Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friends Past And Present

I have not been in touch with Karen for over a year and with Anuradha for two. We had as much as in common as we had in different. Our acquaintance was probably deterministic and eventual friendship followed either from shared life experiences or the lack of it.

For instance Karen broke up with her boyfriend of four years a month before I did with Malhar. There was a time of searing pain and emptiness in both of our lives that coincided. Meeting up for margaritas at a tapas bar felt like a perfect antidote for that state of mind.

We've both moved on since, our lives have not intersected quite as perfectly again. I called to wish her a happy new year. We had nothing left to say to each other anymore. We will probably flit in and out of each other's thoughts for a few more years until passing into oblivion. If Karen was once a friend, I have now lost that friend.

Anuradha is many years younger, has interests that are very unlike mine. We met by chance when I answered the door for my absent room-mate who she had come to see. We stayed in touch, met sometimes for lunch. My life's experiences fascinated her. Our conversations were around her questions and my answers to the whys and wherefores of how things came to be the way they did with me.

She was neither intrusive nor judgmental - merely interested in knowing about someone from her cultural background who had lived a life very different from hers. I enjoyed a younger person's perspective and her joie de vivre. On an impulse today, I thought to call her. We talked for almost an hour and it never felt like two years separated this and our last conversation. Anuradha is probably a rediscovered friend.

Interesting that I should listen an Alain de Botton ( one of my favorite writers) talking
today about Marcel Proust's "Remembrance Of Things Past" and the significance of memories and the passage of time. Calling my two friends from the past today was about both.


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