Day 13/ 100. The ideal ‘good girl’. And the quintessential ‘bad’ girl. One with a disciplined dedication that made her top year after year after year. The other with diaphanous dreams that she chased with her heart.

As the years passed and the labels started to stick, the first girl found herself becoming suffocated in what seemed to be eternal ‘geek-dom’ – at least in the minds of the people around her. The other was bound in the world’s idea of a pretty face and was equally trapped. Others’ surprise at the first girl’s visible beauty was as offensive as their surprise at the second girl’s later academic success.

But, stereotypes are meant to be broken. Today, both women are proud of each other’s achievements – personal and otherwise. They are even more proud of an ‘unlikely’ friendship that has stood strong over 27 years now.

And yes, today, they both know they are gorgeous! Without surprise and without apologies.

The sarees we are wearing are as different as we are. Yet similar in all the important ways. Her blue Banarasi was newly-bought for a family occasion and was worn with gold family heirloom jewellery. My red silk telia is 20 years old and is the first saree I bought with my own money. The saree and the jewellery are both favourites and hold multiple memories as well. They will be worn again soon and will come with another story.

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