I was looking for positive outcomes of our move to Pittsburgh and the only thing that comes to mind is how much I have began to love Chicago more than I have ever in the past. It will be difficult to let go of the place and more so the people who’ve become more than just friends. I usually never tend to hold on to people with the strongest tenacity just for this very reason. I think my childhood days of constantly moving from place to place has a lot to do with my ability to make friends easily and making sure I don’t get close enough because deep inside I know I’ll have to say goodbye. The fear of parting has always stopped me short from going the extra mile to get me that free ticket to eternal friendship haven. It has definitely kept me from wearing lockets that say ‘Friends Forever’.
Last time I sang ‘Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge’ with my friend Ruby, I was not only under age but also under the influence of Sulfur dioxide emitted from moving vehicles. Well of course, unlike Sholay, both of us continue to live in different parts of the world with no contact with each other. I do know she is a doctor and probably does come across patients who share my name. Maybe she thinks of me at the time and of the song we sang together.
She was a girl
Tall thin and fair
Her hair her hair
Was just the color of gin-nn-ger!!!
Epitome of female bonding is the above lines. Even today on the sidewalk of Michigan Avenue, I can be surrounded by girl friends standing in a single row holding waists and taking three steps forward, two steps backward while chanting this jargon and wondering why I am not even trying. Somehow, I am very inept at these things when sober. I stayed away from the likes of this while growing up… a centimeter away from this ‘poem’ is Plague followed by Bird-flu. Basically I think I am jealous as I can’t get the steps right and sincerely hope no one feels the need to teach me now. I had to email one of my girls to get a hold of the lyrics to this.
While girls in my school had little clans and named themselves BAD (that stood for Brinda, Anuradha and Deepa), I shuddered and winced at such a display of wanton camaraderie. Catch me dead wearing matching hair bands and Goofy tattoos (I really mean Goofy tattoos, not Mickey ones). I avoided going to the bathroom in girly groups in spite of them cajoling me to accompany them (To date I haven’t figured that one out). I hated the term ‘best friend’ and lost all my chances of getting a Singapore watch from Sheela who gave watches to her best friends only.
Sometimes I feel saddened to know that I am everybody’s friend and nobody’s real friend.
My college circle of 30 friends had at least 6 well meaning people who wouldn’t get along with each other at any given time. This I realized when I was pestered to take them all out to dinner on my birthday. I called everybody and gave them the venue and time.
‘By the way, will she be there?’
‘Please take me out for dinner some other time when she isn’t there.’
That was my roommate. I had similar requests from many others after which I just gave up and gave them dinner vouchers to go by themselves whenever suitable.
A sure shot way of getting close to someone is making their enemy yours. I never get that part right. If you are calling to bitch about someone you hate, there are huge possibilities that I might have gone to a movie with that person last night and I will admit it too. I may even advice you (unsolicited of course) and tell you what a wonderful person she actually is.
All of them are precious to me in their own way and yes, I am already fretting about leaving this city in October. I know I will miss them more than they would ever realize... coz I am not the kinds to let them know. I have experienced separation in the past, but I know this time it’ll be harder than last time just like it was last time around- harder than the previous. I do wonder what it would be like to wear Goofy tattoos and sing ‘Todenge dam magar, tera saath na chodenge’ and actually mean it. It might actually be liberating.