I was wondering if I shud finally just call R. today. It's been long enuff, too long perhaps. But I cant think of anything to start a conversation with, without making it look like I'm clutching at straws. I dont like that we didnt fight so much as we just drifted apart. Ran out of things to discuss without sneering at each other. "Shudnt your friends be people that you actually like?" he asks me. I dont know what to say. I never know what to say to a person with such a towering emotional quotient. I just come across as a babbling moron with the emotional range of a teaspoon to borrow Hermione Granger's phrase and I cant help it. R. deliberately or otherwise makes it even more obvious to me. I am not an equally evolved being, his tone seems to suggest.
I silently nod, yeah, your friends shud be people that you like. People that you like talking to preferably. Or at the very least, people whose number flashing across your cellphone screen doesnt make you grimace. So, I end up not calling him again.
T. suggests that my friendship with people follows this peculiar curve with a steep slope, a short peak and then a plateau. Things between R. and I have definitely flatlined. And what irritates me further is that I cant seem to feel the loss so much as this queer sense of relief. We were dragging things on. Like a bad relationship. It just didnt work anymore.
I wonder, does that even happen to friends? Or only lovers? I dont know.
There's a big deal made out of losing touch with friends. One single phonecall, a 'howdy-doo' on facebook, an occasional email...thats all it takes to keep a friendship alive is what is suggested. But what's the point really? Is it supposed to feel like an obligation, like work? No, that cant be right.
I remember R. once told me about this late night radio program he used to listen to, back when he lived in Hyderabad. This radio jockey was so friendly and had such great taste in music, that he was tempted to call in to the show and he'd often talk to this radio jockey while the music played in the background.
They even met for coffee once, he recalled. And then, it just sort of faded. When the late night study sessions ended, listening to the radio show became sporadic and then he tuned in one night to find that that show didn't air any more. His friend had shifted to another timeslot or another frequency, he never bothered to find out.
I wonder if thats what it was between us. This ephemeral, circumstantial thing. I wonder if we wud have been friends at all if we hadnt met when we did, in a strange new place without any other real friends to hang out with. Maybe thats what all those lazy afternoon conversations in buses were. And those engrossing evenings spent in Kaka's with masala chai, tamarind sauce and samosas. Or that Holi morning in my colony followed by that afternoon in Crossword. The movies and the dinners with friends. Your friends and my friends. Becoz there werent any 'our friends'.
Yeah, maybe what we did when we spent all that time was mistaking familiarity for friendship. "It's such an easy mistake to make that it isnt crazy that so many people make it." You with your emotional pitch set on a perpetual high said that night in Pune. You're right, like you almost always are. And I know how much being proved right makes you happy. And I hope you're happy now.
P.S. I'm writing this here coz I know you dont read my blog anymore. Someday, I hope I can say all this so you can hear it. But not today. I'm not calling today. Maybe some day when you wont hear this much bitterness in my voice.