Section - I

     Vetri was once a successful business man in Coimbatore. Vetri Constructions, was once a leading construction company. His company constructed many shopping complexes, houses and a few apartments in and around Coimbatore. Everything went well, until his father died. After his father’s death his brothers demanded to split the wealth as they wanted to start their business separately.
     From then on Vetri found it difficult to establish his business. He took loans to run his company, but he could not pay the loan. So, he sold all his properties and paid the loans. Vetri's family now lived in a very small home.
     Vetri found a job, and started to lead a normal life. But he always long to start a new construction company. But, he did not know how get money to start a company. No one was ready to lend him money. One day, as he discussed with his wife. His wife said, "Why don’t you ask your friend Asif? You often said that you were good friends." Vetri replied, "Yes, but he is in Chennai. He is very busy with his business, I don’t think it would be easy to meet him." Wife asked "Why don’t you give it a try?" Vetri said," I haven’t seen him for a long time. What will he think of me. If I ask him to help now." Wife said, "Then, forget the idea to start a new business." Vetri after deep thought decided to meet his friend. He told his wife about his decision and took the next available train to Chennai.
Section - II
     On the day of his travel, Vetri boarded the train, his memory went back to his schooldays. They lived in the beautiful village Keelakudi, near Coimbatore. The village had a middle school in the outskirts. It is in this school where Vetri had met Asif. The students and teachers of the school would never forget Vetri and Asif and their friendship. They were always together in learning and playing.
     Their friendship started on the first day of school. When Vetri's parents dropped him at the school, he started crying. Asif consoled him with a chocolate and said, "Don’t cry. We will play after the bell." after that day, stayed together, played together and even exchanged their food. Their friendship grew stronger with time. They were always good in studies and helping each other in lessons. They also helped others with their lessons.
     One day there was a quarrel between Vetri and Asif’s families, and both families stopped talking to each other. To everyone's surprise they continued to be good friends. There was always a healthy competition between them. Surprisingly the exam, the results and the marks never affected their friendship. Their friendship continued till tenth standard. Then Vetri moved to Coimbatore and Asif to Chennai. Asif started his business in Chennai and settled there. Vetri always wanted to meet his friend but never had the chance to visit Chennai.
Section - III
     Vetri went straight to Asif’s office. As he reached the gate, the security stopped him, "Who do you want to meet sir?" Vetri nervously said "I want to meet Asif, I am his friend." The security was astounded "Mr. Asif is our MD. Are you sure you want to meet him?" Vetri hesitatingly said, "Yes, I am his friend, from his native place." The Security said "Check with the people in the reception, sir. I don’t know if you will get an appointment."
     Vetri walked to the reception. Receptionist asked him, "How can I help you?". Vetri said, "Can I meet your MD? Please tell him, Vetri from Keelakudi has come to meet him." Suddenly, the receptionist rose from her chair. The door behind Vetri opened, Vetri got a pat on his back. "Finally, you found me. I saw you through the CCTV camera.", said Asif. Vetri was dumbfounded. Vetri gathered, "No, Asif, I never got the chance to visit Chennai. Now, I have came to attend my friend’s wedding. So, I thought I will come to meet you." They spoke about their school days and the fun they had. Then they discussed about their business. Asif took Vetri to his home for lunch. Vetri was surprised to see that everyone knows him. Asif’s wife said,"We all know you, but this is the first time we are meeting you in person." He stayed till the evening and Asif dropped him in the railway station.
     Vetri reached home and told his wife everything in detail. She knew her husband so she didn’t ask anything else. Two days later, Vetri received a call "Am I speaking to Vetri?" Vetri said, "Yes." The voice said, "Our MD Mr. Asif, has assigned a project to you. He wants to meet you. Will you be able to come to Chennai?" Vetri couldn’t believe it.
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-1 English Standard-8. Friendship(pp. 104-118). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.