It is difficult to maintain friendships. There is so much to do and so little time to pack in everything. Work, kids, family ... No one seems to have time for friends anymore.

Friends you have made at school and college are a distant memory. Everyone has gone their separate ways. Some have moved to a different country or city and others are married. So, you lose touch ...

But not everyone. Shelly Jain and Nazima Munshi have been friends for over two decades. Here they tell us how.

Shelly Jain: "My friendship with Nazima began in 1983. We were ten years old. I still remember seeing Nazima for the first time, standing near the principal's office for her school interview.

"We became friends from the very first day. The teacher had sat her beside me in class and we immediately started talking. We were then both living in New Bombay.

"Six years later, my father got transferred and I was moved to another city, Surat. We promised to remain friends and write to each other.

Long letters

"Daily we would write 15-page letters to each other. We used to write everything in these letters. In a year or two, Nazima's father was moved to Baroda which was around three hours away and I moved to Bhopal were I stayed in a hostel. Now we were really apart.

"But luckily the train back and forth from Bhopal to Surat had to stop at Baroda, where Nazima was. So every few months when I had to go home or back to the hostel. I'd stop at Baroda and spend a few days with Nazima.

Lot of fun

"These three or four days were the best in our lives. We used to go to cinemas, restaurants and do plenty of shopping. We had a lot of fun with each other.

"Till this day, we celebrate our birthdays with each other because they fall on consecutive days, March 26 and 27.

"In 1998, I came to Sharjah and a year latter Nazima followed because she married a man who was living here too. Now we are together again in the same city.

Share everything

"We talk about everything with each other from politics to work to marriage.

"It took our husbands time to understand our relationship but now they have come to accept and understand it.

"Both our husbands are now friends and give me and Nazima the space we need. We all spend weekends and holidays together. Luckily our husbands are understanding.

"For example they know that Nazima and I have to talk to each other every day from nine to ten in the morning. They know that this is a time for us and not to disturb us.


"I think Nazima and I have remained friends because we support and respect one another. Even when I am wrong, Nazima would support me. She would later point out that I wrong but she would always be supportive.

"We may be weak individuals but we give each other strength. Like, I am very afraid of driving and very bad at it but when Nazima told me that she was thinking of applying for her driving licence, I encouraged her and gave her strength to go for it.
Nazima does the same for me.


"When I was pregnant, my husband wasn't around much because he had to travel but Nazima was there for me all the time. She was with me every step of the way and I knew that I would find her anytime of the day. Whatever time it is, if I needed her, she would come rushing."

Nazima Munshi: "Whenever I am down, I am able to talk to Shelly and immediately feel better. My only regret in life is that I couldn't attend her wedding.

"I can share everything with Shelly. There is always a positive energy around her and she always gives me courage and strength.

"I am naturally shy and inward, Shelly is the opposite and she encourages me to be more outgoing and confident.

"From the very first day I met her, I was scared about going to the principal's office and it was she who told me not worry and gave me the confidence I needed.

"I need Shelly always and I always thank God our husbands' understand that. I don't how my life would have been without her. I wouldn't be able to function, or to even think without her. She advises me, directs me and gives me strength. I need her in my life."