Friends come and go. The same is true about umbrellas. You don't remember how they protected you from the rain but they did at one point of time. And that's the grim beauty of having somebody close to look over you; somebody to find shelter in when the going gets tough. Somebody to hold hands with. Maybe that explains the momentary emptiness you feel on losing an umbrella. Minutes after leaving it in the train/bus/auto/sky, it just strikes you that the umbrella is gone. Something similar happens with the loss of a friend too. Fortunately, one umbrella replaces another just like a friend replaces another. Life carries on. However, some stories remain etched in your head. Stories about how friend made you feel long ago or how an umbrella ended up teaching you a lesson in carefulness. A good ol' friend of mine named Aamir and i were 13-year-old once. We had gone to Trombay jetty to see this huge Japanese ship that was supposedly hauled there. It was a fine evening with fish in the air. Jetty always smelt like fish thanks to fishermen/women in the vicinity. It never bothered us though. Furthermore, we were too excited about the ship. Just two day ago, i had lost my umbrella and Aamir was too cool to bring his to jetty. As fate would have it, as soon as we reached the spot from where we could savour the view of that gigantic ship, it started pouring. Being myself, i started running towards the nearby wall. That's also when i heard Aamir say "Arre yaar, kapde hain....bheengenge aur phir shookh jaayenge!" while relishing the weather.