Several years ago, four close friends studied together in the same school until they reached the board exams. In the city where they lived, there was only one good hotel. After completing their board exams, the four friends decided that they should make it memorable by having tea and breakfast together in that hotel. They pooled together a difficult sum of forty rupees and on a Sunday morning, at half-past ten, they arrived at the hotel on their bicycles.

Dinesh, Santosh, Manish, and Praveen started conversing while enjoying their tea and breakfast. After some time, they unanimously decided that after exactly fifty years, on April 1st, they would meet again in the same hotel. Until then, they should all work hard and see how much progress each one of them would make in life. The friend who arrives last on that day will have to pay the hotel bill.

The waiter, Kallu, heard all of this and said, “If I’m still here, I will also wait for all of you in this hotel.”

They all went their separate ways for further education. Dinesh left the city due to his father’s transfer, Santosh went to live with his uncle for higher studies, and Manish and Praveen got admitted to different colleges in the city. After a few years, Manish also left the city. Days, months, and years went by.

In the span of those years, the city went through a lot of changes, with the population increasing and the city’s landscape transforming with new roads, flyovers, and tall buildings. The hotel had now become a five-star establishment, and the waiter, Kallu, had become Mr. Kallu Seth, the owner of the hotel.

Fifty years later, on the designated date of April 1st, a luxurious car arrived at the gate of the hotel in the afternoon. Dinesh stepped out of the car and started walking towards the lobby. Dinesh now owned three jewelry showrooms.

Dinesh reached Mr. Kallu Seth, the owner of the hotel, who informed him that Praveen Sir had already made a table reservation for him a month ago. Dinesh thought to himself that he was the first among the four friends to arrive, so he wouldn’t have to pay today’s bill.

An hour later, Santosh arrived. Santosh had become a prominent builder in the city. While they were conversing, they realized that Manish had become a successful businessman. They were eagerly awaiting their other friend, Praveen.

As the hours passed, they kept looking towards the door, wondering when Praveen would arrive. Mr. Kallu Seth then informed them that he had received a message from Praveen Sir. He said they could start enjoying their tea and food while they waited because Praveen Sir had already made the online payment for the bill.

At eight in the evening, a young man got out of a car and headed towards the three friends who were preparing to leave. They looked at the young man, and he said, “I am Ravi, the son of Praveen Sir. My father told me about your reunion, but unfortunately, he passed away due to a serious illness last month. He instructed me to come late so that you wouldn’t get to know about his demise immediately. He believed that it would sadden all of you, and you would lose the joy of meeting each other after such a long time. He also asked me to touch your feet and give you all a hug on his behalf.” Saying this, Ravi touched their feet and hugged them.

The three friends were filled with mixed emotions. They laughed and joked for hours, but Praveen’s absence left a void in their hearts. They reminisced about their school days, the adventures they had shared, and the dreams they had once nurtured together.

Dinesh, Santosh, and Ravi decided to stay at the hotel for the night to honor their friend Praveen’s memory. Mr. Kallu Seth, touched by their reunion and Praveen’s gesture of pre-paying the bill, personally attended to their needs throughout the evening.

As they sat together in the hotel’s elegant dining area, the conversation took a nostalgic turn. They talked about their families, the challenges they faced in life, and the lessons they had learned along the way. Each of them had pursued different paths, yet their bond remained unbreakable.

Dinesh shared stories of building his jewelry empire, which had grown beyond his expectations. He spoke about the hurdles he had overcome, the risks he had taken, and the satisfaction he felt from his accomplishments. Santosh, on the other hand, described the challenges and rewards of being a prominent builder in the city. He had constructed numerous buildings, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s skyline.

Ravi, Praveen’s son, listened intently to their stories, cherishing the opportunity to know his father’s childhood friends. He shared his own journey, following his father’s footsteps as an entrepreneur in a different industry. Ravi had established a successful tech startup, fueled by his father’s teachings and entrepreneurial spirit.

The night wore on, filled with laughter, tears, and a sense of gratitude for the bond they had maintained despite the passage of time. They raised a toast to their friend Praveen, who had always been the glue that held them together.

The next morning, as the sun rose over the city, Dinesh, Santosh, and Ravi bid farewell to the hotel and each other. They promised to keep in touch, vowing not to let another fifty years pass before meeting again. They understood the value of friendship, the importance of staying connected, and the fragility of life.

They went their separate ways, carrying with them the memories of their reunion and the legacy of their friendship. The hotel, now under the ownership of Mr. Kallu Seth, continued to serve as a symbol of their enduring bond, reminding future generations of the power of friendship and the preciousness of shared moments.

And so, the story of the four friends, their reunion, and the hotel that witnessed their journey remained etched in the hearts of those who heard it—a testament to the unbreakable bonds forged in youth and the profound impact of friendship that transcends time and distance.

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