Something interesting happened today. My very close friend called me and we were talking random things. We both are well grown up to talk random things. But still the call went a little more than half an hour. We talked about our mutual acquaintances. People who were close enough to us to be called as friends. The conversation veered towards a certain someone who was a very important part of my childhood and adolescence. We were neighbors for 12 years and then inseparable for another five years. We both didn’t have any qualms into getting into each other’s kitchen and fill the plate with the food available. I have not talked to him for past nine years. I didn’t know how and why that gap fell between us but it did. My close friend had a conversation with this guy yesterday. I half expected to become restless and make that awkward phone call. But I didn’t. May be it is ego. Or may be I went plain uninterested in what was up with him. Its like a natural death. The friendship had run its course and neither of us wanted to revive and see if there was any life left in it. My best friend, who was on phone with me, didn’t want the call to end. Even I didn’t want to. We both knew that there is something we want to talk about but couldn’t bring ourselves up to. We are men. Strong, silent men who don’t talk about our medals or our wounds. Today is my sister’s birthday. Am I going to write a blog post? Should we send an email? Can we expect a reply? We didn’t know. And we didn’t talk about it.
It got me thinking when I became like that. I don’t beg for people to stay in my life anymore. Did it quite a few times and the humiliation is fresh under the dried scar. i dare not open it. After a life changing event two years before, I took a very important decision. To not to concentrate on what doesn’t make me happy. I can say that I am a full time writer today. I enjoy writing, even when I am terrible at the craft. When I am not writing I think about what to write. Relationships and the dynamics of it had been a repeated pattern in my work. I hadn’t noticed it till recently. I thought concentrating on what makes me happy will actually make me happy. But for some reason it lead to me to a different state of mind. I am indifferent. At any given point of time, I am not overly happy or unhappy about anything. And strangely enough, people started saying ‘You’re the happiest person I have seen lately’. I don’t know what to make of it.
Coming back to relationships, in my personal experience, it is easy to let go of some relationships. You know, like a rabid love. Loving someone so deeply that it actually feels like dying. The moment you see the face of the person, all the blood you think you had lost coming back into you. Just hearing the voice of the person, makes you happy for no reason. And even after letting go, sometimes I strain my mind to remember the voice of the person who chose to leave. The reason I say chose to leave is, only when they are leaving I felt that I could have tried more. But I didn’t. Because I had become numb to the pain of someone leaving me. It is like MS Dhoni said in one of the press conferences, ‘When you have a 1000 kgs in your shoulders, you are already numb. Adding one or two more kilos don’t make any difference.’
Sometimes these questions haunt me to no end. Most of the time I am alone. I love spending time with me. My mind is another monster altogether though. It keeps on asking question like a bored Viva examiner about the people who stayed, people who left and the people who could have become an integral part of my life. The question, it comes up with again and again is, “Did you do enough to make people stay?” I have no answer. I honestly don’t. But things would have been different if certain people had stayed in my life. I wouldn’t be typing a blog post to wish her happy birthday. I would have been in a call with her half an hour before just to wish her first. But that is not to be.
There is a running joke in our writers circle that I always have some story to tell and I always have a work in progress. They sometimes ask whether if I would ever run out of ideas. I don’t think I would run out of story ideas. But if ever a day comes, where I couldn’t find a character in my novel to name after my sister, Sinduja, that day I will stop writing. That day it means I have nothing to tell. That day it means I have finally moved on and let her go.
I don’t know if I am afraid of that day or looking forward to it.
Here is to many more happy returns of the day Sinduja. Have a good one.