100 Happy Days – Day 88
Happiness is friendship in rain, with book, through letters and conversation.
It was 6.50 am. The queue began from the first floor, stretched through the staircase to the ground floor and out. I was on the staircase closer to the first floor. I heard Carnatic music emanating from the room filled with 50-60 youngsters; CA students. A guy with curly hair and sacred ash on his forehead emerged from the crowd, took out his phone and answered the call, cutting off the Carnatic music.
I walked into the classroom after my registration. A friend gestured me to come forward, for he had saved a seat for me. As I took my place beside him, I looked around to get acquainted with my neighbours and there he was, right in front of me. I glimpsed a drawing in his notebook. A rough sketch of Lord Shiva. There was a Shloka written next to it. I asked him about it and as he explained it, I made a mental note to read more on it. But soon, I forgot. I must ask him again. Or maybe, he’ll tell me if he reads this. 😉
In a while, Gopikrishnan, the guy with the Bhasma on his forehead and immense love for Carnatic, and I became friends and then, there was no looking back.
We have these deep conversations at times, but we could easily talk silly too. They happen very rarely; maybe twice or thrice a year. But, it doesn’t matter. It is easy to pick up from where we had left. But mostly, we don’t have to pick up from where we had left. We could simply start a conversation with absolutely no back history.
During one such conversation, we realised that both of us loved writing letters. From then on, we started exchanging handwritten letters. (Heck! That was when I realised that most of the post boxes never functioned.) Whenever I saw the blue inland letter waiting for me in the hall, I knew where it came from. Sometimes, I’d tear it open right away. Sometimes, I’d keep it safely and opened it when I could read it peacefully.
Each of your friends add value to your life in different ways. Gkris, as he calls himself, prods my inner consciousness through our conversations and letters. The things he says, give new perspectives to my thoughts. His words have the power to make me see new things, take me to a new world where things needn’t really work as per a set of rule books. There is a spiritual connection underlying our friendship and this is what makes it special.
While we spoke about so many things, bonded over books, music, movies, poems, quotes, ideologies and TV shows, we couldn’t meet. When I was free, he never came to my place. When he came, I wasn’t here. And so, after three long years, it was time to meet.
I picked him up from a common point and we stood there and spoke, oblivious to the place and the time. After a lot of discussions, we decided to go to a mall though we preferred a peaceful place amidst nature. On our way, the rain beat down from nowhere. Though we took shelter initially, the next time we were on the road, the rain couldn’t stop us. Mall is a sad replacement for these rains, I thought. But not after we entered the mall and veered into the crossword book-store. Time flew as we bonded over books. Well read as he was, he showed me the books he liked, he suggested me some, he narrated some of the stories, his eyes twinkled as he described his book-shelf; a mini library.
During the conversation, he picked two books that I hadn’t read and asked me to pick one for myself. I was over-whelmed for that was the first time someone was gifting me a book. I asked him to choose since I had no clue about the two. He gave a gist of both the books and asked me to choose. Since both seemed interesting, I picked one randomly.
Later, as I was sipping a cup of tea, he spoke of his wanderlust, his experiences, and experiments during his journeys. He suggested places I’d like and he described beautiful sights. His plate was empty and yet, I was sipping my tea. He took the book he gave me and scribbled something in it. As he handed me the book, he said, ‘I have underlined some sentences in this book. Don’t read it beforehand.’ and I kept my word.
I returned home that day with the satisfaction you get only after you meet a close friend. When some people say goodbye and leave, we feel low. But when I dropped him off, I didn’t feel sad. Our bond wasn’t made through meetings. It was through words, letters and conversations. As long as the letters were exchanged, the conversations continued and music prevailed, this bond would exist.
While there are those friendships; the ones with lots of backstories of trips, heartbreaks, jokes, pranks and much more, there are some friendships that are subtle yet deep in their roots. One isn’t better or worse than the other. As I mentioned earlier, every friend adds value to you. One need not meet them or talk to them often, face tough or funny situations with them or go on trips. Probably, there are just a few silent moments together, just a few stray words exchanged. The bond speaks for itself.
This post has been written in association with Chaayos & Blogchatter on occasion of Friendship Day