Life’s Little Ironies
Sometimes, no matter how much we love someone, it is hard to share things with them, Mi, simply because we know for sure what their reaction will be. And thus a lot of things are left unsaid. I mean, what a dilemma when caught between telling–because they definitely want to know, and not telling–because who wants to get caught in the tangle of their reactions? Yet, there are times I brave this and tell, rather than face the even murkier consequences of not telling. Ugh!
Same goes with sharing things in public, in today’s world ruled by social media updates that center around people feeling obliged to give anyone who is listening (or not) a blow by blow account of their day and their feelings.
So I had another birthday, you know. And I missed you most of all. I soothed myself, going through old photo albums. I comfortably sat myself on the floor, on a mat near the shelf housing our albums. I had a wonderful three hours, interrupted–nay–punctuated with a strong tumbler of kaapi, with which I toasted you constantly, for every sip.
Would you believe that there was not a single phone call to wish me this year? Not from friends, not from family. Of course I am not counting Sury and Vidur. Vidur has made it a tradition to gift me a poem at midnight, with greeting cards. So precious. And I hold that in my heart.
I nostalgically thought of those days when friends would swarm our place, arranging surprise parties. Make me bunk work. Spend the day in gastronomic stupor. Take bike rides around the area. Piles of gifts in jazzy gift wrapping. Sigh.
I am okay with none of the above. But what I am finding hard to get over is the lack of phone calls. WhatsApp and Facebook has taken over communication channels. I guessing that if there was no Facebook, there’d hardly be any happy birthday wishes since there’d be no timely reminder.
Also, these days, friends has a whole new meaning. People claim to be friends, but don’t feel the need to keep in touch. They will completely ignore you, then one fine day reconnect to assure themselves that the relationship is intact, then go back to being strangers. I guess it makes them feel better. And of course they will mention it publicly so whoever reads it gets the impression that these two are BFFs.
Ah well, we live and learn, eh? Moving with the times, I am grateful for social media. It is wonderful of people to make the effort to post that happy birthday wish.
I am also super-grateful for the handful of old friends who have not changed over the decades and continue to be the crazy loveable souls I fell in love with.
I did some random birthday shopping but my heart wasn’t entirely in it. Probably because I am focused on decluttering now and I think twenty times, perhaps more, before I acquire something. I smiled a lot, remembered the times when we used to be broke and you’d make idli – stick a tiny candle in it and tell me to pretend it was a birthday cake. For my part, I celebrated the event by sponsoring meals at the Seva Sadan.
I thank you for teaching me that making a difference in others’ lives is true celebration of our own lives.
Sigh. I think I sigh-ed twice too many times. I know that this too shall pass, but dayum! I miss those phone calls!