I’m a sore loser when it comes to losing people.
I HATE ending relations. I wail and I flail and I make life difficult for myself and the person involved.
(Of course, considering that most people these days are quite business-like, detached and impersonal, they do not experience the same trauma that I do. Fair enough. We’re not created equal, and thank god for that…)
Amazingly, despite the innumerable times that I’ve lost close and not so close friends, I’ve not turned numb to this phenomenon yet. Each time it happens, I experience the same amount of grief and restlessness.
As most ladies would readily agree, it’s tough being a woman.
However, the one time when I truly regret it is when my guy friends fall in love with me. I used to be a tomboy (still am, in a few ways, and proud of it!) and I continue to share excellent rapport with all my guy friends as well as the girls. Yet, when these very chaddi buddies tell me they’ve fallen for me, the chemistry goes to the dogs and life becomes all topsy-turvy. Nothing’s the same again. Unless of course, both of us bounce back and understand and accept the other’s desires, decisions and emotions.
It’s not funny how relations change when the dynamics of love and infatuation force the doom of your camaraderie and oneness. To cut a long story short, it hurts enormously when someone you believe to be close and “apna” disowns you owing to a romantic interest that you do not reciprocate.
Of course, there were other times when I was left feeling alone and miserable. Like when a very close friend (two actually, both girls) abandoned me and went away for goodness knows what reason. They’re both back with me now, but I can’t begin to tell you how enraged and lost I felt for the first few months without each one of them.
Then there was this other guy who said he loved me. And then he went back to his hometown, not even bothering to keep in touch, or say goodbye.
And this other friend, who …
If I start counting the number of people I’ve lost this way, I’d turn 60 and still be counting.
Umm… Ok. That’s an exaggeration. Maybe not 60…
The point being, I get really attached to the people in my life. And somehow, I believe that I matter to them, too. So, when they move away from me without a sign or twitch, it hurts. Hurts real bad. I want to hold them like a rowdy baby, shake them and ask, “What the hell happened? I thought you were my friend? How can you just go away like this?”
They look at me like I’ve lost it.
Maybe I have. How come they don’t feel a pang of sorrow and loss?
Are they so out of touch with their emotions? Are they so strong and hard-hearted as to not feel any despair? Did I never matter in the first place for me to expect such a difference in their lives?
So what really troubles me is not the fact that they choose to not be in my life anymore, but the fact that they think their life can be intact (and maybe better off without) me.
Call me egoistic, but that’s the truth.
I realize that things were a lot different a few generations ago when people who did not meet each other for decades, still went out of their way to be there for their childhood mates and acquaintances. My uncle and his friends for instance. They studied together in the US, and when they see each other, sometimes after 30 years, they talk and behave like they saw each other just the previous day.
The warm generosity and unassuming openness is like a slap in the face for someone like me who stays in the 21st century and frequently interacts with individuals who know they each exist in others’ life for some temporary reason or agenda. Be it school friends, college buddies or work allies, we’re programmed to being best pals when we’re together, and then smoothly roving our own paths when fate brings us to the crossroads.
Without bothering about keeping in touch with those that we spent most of our waking hours with not so long ago, we go our lonely ways and become faded memories for each other, remembered with mirth, horror or apathy.
Nothing’s permanent, said the Lord in the Bhagwada Geeta.
We live it every day.
At least most of us do.
And I’m not one of them.
I seek to get back in touch, and I forgive with the intention of reliving the beautiful past.
Happens sometimes. Fails at other times.
I shrug and walk away; at least I tried.
But I never forget.
It’s the least I can do for someone that made a mark in my life.
You all have.
And I shall forever remain indebted.
And please don’t go away :-)