I could only connect through phone with a lot of my old college buddies when I was vacationing in India. Some of them are so busy with their worklife that they can hardly breathe. A couple of my friends are getting hitched. I was completely vetti (jobless). A couple of phone conversations left me wondering. For the entire length I talked, I could muster only pitiful "uh-huh"s or "hmm"s as responses. To make things worse, my mind started wandering on miscellania. I had to jolt myself back into conscious conversation time and again.
"yadda yadda yadda...work..you know what I mean?"
A hopeful pause at the other end.
Gosh, I don't really know, I thought to myself. But audibly,
What was wrong with me? These were not "hi-bye" relationships. These were friends with whom I've spent four years of college life. Hours have slipped by unnoticed talking to them, laughing with them, teasing them. Where had that old camaraderie gone? Why did I feel this way with a few whilst with others I still connected as of old? How had 3 years altered some of us?
I knew that the rational answer was differing personal growth levels. Different experiences, hardships, successes all lead to different personas. Perhaps, the few with whom I could still relate to had grown alongside me, albeit in a different way. I still don't know the right answer to this.
And I didn't want a rational or right answer. It was disconcerting to find out that even the best of relationships might eventually go the same way. The frightened child in me wanted a reassuring answer. So, I tried calling again and again to wash away the guilt of the previous conversation. It was only made worse.
I was sitting there biting my lips wondering how this could have happened when my brother came in whistling. He gave me a casual look and said,
"You should change the look on your face. You look like you just stepped in a puddle of cowdung."
I frowned at him for being so flippant. For not understanding me.
"If you think I am going to understand all those pointed looks and long faces, forget it, babe! Tell me what's on your mind and *maybe*, I will try to understand your muddled thoughts." He retorted.
I poured out all my long-drawn, confused, thought processes; how I was feeling confused, alone, upset yadda yadda yadda. He sat through the entire tirade with a look of awe.
Finally, he shook his head as if to clear it and cleared his throat,
"You thought all this from a couple of phone calls?!?!!!! You know, I have fried noodles at the BITS night canteen everyday."
"What? That's all you can think of to say to me? Food?" I screamed.
"Yeah. I think your thoughts are like noodles. All tangled up, confused, slippery and hard to grasp." He shot back.
"Speaking of which, I am hungry. Chat at Chowpati beach sound good? Think constructive thoughts like this. Life will at least be tasty."
I couldn't help smiling. Thank god for brothers.. and men.:)