To All The Friends I Lost On My Way

From times in school when friendships seemed long-lasting to actually realize that they aren’t, one keeps recapitulating the friends one lost touch with. Sometimes nostalgia takes over and leaves one extremely emotional. 

A lot of furore was surrounding the web series of “A Suitable Boy”. Not being an OTT child, I thought I better pick the only copy of ” An Equal Music” I had of Vikram Seth. I had a faint recollection of having read it once, years ago. Though I do call it my favourite now for the musical melody that it carries in it, I couldn’t really recall the exact details. By and by, as I flipped the initial few pages, things went well; till I reached the line that went like this: 

“I do feel it’s a pity when one loses touch with friends.. . .. . .. . .. “

Was that a taunt Seth shouted at me? Or was that just a coincidence, that when the world had celebrated 2 friendship days, I encountered Seth’s character saying to me that it’s a pity to lose friends? 

If not all, then most of us have grown up thriving on the literary friendships of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. While the minor altercation between Harry and Ron made us cry and cry, they still came together and that made us all happy. We also adored the female friendship of Elizabeth and Charlotte and not just the romance between Darcy and Lizzie.

Seems like they set really high standards of friendship that I couldn’t meet!

 Thus, I apologize to all the friends I couldn’t stick to my heart with the glue of love!  Unlike the friendships that we saw and read about; that were all “happy and merry” and ” sugary and buttery”, I am sorry to all my pals whom I couldn’t love as much as I was supposed to do! I lost many of them on my way, not realising that the way would only lead to a deep bottomless pit from where I couldn’t come out. 

All my lost friends! 

We read it in our English class that famous Robert Frost poem that went like this: 

” Two roads diverged in a wood.. . .. 

And I chose the one less travelled by 

And that has made all the difference.”

We didn’t choose the road that was less travelled by, why has a difference still been made? We didn’t choose that exotic way of not talking, why has then a difference been made? Like normal friends, we promised we would stay in touch and talk whenever we would get time. And we were doing that too, right? Calling each other whenever we got time. Remembering each other’s coaching and school timings, so that we don’t disturb each other. 

Where did things go wrong then? 

We treasured our Farewell pictures and made permanent “indestructible” albums out of them.  Why did our friendship still get destroyed despite the albums lying there in one dusty nook of my table?

 I know that coming out of school was that one watershed event because we had never gone outside of our small town; the town that gave birth to us and our bond; the town whose people were simple and kind and where only kites flew unlike the cities we are in today, where only aeroplanes fly; where we grew loving each other enormously. 

The kind of friendship that was between Pooh and Piglet was our inspiration. 

If there ever comes a day when we can’t be, together; keep me in your heart, I will stay there  forever.”                              

-Winnie the Pooh

Yet seems like time has turned around. Are you all still there in my heart as Pooh said? Even if you are, I think it’s the most shallow part (of the sea) where you all reside; the part where the water just rises in the air, leaving only traces of its own. Feels as if you all reside in me too, but only in traces now.  

We all have moved on somehow, I know. No one of us needs each other any more. We are busy with our lives. We have got new people. Yet still seems that a void is there in my life, which can never get filled. If at all it does, it will only be filled with tears: the tears of pain for not having met you all one last time on our last board exam day. For not having hugged you all tightly enough so that the warmth would have sustained me my whole life. 

The spaces between us that were filled with giggles, tickles and laughter are now filled with awkward silences. It is the silence which we are comfortable with now, that worries me. Silences are meant to calm down, but this silence only leaves me desperate. 

Misunderstandings have crept in the friendship that we thought would surpass time. 

We made plans for meeting exactly after 3 years when we would enter into our favourite colleges. Yet it is past 3 years, and except for your social media profiles which I secretly watch, I have nothing to get in touch again.

Some of you did ring me up once. I talked, but not with a full heart. I loved the familiar voices though but seems like my heart was elsewhere. I was constantly thinking:

Why did they call now? 

What if they ask me – What am I doing? 

What if my lost best friend comes online? 

And I cut the call in between. After that, I didn’t hear from you all. However, I was constantly wishing we could somehow bump into each other in our town when we would come to spend our vacations. Alas!  Every time nostalgia drains my soul, I realize what catharsis actually means. 

In these 3 years, I also read a lot about more incredible friendships. Be it the Dill, Scout and Jem trio of “To kill a Mockingbird” or “The Kite Runner”.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

 -The Kite Runner

 But that has only made me anxious more and more! I reach a level when I get the extreme courage to get in touch back again. But then I also reach the level when I start thinking a lot: thinking that you may all reject me for being late, and above all for being unkind and unloving. 

See the irony of the situation, my lost friends! From pinging you up without thinking, now, I constantly waver between- messaging you and not messaging you! 

I know you all know where am I, so do I. Then why this “not talking”? It takes a click of a button to start talking once again. But I know, it takes a lifetime to mend the relationships that have turned sour and bitter. What should we do now then? Should we start it all again, afresh? But what if things don’t turn out the way they were before?  Or let’s just leave it lying there – empty and incomplete. Despite whatever decision we take, I only want to apologize to you all. 

I want to apologize to the friends I lost on my way…not knowing where this way will lead me to. 

Feature Image Credits: Unsplash

Navneet Kaur