“We’re brothers”: a life-long friendship


Natalie Arbatman, Co-Editor-in-Chief

“It’s a friendship obviously but it’s more than that,” senior David Fomin said. “I mean, this is kind of cringey but these are my brothers.”

Seniors Fomin, Anav Mohan, Lucas Kaemmerer, Mukundan Srivatsa, and Nikash Gupta have been friends for 12 years. That’s 70 percent of their lives, three times longer than it takes to walk around the entire world. But somehow, they have yet to get tired of each other. 

Though it’s unclear exactly when these guys became BFFs, the general consensus was that it was around first grade, when they all attended Stevenson Elementary school together. 

With the exception of Kaemmerer’s leave of absence during third and fourth grade because he, according to Mohan, “got sick of us,” the crew has been together all the way through senior year, moving through the same elementary, middle, and high schools together. 

“We know all of each other’s little quirks,” Fomin said. “Like we all know Lucas’s mom yells at him all the time and we know Anav’s hair used to be horrible.” 

“Used to be?” Srivatsa said. 

The group has been with each other through thick and thin, acting as each other’s biggest fans. 

“I think it’s really nice that there are people who [I] don’t have to be conscientious about myself around,” Kaemmerer said.  “I’m very lucky to have that kind of experience.”

“We’re involved in each other’s lives enough that it becomes natural that we cultivate that support just because we understand each other so much,” Srivatsa said. “In whatever my endeavors are, I know that I can count on the support of our group.”

“We share core morals, we all know to do the right thing when it comes to it. I think that’s created a very safe environment,” Gupta said. “If we’re ever going through challenges our morals allow us to…really be there to support them in a way that’s actually helpful and that actually makes a difference in one of each other’s lives.”

Although the group is connected at the hip, they said they are all different as individuals, but that’s what makes their bond so special. 

“I think our personalities just differ quite a bit…and that might be what contributes to why we’re such close friends. If we were all duplicates of one another it might get a little boring,” Mohan said. 

In spite of their different attitudes, they all share one thing: brutal honesty. 


We’re pretty confrontational with one another, we don’t really hide anything,” Gupta said. “If I have a problem with Anav or Anav has a problem with me, we’ll just go at it and get it done right there and so there’s really no hard feelings, no grudges.”

There aren’t many “big” fights, Srivatsa said but “I can confirm that Anav instigates 99% of our fights.”

“It’s definitely Anav’s fault,” Gupta said. 

This confrontation is especially useful on the basketball court. Or soccer field, or swimming pool, or football field. The list goes on. Srivatsa said the group plays sports at lunch or on weekends as a way to “hangout.” 

Mohan said he “goes easy” on the rest of the group because “I think typically they all can’t compare to me no matter what sport we play.”

“But when we lose it’s less like we’re upset, it’s more just ‘let’s play again,’” Mohan said. 

They also road bike together, with day and overnight trips all around the Bay Area, up to Mount Diablo, Mount Tamalpais, and Monterey Bay. But even when they compete, on the field, on the road, or in fantasy football, they are fiercely supportive of each other. 

The group has gone as far as to show up at Kaemmerer’s house in the morning to make sure he ate breakfast before a bike ride. 

“I think these adventures… when you do something like that with other people is just exponentially better because we experience it together and it’s something we can remember later,” Fomin said. 

“When we put in the effort, we work together very well. We don’t blame each other for mistakes, we’re always there to help each other and to support each other,” Gupta said. 

We strike a good balance between competition and harmony,” Srivatsa said. “We still compete, we want to win, but that doesn’t jeopardize our working together and maintaining a kind attitude.”

But fret not, they spend time with each other off the field too. They watch movies together, have game nights, and participate avidly in fantasy football.  

“We try to find excuses to hangout by whatever means necessary,” Gupta said. “[Fantasy football] is something we maybe talk about too much.”

Their conversations jump from current events to sports, school, their personal lives and everything in between. 


“We’re all unafraid to share our opinions and perspectives with each other….Even if we disagree, we’re not afraid to get into a little bit of a friendly argument until we understand each other’s opinions,” Srivatsa said. 

We’re comfortable sharing our true, honest, raw opinions…because there’s not really any judgment,” Mohan said. “That’s why our conversations are so authentic.”

All of them will be starting at different schools in the fall, but Fomin said “it’s not a goodbye, just see you later.” 

“Let’s all go have fun and make new friends but let’s never forget our time together,” Srivatsa said. 

“It’s been a great ten years and thanks for all the memories…I’m very lucky,” Kaemmerer said. 

“Now don’t start crying,” Fomin said.


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David, what I’m going to miss most is just always sticking with me, no matter what I’m going through. For Anav, we used to be neighbors and for seven years of my life Anav was there with me. So, I’m gonna miss having someone to always play sports with every day. For Lucas, I’m going to miss biking home together. We always have thought-provoking conversations and it’s always nice to talk it out and understand each other. It’s very mentally calming. With Nikash, he’s so nonjudgmental and I share my feelings with him a lot and I think he’s always so accepting and he’s always looking on the bright side.

— Mukundan Srivatsa


I used to go to Muk’s house a lot and I really appreciate Muk’s family and how welcoming they are and how Muk’s home used to be kind of like a second home. Overall, David wants to see you succeed; he’ll help you out and tell you to focus and I really appreciate that about him. Nikash, we’ve been having more conversations and I appreciate the deeper conversations we have about more personal things. They are something I’ll remember for a long time. Lucas, we drag him into a lot of stuff and he never complains about it. He’s always there to try new things and I really appreciate that he’s always so open to hanging out.

— Anav Mohan


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I’m gonna miss Anav’s enthusiasm; regardless of the area we’re in he’s constantly enthusiastic. I’m gonna miss Lucas’s humor; we could be in a tight, tight situation but Lucas will still be making us laugh. I’m gonna miss Mukundan’s kindness; a lot of us are a little more combative but Mukundan’s always kind. I’m gonna miss the way David views situations; he views problems from a different angle and it’s interesting to talk to him.

— Nikash Gupta


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With Anav I’m going to miss the competitive fire, knowing that you can get as competitive as you need to be because it will only last 5 minutes. With Lucas, not even just in difficult situations, at any time, Lucas knows exactly what to say and sometimes exactly what not to say. Like, how many times a day do I just grab my head and am like ‘Lucas, not now.’ With Nikash, if I am doing something and I’m not sure from a moral standpoint that it’s the right thing to do, I feel like Nikash has pretty strong moral grounding. I feel like I always know Nikash will give me the right moral opinion and tell me if I’m going in the right direction or not. With Mukundan, he has the most good traits out of any of us, to be honest. Just the maturity and kindness and you know when you’re talking to Mukundan, he is going to make you feel good about yourself.

— David Fomin


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I appreciate how Anav is so energetic, I’ll miss that. I think I will miss David’s confidence. I’ll miss Mukundan’s kind demeanor and I’ll miss my talks with Nikash about Jason Mamoa and Leonardo Dicaprio.

— Lucas Kraemmer