The following is an excerpt from a mail I meant to send a year ago(31/5/07 to be exact), but never did! I found it in the drafts today, while looking for something else, and I just thought I'll put it in. It describes a feeling I was to experience many times over in the following year:
You know that feeling you get when you see a friend off? You see her getting into the bus and take up a seat. She looks out at you from the window and smiles and waves. You smile back and keep waving till the bus turns around the corner. Then you turn around and start walking. The road suddenly looks both beautiful and empty. You have a smile on your face but you feel lonely.. Why am i typing this? Because i just saw Madhu off on her JNC shuttle and I wanted to get the feeling while it still was there. Sure there's another shuttle I can catch in another two hours but life - my work would've caught up with me by then. I would no longer want to get into the bus.. I'll meet her, maybe, this weekend, but the moment would be long gone. But, years later when I look back and ponder upon what our friendship was all about, it is this moment that i will think of. It is that feeling - a sudden loss of safety, a sense of loneliness - that I will remember.
And now, a year later, I've done that over and over again. Endless times. Now-a-days, it's with a "I dunno when I'll see you next, so I'll see you when I'll see you" - to close/best friends from school going abroad, to cousins leaving to different places, to classmates from college who work in different parts of the world, to friends I met during the summer during my internship... the list is endless!
There is no escape of course - the goodbyes must be said, the hugs must be given and you must watch them as they turn and disappear out of sight - perhaps forever!
Modi, Shah, and the Heart of Strategy
4 weeks ago