He used to call me his “mirror” and I was never sceptical about it. I liked to know that he saw himself in me; we were reflectors of each other or we still are. I met him first when I was seventeen. He was eighteen but he somehow always held the wisdom of someone older and yet, he would take pleasure in doing all the daft things that people our age detested. This man has been the only one person in my life who understands me without much effort. I used to call him my ‘Godfather’. I don’t know why I even thought of this expression but there has constantly been something mystifying about the bond we share. We have never been in steady contact. We are not the friends who would call each other every now and then and talk about the mundane aspects of life. In fact, there have been hushed interludes of several months when we have been out of touch and then one day, out of the blue, he would get a call from me when I’d just say – ‘Hi. I need to talk.’ And he would be completely okay about it. He’d listen to all I have ever wanted to say unwearyingly and just when I am anticipating a backlash or a rebuke for being imprudent and indecisive, he’d calmly say-‘ I’ve been there. I know this feeling.’ These few words at all times make me accept who I am and who I have been.
So, yes I have known this man for seven years and we have met just about twenty-five times in this huge period. He forgets my birthday each year and I always call him just five minutes before the day is about to end and say-‘You’re forgetting something’ to which he forever replies-‘Fuck! I am sorry’ and I laugh. I like this chuckle and I wish he fails to remember that day until the end of time and I can call him up just the same to hear an apology. He loves to read and to write. Every time I visit his place, I keep gazing at his enormous bookshelf and all the books strewn around while he tells me the outline of some of his much loved works. When he writes, I feel he puts his heart out there on the paper. I read his writing seven years back and I started my first blog because I treasured what he wrote. I chose the same theme, the same gloomy backdrop and I wrote about life, love and hurting because his words revolved around the exact similar things.
Throughout the time I have known him; I have looked up to him and acknowledged him as someone who has the answers to every darn question. Years back when I was going through a depressing phase myself, I told him- ‘I try to hurt myself. Why does that help?’ He said- ‘I have done that too. Bang your head on the wall, you’ll feel good.’ Nobody ever said that to me because they had never been there, they had never felt that. He did. He still does. He doesn’t judge me or my actions. I think he’d still be standing there with me if someday I kill somebody (not that I would). Then again, a few months back, I wrote to him and I talked about wretchedness. I talked about pain. He has tried to keep track of me since then, to see if I was all right and to nudge me time and again so that I knew he was there if I ever wanted to let somebody in on my story. Our friendship has always been enhanced upon by the unfastened parts of our lives. We do not share as much of bliss as we share our ache. Yet, you know what? That’s not awful. That’s an overwhelming emotion.
Yesterday, I sent him a random text message and his response seemed so silent, so tranquil and low. I asked him how he was doing and he said he was okay, rather a little lost. I told him- ‘I have been there. I know this feeling.’ There was a sort of dimness that enveloped our conversation and I said-‘You know, we are all going through a lot of pain on the insides; our hearts and our souls; but still, there are a few people we know we’re worth living for. You’re one such person for me.’
He smiled and replied- ‘Thanks. I guess that’s just what I needed to hear.’
For me or for him, pain is a beautiful thing. It does sting, it does rip us off but it makes us intact. If he reads this post, he’d recognize how much I revere the man he is and how much I depend on him; probably to the extent that he’d be the first person I’d run off to if the world abandoned me and I’d know he would just tell me the right thing to do. At the end of this life, at the end of all the joy, the mourning, the love, the dreams, the relationships, we’d still know each other as wonderful and absolute people because – ‘We’ve both been there. We’ve both known that feeling.’
Yes, that’s the kind of friends we are.