Hi Friend on a Sunday,
Sorry for being such an ass, but since you know I am an ass, that makes it okay. I had been thinking of so many people, to whom I could write a letter. But I ended up at you.
Maybe because I needed to talk to you the most. You always complain that I never call you or contact you. That you are not sure if I even think about how you are doing sometimes. So first thing I would like to clarify with this letter is that, I do. I know what you have went through. I pray to God that nobody should go through similar agony and turmoil. I know what we burn with, is not how the world looks at us, but how we look at ourselves.
Anyway, bottom-line, my lack of contact is not due to me being wrapped up in my own world. The distance which you feel is not because I don’t care or am tired of caring, but because I want to care. It is a safety cushion for me. That tomorrow when things go south in my life, it could be contained. People say, friends can help each other through all thick and thin. That they are the people with whom you can be your most shameful self and they’ll accept you.
We both know that proportionality of the vulnerability is directly related to the amount anyone opens themselves up. And I trust you, but I don’t trust myself.
I don’t think if you realise, that the stakes have been highest with us. I cannot afford to gamble here, do a little bit of experimentation. Our friendship is 20 years old. And it is a constant one. We have seen every single phase possible of each other. That is the concrete basis of my belief, that you’ll survive anything that comes in your way. However, just remember that whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. But it does shatter your emotions. It starts from the zigzag broken edges, as with each hit, the crack travels a little more towards the center.
You know when there is an uproar in any of our lives, we have our own way of dealing with it. Trust me when I say, I am more at ease when you are in a good space and I am in shitty situation, as compared to the opposite. Because I can handle my shit in some way or the other, but I cannot do so on your behalf. Moreover, what if my shitty response gave you a shitty idea which shat over an existing shitty situation?
Too much shit all over.
Now that we are clear on where we are coming from, I’ll start the actual letter.
I was just thinking about some incidents that happened when we were kids. This was somewhere in 4th standard, when we evolved from pencils to pens. When bhaiya used to come to Johny’s house for taking drawing classes. So, my mom sent me to take those.
I bought those fancy scented wax colors, the one with the heads of those superheroes, and a brand new sketch book. I was quite excited that I’ll get to learn something new. What he made me do, was copy one of Johny’s drawings, color by color. And man I was pissed. Since then we have mutual respect for each other, I guess.
You ratted me out once when I bunked school to go to Manish Bhaiya’s PS2 parlour. To take revenge, I changed all the moves of your default player Stone Cold Steve Austin to a female wrestler’s. You got your ass handed the next time you came to play. Though that would have been the result otherwise too.
Knowing me, me forgetting about you should be the least of your concerns. However we are in a space, as opposite as possible, to the kind of future we imagined. Our past selves would have definitely been shocked, and bombarded us with all sorts of questions about what went wrong. And those jerks could be nasty and ruthless. We need to set things right, by bringing ourselves on the right track.
The person who didn’t use to give or take shit from anybody else, should not be questioning their interpersonal skills now, when they need to be the person they always have been. People get misjudged all the time. People don’t get the second chance they thought they deserve, plenty of times. Open up any history book and start reading. The difference between the names you’ll find in the book and the ones you don’t, is what they did after that.
As far as I am concerned, no I haven’t figured it all out. I am probably a bigger disappointment to my past self than you could ever be. But I think I have started to make my peace with it. Instead of thinking about where I should have been, what I deserved, I am more on the lines of where I am and how to make the best use of it to reach what I think I deserve. So that I could just get away with a tap on my head by my past self.
It’s our individualistic journey. We can be of limited help to each other, but I believe that if any of us does good, it triggers the best in the other too. We never have been competitors, but team mates, who ultimately score for the team.
I can continue writing for an eternity and still there will be topics left. That’s how long it has been and the kind of content I have accumulated over time. But maybe for some other letter, some other reality check.
–Your Friend on a Saturday,