Wisp of memory, friendship and a mark sheet


A lifetime may not be sufficient to add zing to existence as we revisit old papers, certificates, and postcards spanning over more than a decade. The memories carved and wreathed in our soul makes it feel like a dream that never happened and burst like a colorful balloon the moment we are up in the morning. Friendships, silly pranks and silent wishes or wisp of happiness, fun, and bonding billowed like smoke disappearing in the sky and dust.

One often wonder where have all those years smacking of goodness or jelly moments disappeared in the flit of seconds. It feels so unreal when one harks back to the past that empowers and continue to define our present. Maybe our future, too. I just feel like blowing colorful balloons with tiny messages in paper chits and let them flow and soar higher in the sky. I never thought that after 11 years or more, I will laminate mark sheet, revisiting the first dash of Mumbai Monsoon in 2007.  It was in those days when I received the TYBA results and landed in Mumbai just after the train blast to speed up procedures for past grads. I just graduated in Pune. I remember calling friends to tell that I am fine and not to worry post the terror attack. It started raining in the morning when I woke up and crossed the road towards the Xerox shop that was opposite the hotel to get the fresh mark sheet laminated in Mumbai Central.

But, this time it was the best friend’s FYBA’s mark sheet that I laminated and sent to him by post two weeks back. It’s intriguing how his first year mark sheet staying with me for more than a decade. In the earlier posts, I told you that he got married in Mumbai but yours truly missed it. So, I decided to send him a wedding card. Yeah! I still prefer hand-made cards to this whole online wishes in the form of a card. I am old-fashioned that way for I doggedly believe that a proper card with ink poured over paper and writing a postal address brings so much warmth. The surprise gift was the mark sheet and last week, he whatsapped and so happy that he got the same. We tried to remember how his first year result stayed with me. There are two possibilities, one when he travelled with his ex and gave me some documents since I was the one who collected his results and secondly post our final, I had to get him some paper from college. But, I ain’t sure how the document conspired to land in my personal file. In the hum-drum, I hastily moved to Mumbai since our results came late and one year later, he hopped to the Kangaroo land, Australia.

The man was happy to get back his mark sheet which is intriguing to both of us since he told me that he always keeps handy first year Xerox.  It’s what you call friendship and the deep bond we shared that always binds us.  The past can do wonder to hearts and souls where a simple thing as a document can weave the strings of hearts strummed like the sound of music to touch us in places. Of course, I did make a Xerox as a reminder of those carefree days of friendship, leg pulling, smoking in the pot and alcohol flowing in the veins.

Time flits so easily that it knocks us in such a way that we don’t stop for a while to think about the moments that elapsed in front of us. I really wonder, where have all those days gone when we made the most of life and it was calling living, unlike now. We were not much into social media during that time and warm conversation plus laughter were shared over a cup of chai or coffee. Time is karmic. The worse with Karma is that it doesn’t give you the time to take a breath and hold the memories like pearls flowing inside the palm of your hands. Collecting memories can boost our mind. The dream of the impossible to thrust time backwards to relive those moments is the delusional thing that we humans may not be willing to do. Will time let itself not to flicker with speed? Often, I am plagued with such questions in skeltering with time.

The month of June was also Dad’s birthday where he would have turned 75 years old. It been 11 from now that he suddenly sunk into a coma before passing away. I was in Mumbai and had to rush home in no less than two days. Luckily, I saw him still alive on the hospital bed and one week later he breathed his last at home in front of me. The childhood moments that play in the mind and Dad’s voice whispering in the ear during my sleep is a sign of presence. I shall leave before this whole post becomes emotional and be back in a brand new post next week, speaking about Dad and the signs our loved ones send from heaven.

Love

V

Relationships, love and complexities


A dear blogger friend whose views resonates with me and whose opinions I value a lot wrote on her space about relationships, hope and the act of busy falling in love with friendship and people. It’s a dichotomy of the sort as we get used to people and most of the times, we fail to see the blurred line between falling in love with people and getting used to them. It can get very tricky. Read this post on The Idea-Smithy blog.

It got me thinking how often I have fallen in and out of love with various people during the carefree, student days and in not too recent times. But, truth be told, as I age, it’s been a tale of perfecting my art of running away from love owing to the fact that the most serious relationship didn’t work out. It hurt me a lot and questioned my belief in what we call love. Why the fuck that we fall for people? It left me wondering whether I will ever find love, as it is I am in my mid-30s? Being a seeker is my most favorite phrase to describe the self.

Relationships are tricky and complex. Love is an oxymoron. What we believe is love can be as simple as just getting used to people. It’s true that we don’t want conflicts in our relationships and expect things to be honky-dory. I don’t want to commit or carry the burden of long-standing relationships. But, it’s also true, that there is the inherent fear of rejection. Yes, it makes me insecure at times.  Over the years, I have grown up not believing in marriage as an institution since I am bothered about it taking away my space as a person or stifling my emotional freedom as a person. Or, truth be told bluntly, I fear being turned down. It’s my belief that marriage can be suffocating and prevent human growth since we are trapped into society’s beliefs of what is wrong or right.

It has been a habit with me in the past to fall into people with whom I connected with. See, I am an emotional sucker and thrive on them. But, that doesn’t mean that I like to suffocate people. It’s the last thing that I can ever think of doing. It’s also true that I don’t want to hurt the self in a relationship for the strong belief instilled in me that I am done and dusted with that. But, should it be reason enough to run away? When that relationship didn’t work out, I choose to run away from Mumbai. Yet, I was armed with an unflinching hope that things would finally work between us and like some magic, love will surprise me. It was a relationship fraught with complexities, I am Hindu and she is Muslim. I hail from a conservative family and our respective parents would never accept to sanctify this relationship. That’s the issue with us humans: We are always looking for social sanction. How flawed our value judgments are?

I am always in two minds, whether I should be in a relationship or not. At one moment, I tell the self to close the eyes and go for the kill and the next, it’s like that I don’t have time for all this. It’s the biggest lie. Why as humans we want to kill the hope and optimism as free birds in relationships? I am aware that I am no longer in my 20s but mid-30s where mature decisions have to be taken? But, then, a heart knows no reasoning or logic.

It always happens with me when I fall in love with friendships where there is always the fear of risking it and ending losing both love and friendship. Love may reach an expiry date but friendship never does. I guess, there is no clear-cut answer when it comes to dating, love or relationships. We should never shy in dating someone for it teaches us a lot. There is no guarantee that the relationship will stand the test of time because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

I think it is important for all of us to be positive and build on hope, in all our relationships or interactions in the routine of life. As humans, we are shaky and an upset, big or small can pull the trigger to make us vulnerable and losing faith or trust in people. I have realized there is no point in crying hoarse over regret and be open to dating without prejudices or expectations. True, loving freely without expectations work for me since I am nurturing the idea of not indulging in self-hurt.

With love

V

Changing equation of friendship


Strange things are happening to me.  It’s been a few days that I am getting carried away by an emotional turmoil and today I felt the pang which compelled me to ping a friend on Gchat. I told her, ‘I need to vent things out’. It’s a guilt feeling inside. I dunno whether I am feeling better or not after uncorking the bottle of feeling.

In Dil Chahta Hai, the three best buddies Sid, Sameer and Akash head to Goa where the latter watch a ship at a looming distance which he equated to their lives and will disappear in a while. Sid says something about how the three of them will chart unique destinations and no one knows where life will take them. In ten years time, it will be almost impossible for them to meet once. Strangely, it is happening to me right now.

My best friend just got hitched in February to his childhood sweetheart and he came down from Australia to get married in India. Since we are in two different countries, I couldn’t fly to India to attend his wedding and it was something that I was so fucking sure to do. I am still feeling so bad about it. It came to my realization how in 10 years, it would be impossible for besties to meet and it was in 2006 that he left India and I moved out in 2008.

How time flies! We take our lives for granted, right from the time I and Adi spent the most wondrous moments in college, to playing silly pranks and fighting over mundane things. I never thought that we would be sitting on the opposite end of the fence and that life would make us sink in the humdrum of making money, shifting jobs and starting things all over again. I mean, we are so caught up with things and circumstances that sometimes we cannot take the time to be with those who have seen the best and worst of us. I am feeling very bad not to be with the bestie on one of the most special days of his life. Has friendship grown so thin as time flew!

It got me thinking about how the whole equation changes as someone ties the knot? Have you ever thought about it? There are friends with whom we make lifelong memories and hang out together or on Whatsapp, chat or phone if you are in different parts of the globe and suddenly he or she makes the announcement of getting hitched. Time suddenly takes its toll on friendship and life. Things will not remain the same as the person gets married and moves forward in life. It’s the changing equation of friendship. After all, they have to make their life or start a family. It matters. Friendship does matter.

It’s been bothering me for quite a while. I know that it can look stupid in places. After all, life never stays static. I mean, I am someone who was never close to family or relatives but my life always revolved around friends who means the most rather than the former. Technology is replacing relationships. Circumstances make relationships evolve over time and what remain are plain memories of crazy times spent together which gave us the impression at that time that things shall never fade away. The priceless moments keep playing in the head as if it was yesterday only you were meeting your friends in college, going bonker over your latest crush and your bestie ingenious way of devising a plan how to get introduced to that chick. Memories and life beyond that!

It’s true that you need to live with this fact of life that things change once you are settled. The phone calls would be less or may be, the communications would be restricted to Facebook, a once-in-a-blue-moon message on WhatsApp in exchange for a smiley.

How much we give to friendship without making the effort and we bond, getting attached to each other as human beings? Why it happens with some people and not the others? Such questions are plaguing me. I mean, it’s humanly impossible to run away to your closest friends after every single issue and you cannot obviously fly now and then. Like in my case, I was super confident that we would meet and was looking for a personal loan to travel but since I couldn’t pay the previous one on maturity time as a result of my earlier job where we were paid salary after two months since the company was facing losses, I stood disqualified.

Such is life, circumstances, and friendship. The equations change and not everything is in our hands. But, it taught me a lesson: Save for rainy days and take an insurance if one’s savings is zero. In friendship, I believe and memory treasured. One should make the most of life for we never know where that ship may leave us that it would be impossible to spot our own shadow in the stormy sea and crashing waves.

This post is also linked to #MondayMusings on Everyday Gyaan.

Love

V

 

 

Fiction: Come and kill friendship, you emasculated terror force!


Dhaka, Bangladesh:

The sun shone bright in Dhaka on this Friday afternoon. It was a special day to celebrate friendship that flew from India, to Bangladesh and reached United States. It’s been six months since Neha, Arfaaz and Chrissy crossed the seas and oceans to study at Boston University in United States where they met each other in class for the first time and in no time, bonded over theater and dramatics. The three became inseparable friends whose hearts longed and pinned for each other like burst of oxygen that make nerves alive.

Neha hailed from New Delhi and was a huge fan of water sports, cricket, football and drooled over Virat Kohli. Like Neha, Arfaaz loved his home country Bangladesh and would never miss an opportunity to watch his favorite team play cricket. Of the two, Chrissy who came from Switzerland remained objective to the game of cricket and was naturally coaxed into following the game. She was a witness to the  friendly squabble but heated at times between Arfaaz and Neha who fought valiantly when India and Bangladesh played each other. The trio breathed pure friendship and longed for each other in a language that only pure hearts can understand. They were one soul intertwined in three bodies, rising above prejudices that humans have.

The adventures and silly jest played by Arfaaz  in the middle of the night made the girls yell in the middle of night when Arfaaz would scare them to death, playing a wandering white ghost.  In turn, he was blessed with words such as jerk by the girls. The trios were characters that came straight out of movies and were like the flawless lining in the white cloud. Neha, Arfaaz and Chrissy always roamed together at the university and cycling past the green field, wearing same colors like triplets, born from different mothers in uniquely vast lands.

Arfaaz who is a pious Muslim, never missed a day of fasting and as Ramzan was approaching, he packed his bag to join his parents in Bangladesh. The girls were missing their best buddy when they decided to surprise him during the holidays. They book their flight one frosty Thursday at JFK International airport to reach Bangladesh the next day. It was on Friday that they checked in a hotel and the chirpy girls decided to beat Arfaaz at his own game. They messaged him from a local mobile, pretending to be a local Bangla girl smitten by his charm for a date, or else, she will land  in front of his house. Poor Arfaaz had no option but to meet the mysterious girl, wore his most expensive tuxedo on a plain white shirt and blue denim to reach the cafe.

He walked inside, scanning the crowd with his eyes and sat on the table where the waiter greeted him with a birthday cake. Arfaaz had a sudden inkling that someone has pulled a fast one on him when his phone beeped, ‘Happy birthday Jaanu.’ He was taken aback and messaged back, ‘How do you know it’s my birthday?’ The reply came in the flick of second, ‘I know everything about you.’ He almost lunged from his chair when two voices chortled behind his back and blasted in his ear, ‘Happy birthday, Jaanu.’ Arfaaz couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Neha and Chrissy and jumped off his chair where the three hugged like long-lost siblings.

A stirring thud was heard outside the cafe, festooned with artistic scribble, paintings and decorations. Rifles were tossed and the floor buckled under the feet of Arfaaz, Neha and Chrissy who clung to each other, shaking in fear. A cohort of men wearing black fired at their whim and fancy, powder rattled the cafe that exhaled smokes and humans fell like ripe mangoes.  Two of the gun men heckled the three friends in a corner as the girls bellowed at such inhuman massacre, their legs tripped on blood soaked bodies lying on the floor. The terrorist asked in a ferocious voice, “Your name?” He shook in fear, “A-r-f-a-a-z.” He urged him to go away while Neha and Chrissy, the infidels, were tightly clutched to each other.

Arfaaz meekly protested, “I am not moving away. We will die together. We belong to different wombs but are one soul. There can be no bigger power than love and humanity. Your hatred can never destroy us. It’s my Eid wish. Allah believes in peace.”

The gun men pushed the three friends and banged their forehead to the wall, “Then, die and languish in hell with the Kafirs.” Three gun shots hit the forehead of Arfaaz, Neha and Chrissy who collapsed on the floor, hands locked and tumbled together. They remained united in life and death.

Friendship is like the flowing river and smeared in blood, thicker than water. The three friends stood for the power of love and undying quest of passionate friendship that defeated fear and terror on the day. Some wars are won in death, something which is beyond the faces of hatred and terror.

Make love not war.

Post script: It’s a fiction and inspired by the lives of three friends Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain who choose death over life by staying with his friends, Tarishi Jain and Abinta Kabir who perished in the terrorist attack in Dhaka. There are some wars that can only be won in death. Power to such friendship and people like Faraaz honors such friendship with sacredness. The story is a tribute to lives lost by forces of hatred in every place in the world.

With Love

V