, for the first time. I missed home all the time and it was one of those days when I was more homesick than usual. So the next day when I went to college I was super weepy. And I had just become a part of a group of friends. Minal was one of the girls in that group. She saw my close-to-tears expression and asked me what’s wrong. I ushered her into the girls bathroom and told her I was missing home and started crying. What Minal did next surprised me. She simply enveloped me in a tight hug. Now Minal is 5 feet tall and I’m 5.6″. So she’s almost a head shorter than me. All she did was cling onto me tightly like a koala bear and didn’t let me go until I was done crying. Her gesture was so unexpected, and so mature for a teenager.
During and after the three years of college, in which time I made many more friends and Minal and I lost touch, her hug was imprinted in my mind and her gesture made her unforgettable. We finally reconnected through facebook recently and I asked her if I could use her name for this story (and I asked her what her height is.. haha) and I was so glad she said yes and I could share this story with you.
The lesson I learnt from this? When someone’s crying, hug them. Hug them tight and don’t say a word.