It’s not that I’ve stopped talking to you because I’m being lazy. I guess, I was not putting my thoughts in the right words, so I was writing the posts and then deleting these.
Sometimes, I was talking by writing it in the notebook. For example - while sitting face to face with US Consulate General in the board room, evincing my interest in the climate change issue but scribing the squabbling in the diary. Professor sitting opposite to me too had the same kind of diary; we designed it and got it printed to gift to our alumni earlier this year.
Last week, the marketing head of a company, the biggest tobacco brand in India, too was giving his life’s learning for free. He’d given us all a pen and a notebook as an incentive to listen to him, and I started putting down the bickering to the words instead of paying attention to his story of breaking into top brands league. The page was shredded into pieces later on, just after coming out of the auditorium. It’s better to let the thoughts die sometimes.
Yeah, let’s get back to the talking issue, which I want to build this story up on.
This goes back a rather a longer time – almost 15 years, I must have been in 6th standard then. Another guy Surjeet, just in my neighborhood, whose home used to face our home at ninety degree angle, was also in the same class. He got himself electrocuted few years back, while trying to catch a bird. It made him sweaty most of the time, even while sitting under the fan. The black color of his skin made it even harder for him to get into Sun, as his face absorbed most of the rays, I didn’t knew this physics concept before reaching into the 12th standard. He was very silent most of the time, but we were good friends and used to walk to the school together, which was more than a kilometer away. It used to take us almost as much time as the rays take to reach the earth.
It was December, the cold got both of us coughing like dogs, but he blamed me for his cough because it caught me first. Other classmates too started pulling my leg every now and then accusing me that I got the cough from the puppies and was spreading it to the whole class. In the moment of embarrassment, I hit my friend Surjeet because he was taking side of other students instead of being with me. Both of us grappled with each other, pulling the hair and running around the classroom. A teacher gave us both good beating for it.
We stopped talking over it. The cough was gone but not the anger. We had common friends, studied in the same school for next four years till the 10th class but neither of us let go of our egos. We kept going to each other’s home, talking to other family members, who didn’t seem to know that the kiddos were not on talking terms!
The group study, doing homework together, climbing the Neem tree, running the cycle tyre, playing Kanche, all stopped all of a sudden. We crossed each other path many times but the eyes didn’t meet. After 12th class he got into the Army at the age of 18, I moved to Kota and then to Kgp. It had been almost a decade since we talked. His younger brother too got into Army, both of them got married in a joint marriage, as it’s a common practice there.
Now it was the summer time in 2005, I came for the semester break after my 2nd year; he too came for two months leave, a tough time to be in the heat of Rajasthan. One fine evening, both of found ourselves in the same kabaddi team. He was almost double the size of me now, a perfect army man. We played the match, covered in the dust; we held each other’s hand and stopped the other team’s players. After the match, both of us looked at each other and started laughing hysterically.
Other friends asked, what’s the matter? I said, guys it’s a special day, we have talked after a decade. Now it was time for others to laugh at both of us. I asked him, “Did you think about talking to me during all these years?”
He said, “yes, But I wanted you to talk to me first. I even forgot why we stopped talking!”
“Yeah, it has been a pretty long time; I guess it was in the 6th class. Even I thought the same that let him talk to me first.” I replied.
It has been more than six years now, I’ve not met him since that Kabaddi match, in fact I didn’t even remember our last meeting till I started writing this post. All I remember is the time both of us wasted by not talking to each other. The ego we succumbed to and the fun of playing together we missed.
This thought crossed my mind because I have got into a similar situation now, I made a mistake. I hope I don’t develop a similar ego problem again and I should extend the hand of friendship once more.
We should let our personalities be different, if they are so, and start talking all over again.