I was never one to take myself or my relationships too seriously. I was never frivolous about them, but didn’t obsess over them either. Always doted on; loved like a baby by friends, boyfriends, family and bosses alike, I assumed if they were to leave they will be back. And if they didn’t come back, I’d call, cry, plead but eventually get them back, even if not in the same role. So even when I did break up, I would totally be friends and wouldn’t have it any other way. There were of course, occasions when people left my life and never came back, but these weren’t people I cared much for any way. And in return, I learnt what I now call ‘loyalty’. I knew I was just lucky to have all the love and hadn’t done anything fundamentally right to deserve it. I thanked the universe by developing unconditional loyalty towards these people. I’d stand up for these people before god. I still will.
Obviously as we grow older, things change. The universe starts challenging us more. I now have relationships that I won’t know how to bring back, if I were to lose them. Some people I value the most today, are those that I can be a brat with but don’t really have a claim on. Keeping relationships alive is no longer straight forward. The sense of permanence has been lost.
I was reading Skimpy’s blog the other day. He wrote about love, Jab We Met and dreams and relationships. As is more often than not, I didn’t like what he wrote- the characteristic cynicism, racist remarks and other nastiness. But I loved the note on which it ended. You can read it at his blog, but I’ll type it out again in case this linking thing doesn’t work:
i believe people enter your life exactly at a point when u need them to grow together and exit/fade away from your life at the right time, enabling you to move ahead. its sad but true.
It’s easy to see how this line fits in to your life if you’ve seen a relationship crumble before you, for reasons you still don’t know. I’m not referring to boyfriend-girlfriend relationships only here. A best friend, a temporary boss, a fellow traveler you spend 24 hours with on a plane, a complete stranger who you start a relationship with knowing fully well its going to be around only a month, or some one you think you’re built to last with. Many of these are people you have no claim on. Old friends remain, the best friend stays, family is indispensable, but there other few may not remain- in the same form. But it doesn’t end then. They may leave my life (and I may leave theira), but I continue to live a bit of them, and they continue to live a bit of me.
I’ve met them at a time when I need to know them and they need to know me. their role in my life is significant, but a fleeting one. The physical presence of this relationship may be transitory. And when they leave, there will be closure- closure in what we see and feel today. They fade away. But the rest continues. There’s a part of them I’ll live on. There is a bit of their life I’m already living, and will live all the way.
I’m living their life as I learn to save emails and when I stop myself from responding impulsively to gossip. When I laugh with my family and when I coach the new person in office. When I run 4 kms and when I spend Saturday evenings watching re-runs on Zee Café. When I write honest posts and when I bravely reject pseudo-intellectualism. When I travel alone to remote places, love French food, get regular pedicures and when I say ‘No lah, hardly matters!’
I’m on the road back from Nasik to Bombay. There’s a mild ache in my arms from an hour of kayaking this morning. My body is breathing, having spent a day in a little vineyard in Western India, with a book, the greenest grass and cold water to occasionally dip my feet in. Windows are down, wind blowing through my hair and I’m listening to The Walk of Life.