She calls you. Its 2 am. Its way past her usual bedtime. She shouldn’t even be awake. You think she dialled your number by mistake, in her sleep, you ignore her call. But then again, the silence is your room is broken your phone vibrating again, with her number flashing.
You reach out and take the call “Hey! How are…”, only to be greeted by a muffled “Hi, can you talk?”, giving away the fact that she’s not okay. She begins pouring her heart out to you, pausing to breathe, barely, and to hear your reassuring “Yes, I’m listening, go on”. And as she tells you how messed up everything back home is, your heart beats almost as fast as hers is pounding.
Your thoughts begin to wander just then, you’re listening to her voice, but you can’t think of what to tell her. How do you make her feel better? Just a little-less-miserable than she was before she called you?
You decide make her laugh. You “jovially” put in a smart-alecky one liner. She pauses, tries to comprehend your words, and just continues talking, breathing heavily. Yes, that was a failed attempt.
Maybe she needs some water, you decide. Your voice guides her to the nearest water bottle and you listen as she takes a sip, and then another, still planning your next move. Still thinking about how to fix her.
You want so much to make her feel alright. To ease the pain. To let her know that it’s going to be okay. But you just don’t know how to use your words anymore. Years of reading and practising the English language fail you. Helpless. That’s how you feel. Helpless.
You just listen to her, cry silently with her, without letting her know. And before you know it, you’ve managed to put the angel to sleep. You can hear her breathe silently, you can picture the serene face. You feel better, atleast you made her stop crying. But, now, what do you do about the tears flooding your eyes?
Nope, it’s not like they show in sitcoms where the protagonist has a quarrel with the person and he conveniently disappears from the show. Neither is it like the movies where the person reappears after a (tremendously fast forwarded) time span, and all misunderstandings are forgotten and they’re back to being best buds. Even some of the books have it wrong. Losing a friend is one of those nightmares which leave you shaken up for days, months altogether.
The worst moments are those when you unintentionally come across a song he recommended, or a joke you shared, or a picture or… or anything else that your head unconsciously, subconsciously connected to him. Or when you remember a date which was important to him, something he was either looking forward to, or dreading and you knew exactly why.
You suddenly realize you have all this time in your hands, time you used to spend talking to that person, just talking. Maybe it’s a good thing, you know, you’ll find better things to invest “precious” time in, that’s what you end up telling yourself, trying so hard to convince yourself that all that happens, is for the better in the end.
You don’t even know who to talk to about these messed up emotions. Will anybody really understand your point of view? Or will they merely pretend to? That’s too much of a risk to take, you bravely decide. So you end up bottling it up, not knowing how to let it out, partly not even wanting to.
The voices in your head are constantly jostling for your attention, but all you want to do is block them out. Call him once more? Meet up one last time? Don’t do this to yourself!
Peace of mind? That’s a myth to you now.
No, you don’t wish him ill. You can’t get yourself to do that. You know you’d hate yourself if you even let that thought cross your mind. You want him to have a scintillating future, but never really want to find out how he’s doing.
Do you miss him? Well, of course you do. You wonder if he does too, and end up convincing yourself that he doesn’t, he wouldn’t, he has too much going on anyway. So you decide to let it go.
Just take a deep breath and let it go.
In no particular order, here goes:
1. Ride the world’s highest and fastest roller coaster.
2. Feature in the “credits” of a short film.
3. Spend an entire night on the beach, watching the stars.
4. Visit the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.
5. Send 100 letters, in all to loved ones. (Yes, letters. Hand-written letters)
6. Be on page 1 of Google Search when my name is typed in.
7. Attend a Live Coldplay Concert.
8. Watch 150 movies. (Not really a movie buff, so that’s a challenge)
9. Try on a long trailing dress, like in Disney movies.
10. Get 5 ear-piercings done. (2 down, 3 to go!)
11. Spend at least a month without using my phone or the internet.
12. Go on a blind date. One. Just one?
13. Experience the adrenaline rush caused by the world’s highest bungee jump.
14. Own a pair of Aviators.
15. Call a friend I haven’t spoken to in 5 years or more, just to check if (s)he still remembers me.
16. Eurail. Travel Europe by train.
(As of 21st March, 2014)
Can’t think of everything right away, so I plan to edit this and add more things as and when I come up with them.
More later, soon though!
Do you have a Bucket List too? What’s on yours?
20. Twenty. Two decades. 7305 days. 1,75,320 hours. 10,529,200 minutes. 631,152,000 seconds. Phew! Looks like it’s been a while, I’ve been here for a really long while.
And yes, if you’re still wondering, that’s how old I am, now.
Birthdays are special. Each one make you look back and realize how much has changed, how different things were exactly 365 days before this one, and makes you wonder how they will be 365 after. Birthdays cloud your mind with curiosity, inhibition and fear of the imminent, but also leave it with this flicker of hope, excitement and want of a better future, somewhat balancing things out in your confused little head.
I think the whole point of birthdays is to make you feel special for a WHOLE DAY. Now, how often does every friend of yours decide to call and make conversation with you? And how many times a year does every single acquaintance take out the full thirty seconds to wish you? Once. Just about once a year. We love to feel important, don’t we? And this day fulfils just that desire.
And the midnight surprises are the best. Especially when you’re in college, in a girl’s hostel. The amount of effort made by your friends to make sure you can’t sniff out the surprise and to ensure that every candle is in place on the cake and that each moment of commencement of your new year is memorable for you. It’s just overwhelming.
And you know what’s even better than a midnight surprise? A letter from a loved one, somebody who is with you in every sense apart from the physical one. The words in a letter transcend their literal meaning and touch a chord within you, one you may not have known existed. It’s like a part of that person’s soul is right there with you.
The most awkward part of a birthday, you ask? Well, that’s undoubtedly the minute or so when all your friends decide to sing for you in the a classroom full of people, or a restaurant full of strangers or right in the middle of the street (Yes, all three happened, this year that too). And you end up standing in the middle of everything, blushing and embarrassed, not knowing what you’re supposed to do.
The most difficult thing for me to cope with this year was… was the fact that I was a teenager no more. No longer did I come in the “oh-its-alright-you’re-still-a-kid” category. Did I just outgrow it? Overnight (yes, I mean literally, here)? Am I to start feeling older? How does that work? Now do you grow up overnight (yes, somehow I have to keep stressing on that)? Am I supposed to suddenly have more mature thoughts and *appear* more sensible, than I was, like, a few hours ago?
What if I want be Twen-teen this year? Yes, it’s the awkward age (I just made up) that defines somebody who just cannot come to terms with the fact that she’s a teeny weeny bit too old to be a teenager now. Or am I supposed to just suck it up and just “grow-up-gracefully”?
Anyway, who defines what I’m “supposed” to be doing anyway? Society just sets vague standards for us to meet, and anything out of the ordinary is shunned and deemed unacceptable instantly. What if I just want to act like the seven-year-old I am inside? What if I want to behave like an adult only when the situation demands? What if I don’t like time moving just so quickly and I just want it to pause, and let me take a breath?