Friday, October 29, 2010

Look what you've done, you've made a fool of everyone.

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.


Ketan said...

What you've typed out is a fairly complex situation.

Over time I've come to believe about you what you think 'R' concluded about your emotional quotient. Of course, not of a spoon, perhaps of a microwave oven! ;) Okay, sorry, just kidding (with the analogy; I still agree with what you think R thinks about you. Mostly, we did discuss this on more than one occasions - on your blog as well as once on Deeksha's - not exactly in same words but that's the impression I had ended with that you wouldn't mind being intimate with even those who you do not like).

But honestly, I've been envious about this trait of yours. :)

I'd like to say a few things about your situation.

1. When a new friendship begins it's easy to think that this is one last true friendship, and that your life will be complete with him/her. It's actually so happened with me that I'd have ended discussing so much about myself that I'd be at loss what further to talk about!

2. I don't know if you've tried this, but if you see things from R's perspective, you'll realize it's a huge turn off to know that other person (you) would be friends with people even if you don't particularly like them. This creates a constant insecurity that perhaps R is also a person who you don't like but are friends with just like you're to others. It's simple (and coming back to an analogy involving chocolates again! ;) ). If on your birthday in your class, you distribute chocolate bars, and if you do so indiscriminately, then, is there any way someone could know that they indeed mean more to you, than others? But if instead, you give Bournville to select few (which they'd earned, BTW :D ) & Hajmola to most, then those with Bournville could be sure you actually find them important. Now of course, you might ask why such a fuss about finding out whether the other person *really* likes me.

This is the most difficult thing to explain. On a certain level, it's simple quid pro quo, though we give it complex names....

Anonymous said...

...Knowing that you really like me comes with its side-benefits - like knowing you'll help me when I need, that I can trust you, that you'll put in efforts to understand me, that you'll find it difficult to be contemptuous of me even if we violently disagree, and that on top of all other things you agree with me on one - that I'm the best thing that ever could garrent to this world! ;) Now who can resist the ego massage of the last side-benefit I pointed out? ;)

But most important, when a person knows that what message you convey to the other cannot be relied upon (e.g., seeming friendly with people even when you don't like them), then it would put me in a perpetual predicament - can I ever *trust* what you seem to convey? There would a constant struggle among (1) what the person wants to believe you want to convey, (2) what he/she guesses you might be conveying based on their past experiences with you & (3) what you seem to be conveying, i.e., taking you on face value. In the initial period of 'courtship' (of not just romantic relationship, but even otherwise) this struggle for truth-finding (enigma) looks attractive as it gives rise to the feeling - wow, there's so much more to know about this person, but as time progresses this perpetual doubt gives rise to mental & emotional fatigue. Then, it becomes difficult to carry on.

Anyway, have rambled on quite incoherently here. Just wanted to put before you the 'other' perspective. :)

Take care.

Soin said...

ha ha if i ever get sick am going to ketan. full detailed analysis from every possible angle. anyways all this retrospection in these shit is well shitty. five years room mate of mine i dont know any personal stuff of just

R said...

Following your example,
"There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all"

Can't go wrong with The Beatles hun. *hug*

Sherry Wasandi said...

This one just hits very close to home. And being another person with the emotional quotient of a teaspoon(or a straw, perhaps), I have to agree with soin. It becomes a habit, somewhere along the way. I personally don't think it's a bad one.

To have a really low emotional quotient would mean to not care about it enough to write such a heartfelt post at all.

Though I do hope you manage to sort this out in a way that would give you some peace of mind.

pankaj said...

When i started reading, i thought this was a short story, but obviously it is not! I think all friendships and relationships are formed in a certain context. Maybe its like saying "would i have loved my siblings if we weren't born in the same house".

Ramya said...

I've got very similar thoughts and questions in my head. Having left college a year back and all of us going our separate ways, I'm left thinking what was it between us? Why aren't we in touch anymore? How is it that some people form such a big part of your life and then suddenly, they're just out?

And I think it happens with both friends as well as lovers.

Mohit said...

This friend and I drifted apart because we apparently didn't have anything in common. We stopped meeting up, we stopped calling each other..both of us made new friends..he wouldn't call me on my bday and I would miss his.

Then, on Diwali, when I was in town, I had this strange impulse to act. I went to his place in my garish pyjamas and cheap relaxos and screamed, "Bahar nikal saale!". And things were normal again :)

Shankar said...

Makes me smile, because it's so familiar :)

Shankar said...
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