21 Feb 2012

a Friend request (from an old one)

Two days ago I got a friend request on FB. OKaying it would restart a conversation that we must have left eighteen years ago. Its not that we had a fight but were too distracted with other things. And those distractions led to others.

When we leave college we think that we will continue with our lives just the same way. With some friends you end up meeting once in a while. With others its complicated. We do not seem to have the time. Or it was the right moment. This drags on till it is almost two decades. That quick meeting at a party thrown by a classmate turned out to be the last one for a long time. I was leaving. And you had just come in.

Hello. See you around. Where are you working. Catch you later.

The film school that we went to was notorious for the long hours and we would end up with classmates talking into the early hours of the morning. All our teen and early adult life we fight hard to create a distinct identity. And yet this is the point in life when we spend a lot of time with people our age.

Initially we meet as strangers. There was really nothing common between me and the people I met in the summer of ’92. We extend our hands, gingerly. We give and take. Banter. Over time our personalities become enmeshed in each other. Strangers become friends. Almost indistinguishable.

We are not aware of this process then. And suddenly it is time to say good-bye. At what point do we become strangers again? Or is there some thing about spending all that time in the canteen or at someone’s room, hypnotized in each other’s company that makes it impossible to become strangers again?

After saying OK to the friend request I went over the list of friends from Jamia. I realize that I have not met most of them for over 15 years.. They are new layers to peel off. Again.

The more things change…


Alyson said...

it rings true. bittersweet!

manythoughts said...

So very true...in the millions of things that one needs to do to establish a distinct identity, friends who were building blocks to that identity get left behind. Getting back in touch with them is like getting in touch with a part of yourself, as you once were, and maybe still are.