Long time, no see? Just kidding. We’ve known each other for quite a while now. By now you’d be well versed with details like my favorite song and the woman I secretly admire the most. Looking at the last few years, I think you’d agree that compared to an average adult, you see a lot more of me. Far, far more than usual.
You probably see the amusing irony in personifying you, as your existence generally implies the absence of people. This is the first letter I’m writing to you, because I think we need to communicate.
I have often been confused whether I like your company.
When I’m in my room, I like it. Hell, I’m staying in Mumbai and paying a big fat rent to have your company in my room. I suppose that makes you feel pretty special. But it’s worth it.
The best part about you is that you let me be myself. I am free, and in complete control, with nothing to inhibit me.
There is so much we’ve done and seen together. Those six months after engineering was when I first properly met you. I was such a mess back then. I couldn’t stand you, and longed for my actual friends, who seemed to be gallivanting all over the world thanks to social media. I hated your painfully quiet presence. I guess I just needed some time to get used to you.
It was in your company that I started reading and writing. And you know I joined keyboard lessons. And remember how many cities we explored on foot in Europe? I took you along for almost two out of my three months there.
The thing is, I don’t want to be afraid of you. Many people are. They would go to any lengths to avoid your company. They’ll meet people they don’t want to meet, drink when they don’t want to drink, spend inordinate sums of money with already thinning wallets. All because the thought of facing you terrifies them.
I won’t say I’m terrified, but sometimes it gets too much for me too, you know? I like meeting people, talking to them, listening to them for hours. And being in Mumbai, I never thought that would a problem. The reality is quite disappointing. Sure, sometimes I do meet friends and enjoy. But nobody’s there on a regular basis. Some people say they want to meet but then they don’t. I wish they had the courage to be honest and tell me they’re not interested.
Why don’t I make more friends, you ask? I don’t know. It’s a weird age. Sometimes I feel friends are like the hairs on our heads: they grow in number only till a certain age, then they stop, and eventually fall one by one. The few that remain behind, grow in length, but not in number.
You however, have always been there.
This long Diwali weekend I was afraid of spending three continuous days with you, as I didn’t go home like most other people due to lousy planning. I was so afraid I whined about this to my closest friends, like it was an impending doom. Then I realized a simple truth.
If someone could take away all the long weekends I spent with you, all those days I spent alone – I am nobody. Facing you is facing myself. Being with you, is being with myself.
I wouldn’t have read half the books I have, and I may never have started writing. I wouldn’t know the joy of walking long hours through Swedish parks and Croatian waterfalls as a son of nature. I would’ve stopped singing years ago when my voice thickened. I wouldn’t know the pleasure of spending more than an hour trying to capture the perfect Eiffel sunset.
I would’ve been just another guy. But thanks to you, I’m not. I’ll never run out of books to read, stuff to write, and a self to discover.
Now stop being so full of yourself and go bother someone else.