You know how it physically hurts to drift away from someone, when you know in your heart you do not want to. And it is almost shocking when you allow yourself to go back in the past and dig up memories of shared closeness? You just have to move on and tell yourself that you grew up. The one you held dear grew up too. And you are just two completely different people, ... and that is all there is to it. Sounds so simple when you put it that way, people just grew up.
And yet, some days you sit and try to remember when was it that you had started to drift apart? When was it that this 'growing up' happened? Was it when you had your first real heart break? Was it when quit tying your hair into two pigtails and traded wearing ugly black school boots for shiny new college heels? Was it when you somehow made it to graduation finish line without having a complete breakdown and stepped out into the big bad world? Or was it when, corporate life killed all semblance of a social life that once existed, quickly distancing you from everyone that exists in your world?
You may never know when you grew up.
It will be almost funny to remember how, staying in two different states, meeting only but twice a year for short vacations, was enough for two people to be the closest of friends and now staying in the same city, barely an hour away from each other, and the conversation never goes beyond an occasional Whatsapp. You will never know when memories become things of the past, stashed away somewhere on the top of the closet, wrapped in an old sheet, covered with a film of dust by now. Forgotten, because people moved on.
Remember how a decade and a half ago, life was full of all these amazing stories - like that one time you got blasted for ruining mom's sarees - two sets, one for each of the moms - in order to make a make-shift tent on that terrace you spent almost all of your time on. Or like spending endless hours, armed with only that old blue comb, inventing hairstyles that could be worn to school. Or that one time, you lay close giggling in the middle of the night, torch light in hand, looking up meanings to words in that faded old Oxford dictionary, you dare not ask anyone else. When you began a ritual to 'treat' each other with pocket money saved over Diwali, when a cheese grilled sandwich, pavbhaji and two bottles of old Coke, amounting to a mere 50 rupees, was an expensive luxurious meal for two.
That time when you breathlessly declared that you had fallen in love with that guy who had grown taller and considerably attractive last fall, and definitely seemed to make some suspicious eye contact with you at Holi. And then the winter after that, spending hours on that same terrace, calls names to the same guy in childish fury, for breaking your heart to pieces. Spending an entire night brushing aside boys and their silly antics, to talk about life and career and fucked up families and a future you were too scared to confront.
It all faded away. The terrace grew too small, the heartbreaks got too big. The future we were so worried about, became the present... one in which you were just a figure on the sidelines. Marriage happened, kids followed. New families happened. New responsibilities happened, and all our childish playthings were packed away. We went from knowing all to knowing barely anything. This wasn't just falling out of touch, this was more. This was not just growing up, this was growing out of each other.
It happens. I know. But just this once, can we go back to 90's again and stay there a while longer?
P.S: I miss you M. :(
P.P.S: Something that would have come easily to me otherwise, but for some reason it didn't this time around - That time you called me at 4AM, while you were awake tending to your kid and I was awake tending to my sick kitten, and we giggled quietly whispering about how we were now mom's feeding our babies.... I swear I was back to our sleepover when we slept out in the hall, giggling at 4AM.
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