Best Friend Forever (BFF)

Vikram Karve
14 min readMay 8, 2024





This story happened 47 years ago in the 1970’s — during my Mumbai Navy Days.


Best Friend Forever — BFF

Story By Vikram Karve


Mumbai — circa 1977


“Can you please come over…? I want to talk to you…” she said, on the phone.

“Okay — I will come in the evening — around 6:30…” I said.

“No. I want you to come over right now…” she said.

“Right now…?” I asked her.

“Yes. I want to talk to you right now …” she said.

“Can’t it wait till evening…?” I said.

“Why…? What are you doing…?” she asked me.

“Well — today is Derby Day — and — I was on my way to the racecourse…” I said to her.

“Is it that important…?” she asked me.

“You know how much I love going to the races. Last year — I missed the Derby as my ship was sailing. Next year — I don’t know whether I will be in Mumbai. And — this is one “classic” race that I don’t want to miss…” I said to her.

“Okay. I will come with you to the racecourse. I am feeling terrible — I don’t want to be all alone. Please come — you are my only friend with whom I can talk when I feel terrible…” she said.

“Terrible…? You are feeling terrible…? Are you not feeling well…? Why are you talking like this…? What happened…?” I asked her — feeling a bit anxious.

“He dumped me…” she said.

“What…?” I said.

“We broke up — my “Boyfriend” and “Me” — he dumped me…” she said.

“Your “Boyfriend” dumped you…? Did he dump you — or — did you dump him…?” I asked her.

“Please — it’s over — and — I don’t want to talk about it — you just come here fast…” she said — in a beseeching voice

“Okay — I will be there at your hostel gate in half an hour — at 11:30 AM — then we will take a local train from Charni Road to Mahalaxmi — the first race starts at 12:30…” I said to her.

“Come fast. I will be waiting at the hostel gate for you…” she said to me.


I put the phone down.

The Officer of the Day (OOD) was making pretence of looking elsewhere — but — I was sure that the OOD was intently listening to my phone conversation — and — so were the ship’s gangway staff — the Duty Petty Officer and the Quartermaster.

“All set for the Derby…?” the OOD asked me.

“Yes…” I said.

The OOD took out a hundred rupee note from his pocket — then — he took out a one more 100 rupee note — a total of 200 rupees — and — he gave the money to me.

“Please put some bets for me — 100 in the bookie ring for the Derby — on the same horse you are betting on — and — the rest in the tote — jackpot, tanala, treble — whatever combinations you are betting on…” the OOD said to me.

“I didn’t know you were a “punter”…” I said to the OOD.

“No. No. I am not a regular “punter” like you — I have just been to the race course once in a while…” he said — with a smile.


I looked at the gangway clock — it was almost 1100 (11 AM) — time for me to leave — so — I went back to my cabin — collected my things — the Cole Race-Book where I had done all my calculations — my wallet — my binoculars — my hat — everything — and — soon — I had crossed the gangway onto the jetty — and — I was on my way to Churchgate to catch the suburban local train to Mahalaxmi — of course — I would have to briefly stop over at Charni Road to pick her up from her hostel.


Well — Dear Reader — in the interim — let me tell you a bit about “her” — the girl who had frantically called me on the shore telephone.

“SHE” was my Professor’s daughter.

Six months ago — my Professor had written to me that his daughter had got a job in Mumbai and he was coming to drop her — and — he wanted me to help settle her down in the city.

Yes — my Professor had “written” a letter to me — this story happened 45 years ago in the 1970’s — when the common mode of communication was sending letters by post (“snail mail”) — and — in case of urgent communications — telegrams and trunk-calls were used.

I helped the girl settle down — and — my Professor has appointed me as her “local guardian” — though the girl was almost my age — she was in her early 20’s — just a few years younger than me.

Whenever my ship was in harbour — on Sunday — I would go across to her working women’s hostel on Marine Drive near Chowpatty outside Charni Road Station.

If there was something urgent — she would call me on my ship’s shore telephone — and — I would go across to Churchgate where her Ad Agency Office was located.

Around 3 months ago — she had mentioned to me that she was “seeing” someone.

She had confided to me.

“I am telling you this because you are my “local guardian” — but — please keep it to yourself. I don’t want my parents to know at this stage — I will tell them myself if things get serious…” she had said to me.


That is all she told me — she never told me who her “boyfriend” was — and — neither did she ever introduce her “boyfriend” to me.

Maybe — he was someone in her office.

I was curious.

But — since she was reticent — I did not ask her any questions.

However — our “Sunday Routine” continued whenever my ship was in harbour.

I would go to her working women’s hostel every Sunday — in the evening — at around 5 PM.

Then — I would walk with her on Marine Drive — sometimes to Chowpatty — sometimes towards Churchgate — and — maybe — we would see a movie — the evening show — and — have dinner together in a restaurant.


One evening — I asked her about her “Boyfriend”.

“Now that you have a “Boyfriend” — how come you are free on Sundays…?” I said to her.

“My Sundays are reserved for “Best Friend” — that is “You”…” she said.

“Me…? “Best Friend”…?” I said — curious.

“Well — he may be my “Boyfriend’ — but — you are my “Best Friend”…” she said to me.

“It’s okay with me if you spend your Sundays with your “Boyfriend” — I won’t mind at all…” I said to her.

“Well — he goes to Pune every weekend…” she said to me.

“Pune…?” I asked her.

“Yes — he is from Pune — so he goes home every weekend to spend time with his parents and family…” she said.

“Oh — so that is the reason you are free on Sundays…” I said.

She smiled at me.


Things continued as usual — and then — this phone call from her on Derby Day — telling me that her “Boyfriend” had dumped her — and — urgently summoning me to her hostel — as — she needed to talk to me and unburden herself of her woes.


Instead of walking down to Churchgate — as I had planned — I took a taxi to Churchgate Station — caught a local train — disembarked at Charni Road — and — precisely at 11 AM — I reached the gate of her working women’s hostel on Marine Drive.

She was waiting for me.

I had already bought a train ticket for her — so — we boarded the Western Railway local train at Charni Road — and — soon we were enjoying the races at RWITC Race Course at Mahalaxmi.


The Derby Race was exhilarating — a thriller.

And — overall — I had a good day at the races.

She too won a bit of money on the tote.


Since I had won a lot of money — I indulged in the luxury of calling a taxi — and — I took her all the way to the US Club at Land’s End in Colaba — where we enjoyed a lovely evening by the sea-side — sitting in the cool sea-breeze and watching the lights of ships as they sailed out to sea.


When I dropped her back at her hostel — she hugged me warmly.

“Thank you so much. I was feeling so depressed — and — you made me forget everything — I really enjoyed the day — thank you once again for the good time…” she said to me.

“Me too — I really enjoyed your company — it was one of the best days of my life…” I said to her.


From then on — we met every evening — I would pick her up from her office in Churchgate — and — we would have a good time together.

The next few days passed in a haze of delight — it was the first time that I experienced the wonderful joy the right girl can bring in a man’s life.


It was the happiest time of my life.

This happy time lasted for a week — it was time for my ship to sail out — and — as we bid each other goodbye — I realized that I had fallen in love with her — because it was the first time that I felt “heartache” at being separated from her.


I missed her terribly — while our ship sailed on the high seas for many days.

It was nearly after a month that our ship returned to Mumbai.

We came alongside on Sunday afternoon.

I was so desperate to meet her that I did not wait for liberty to be announced — but — I told the Officer of the Day (OOD) — that I was going ashore for some important work — and — I stepped out of the ship in uniform.

I caught a taxi to her hostel.

At 4 PM — I was standing at the reception of the working women’s hostel on Marine Drive.

But — to my disappointment — I did not find her in her hostel.

I asked the lady at the hostel reception counter.

“Well — her room key is here — she must have gone out…” the lady at the hostel reception counter said.

“Do you have any idea when she will be back…” I asked.

“Well — today is Sunday…” the lady at the reception counter said.

“Can I wait in the visitors’ room…?” I asked her.

“Sure — you can sit in the visitors’ room — but — as I said — today is Sunday — and — the hostel gate closes after midnight…” the lady said.

“Thank you. But — I will wait for her…” I said.


I sat in the visitors’ room of the working women’s hostel.

Time passed slowly — as I anxiously waited for her — wondering where she had gone.


(Remember — this happened 45 years ago — in the 1970’s — when there were no mobile phones — and there was no way I could contact her.

So I had no option — but to wait patiently for her)


I waited for her patiently in the visitors’ room of the working women’s hostel.

I saw that many girls were staring at me — since I was looking conspicuous in my white navy uniform — and I started feeling a sense of irritation and embarrassment.

But — such was my desperation to meet her — that — I waited — it was an excruciating wait.

Believe it or not — I waited for 6 hours.

Twice — the receptionists asked me if I wanted to leave a message for the girl.

But — I told them that it was very important for me to meet her.

They seemed quite respectful towards me — maybe because I was in white navy uniform.

Otherwise — maybe — they would not have allowed a man to sit in the visitors’ room of a women’s hostel for so long.

Yes — I waited 6 long hours — from 4 PM in the evening till 10 PM at night.

She arrived at 10 PM.

“Hey — what are doing here…?” she asked me.

“Where were you…?” I asked her angrily.

“I had gone out…” she said.

“The whole day…?” I asked her.

“I left in the afternoon — we saw a movie at Eros — then — in the evening — we loafed around Churchgate — had dinner — and then we walked down Marine Drive…” she said.

“WE…? What do mean “WE”…? With whom had you gone out…?” I asked her, curious.

“With my “Boyfriend”…” she said.

“Which “Boyfriend”…?” I asked her.

“The same “Boyfriend”…” she said.

“What…? The same “Boyfriend”…? The one who dumped you…? I thought you had broken up with him…” I said to her.

“We made up…” she said.

“Oh… That’s good. Where is he…?” I asked her.

“He dropped me outside at the hostel gate — by now he must have gone to station to catch the train to Bandra…” she said.

“Oh — so he lives in Bandra…?” I said,

“Yes — he wants to meet you…” she said to me.

“Your “Boyfriend” wants to meet me…?” I asked her, a bit intrigued.

“Yes — I also want you to meet him. If I had known that you were sitting here in the visitors’ room — I would have called him inside to meet you…” she said.

“But why…? Why do you want me to meet him…?” I asked her.

“You are my “local guardian” — aren’t you…? I will need your help…” she said.

“My help…?” I asked her, feeling a bit confused.

“Well — we plan to take our relationship to the next level…” she said.

“Next level…? Are you thinking of marrying this guy…?” I asked her.

“Yes. I am going to marry him. And — you will have to convince my father…” she said to me.

“Me…? You want me to convince your father to let you marry that guy…?” I said.

“Yes. I know you will help me out. After all — you are my BFF…” she said.

“BFF…? What is that…?” I asked her.

“BFF” is “Best Friend Forever” — I know you will always be my best friend forever…” she said to me with a loving smile.


In my mind — I thought to myself — that — I would rather be her “Boyfriend” than her “BFF”.

But — there was no point indulging in “wishful thinking”.

It was best to revert to my role as “Local Guardian”.


So — I did the needful and spoke to her father.

And — thanks to me in being able to convince her father — her “Boyfriend” became her fiancé.


My role as an “Interim Boyfriend” was over.

Or — was it…?

Dear Reader — you will laugh — you will not believe it — but — 3 months later — she again broke up with her fiancé.

So — I was back in action — as her “Interim Boyfriend”.


Did I say “interim”…?

Yes — I did.

After her break-up with her fiancé — I was her “boyfriend” for a few delightful days.

But soon — she made up with her fiancé.

Yes — sadly for me — she patched up with her fiancé.

And — once again — I reverted back to being her “local guardian” — or “BFF” — as she liked to call me.


Does the story end here…?

I wish it did.

But — there is more.

I know you want a happy ending.

So — let me tell you what happened.

No — No — it did not happen as you are imagining.

She did not “dump” her fiancé to marry me.

She married her fiancé.


Then — a few months later — one evening — she called me.

I recognized her voice at once.

“Can you please come over…? I want to talk to you…” she said on the phone.

“Why…? What happened…?” I said.

We — my husband and me — we had a big fight — and — he has left the house and gone away…” she said.

“Don’t worry — he will come back…” I said to her.

“No. No — he said that he was going away permanently — and — he told me that he was seriously considering divorce…” she said — I could sense a tinge of alarm in her voice.

“But — what do you want me to do…?” I asked her.

“I am feeling terrible. I want you to talk to you. Please come over right now…” she said to me.

“How can I come over right now…? It is not possible for me to come over right now…” I said.

“Why can’t you come now…? You’ve got a bike — haven’t you …? Or — take a taxi…” she pleaded with me.

“It’s not that…” I said.

“Then what is it…?” she said.

“I am married now…” I said.

“So what…?” she said.

“Please try to understand. I am married now. My wife is here with me…” I said.

“You come — that’s all…” she said — in a beseeching voice.

“I can’t come — please call someone else…” I said.

“Who can I call…? You are my only friend…” she said to me.

“No. I cannot come now…” I said angrily.

And — I slammed the phone down.


I saw my newly-wedded wife looking at me.

From the telephonic conversation — she must have guessed who had called me.

“Was it “HER”…?” my wife asked me.

“Yes…” I answered.

“What’s the matter…?” my wife asked me.

“She and her husband had a fight — and — her husband has walked off in a huff…” I said.

“And…?” my wife asked me.

“She seems quite upset — she wants me to come to her house right now…” I said.

“So — why don’t you go…?” my said to me.

“What…? I am married to you now. Why should I go to her…?” I said to my wife.

“You may be married to me — but then — you are still her best friend — aren’t you…?” my wife said.

“What are you trying to say…?” I asked my wife — a bit baffled.

“She needs you — so — you go — and — you perform your duty as “Interim Boyfriend”…” my wife said to me.

“Are you crazy…?” I said to my wife.

“She needs you very much — you go to her — go right now…” my wife said.

“Okay — but you come with me…” I said to my wife.

My wife took my hand in hers — she looked at me lovingly — and spoke.

“No — you go alone to meet her — she will be able to talk to you freely — and — you don’t worry — I have full faith in you — I know that you will always come back to me…” my wife said to me.


And so — once again — I became her “Interim Boyfriend”.

But — she remained my “Permanent Girlfriend”.

After all — I was her “BFF” — her “Best Friend Forever”.



Copyright © Vikram Karve
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  1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
  3. E&OE

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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

Repost of my story INTERIM BOYFRIEND posted online by me on June 8, 2016 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: and and and and and and and and and and and etc

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Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, alumnus IIT Delhi, Lawrence School Lovedale, Vikram Karve is a retired Navy Officer turned full time Writer and Blogger