13 February, 2008

Childhood friends.

During my childhood days, we were a huge group of kids who used to hang out together, play together. We all went to the same school.

But through it all, there were three of us who forged a much deeper bond. R and J. They were my emotional siblings. They kind of made up for the fact that I did not have any biological siblings. We had our own wavelength and many a times we did not need to speak to each other to be understood. Such was the depth of friendship. Be it in terms of support, be it in terms of a good talking down, be it in terms of camaraderie – we were a syndicate.

In fact, during one of the Navratri festivals we decided to really get the mamis talking by singing Hindi movie songs instead of the usual traditional songs. Rebels of a kind, I guess. For many years after that, just the memory of the stricken look on the faces of the magnificent mamis had sent us into splits. In fact, this particular incident was part of this post.

Through school days and college days, our friendship thrived and grew stronger with each passing day. I still remember R sobbing her heart out when she could no longer deny the fact that I was going to be going away – far away from the little building in the suburbs of Bombay – to the far away land of Hongkong after my marriage. She was inconsolable.

J had always been the more calm, innocent one among the three of us. Always a sweet smile on her face, both me and R had always looked upon her as our younger sibling.

After I moved to HK, we still continued to very much keep in touch regularly. Then R got married. We were still in touch with each other – through letters, through phone calls.

She then went through a phase in her life which did bring about major changes in her. Incidents that completely changed her attitude towards life. When I met her next while I was in Bombay, the change in her was very palpable. It hit me like a ton of rocks. It took me a while to believe and accept that a person could change into such a cynic in such a short span of time. She’d erected barriers, walls all around herself. Walls so thick that every single attempt to scale them or break through them was met with immense resistance. The next two/three times I was in Bombay, even trying to meet up with her proved futile. And eventually I gave up too. Gave up trying to get her to talk, gave up trying to scale those walls.

The other day, Vic and me were going through some of the cartons that we’d been planning to sort through. That was when we opened the carton which contained all the letters, the notes, the cards that we’d exchanged over all these years. At the bottom of the same carton was a whole bunch of letters and cards – all of them from R and J. All of which I’d preserved carefully – right down to the smallest of stickers. Browsing through them brought back very vivid memories and also tinged me with sadness. It was a bond that had almost been magical in nature between the three of us. What had happened to it ? Why had it dwindled ? Where had it all gone ?

And then came a tag by Altoid which set me thinking and sent me down memory lane once again. And that was when I realized that this was not a relationship to just “let go” of. Not after all that we’ve shared with each other through our childhood and teenage years. There still has to be, absolutely has to be vestiges of the same bond still around. Submerged, maybe but existing and alive – I’m sure there is.

It is very true that time and events change people and attitudes. But what we’d done here – all three of us – was let the relationship and that bond rust. I would still not say “die” because I honestly believe that there is still plenty that can be salvaged.

And if what it takes to set the ball rolling is a first step from someone, I’m going to set the ball rolling.

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2 voice(s) said so:

Just Like That said...

hmmm. no comments? I'm the first? How come?

Yeah, I know exactly how you feel. I have 3 gals- we were like bread, and butter and jam.. but now, the bread is somewhere, the butter is somewhere and the jam somewhere else, and the worst part is I don't even know where.. :-(

Lavs said...

Good luck with R. I know how you would be feeling coz I too have lost two of my close friends to fate. But if I get a chance, I would keep prodding them to open up to me. Sometimes, the biggest distance one has to traverse is from heart to mouth.