Listen, please do stay in touch! I am bad at it.
I carefully listened to her while she said these words. As we sat in the balcony of Chez MYK (That’s the name of my house in Paris), drinking away the last of the beer, the tone of her voice was unmistakably low, a little sad maybe. “All of this seems like a routine now, it will be hard to imagine once this gets over”, she continued. As it happens to some of us, I didn’t really have a reply for those words, except the look of understanding on my face. But to make sure I don’t crack easily, I must have said something which I don’t exactly now recall.
On the inside, though, I could feel the same pinch with which those words were being spoken. The walks, the beers, the talks, the ‘gastronomie indienne‘ among other things indeed had become a really sweet routine. So sweet that my WhatsApp usage during the period had dramatically fallen, and I have been more glad a soul. But with roughly 2.5 weeks of Paris remaining, we both did understand that very soon everything was to change, big time!
I have been a long time believer in the saying that ‘The days and the weeks are longer, the months and years shorter’. After a long time in life did I experience everything being shorter. Sometimes, time does fly.
Among all the above thoughts which had hit my mind right in that moment, the trigger was somewhat lost. Only after a couple of minutes did I had it coming back when I realised that I myself ain’t that good at staying in touch! “Shit” was the first thought that arrived.
I left Jammu as a 15-year-old. Cell phones weren’t a big thing yet, WhatsApp hadn’t arrived, SMS packs were a new thing. When I left my school, there wasn’t much to talk about staying in touch. It was, in many ways, not exactly possible. Things changed when I came to Delhi two years later. Cell phones had become a regular thing in the Indian middle class. SMS packs were a habit and WhatsApp had been a big hit. But staying in touch remained a thing which was hard still. There were, of course,exceptions. I had managed to stay in touch with one of my closest friends from Kota amongst others. But then most of those who came and made a sweet difference were forgotten, some very soon indeed. That has remained the story over years. As more people have entered life, many have left. The cycle continues to roll on.
Probably, that is why the “Shit” soon turned to the smile that I had in that moment on my face.Only a couple of days back, I had read the following
I am a very strong believer that whoever is meant to be in your life will always gravitate back towards you, regardless of how far they wander
I don’t know if I have the similar conviction, but I do believe in these lines. And hence, over the years, despite having failed to stay in touch with some of my friends, getting back to them hasn’t been really tough. We all have those friends, the idiots who just never leave. And it is not about Staying in touch that matters with them. Somehow the love never fades. They never fade, and neither do their memories. And I guess that’s why we always carry them with us, in a sweet little corner of our hearts. I guess, while reading these lines, even you are reminded of those friends, those darlings.
And so, to that friend of mine who candidly had confessed her lack of ability to stay in touch, here I am, confessing the same. And yet, here I am letting her know that it won’t matter if the communication is daily or not. What will matter is that we understand that in the moment where the physical distances are several time zones, we don’t exactly forget others, it’s just that we have so much else on our plate that it eats up a lot of our time. Sometimes, we are hardly left with time for ourselves. That’s the crux of this all. We never forget or Get out of touch with the people we carry in our hearts. So while I don’t exactly promise to stay in touch, I do promise to carry our memories in my heart and let them have me PMSing every once in a while! And well, in that way, I will come back to haunt you and maybe we will manage to stay in touch eventually. 😛
Whenever the day comes that we have to say “Au revoir”, I just hope you know that we leave on the words,”À très bientôt”
PS: To all people I have met outside India in 2016, as my time in Paris comes to its close, I wish, I hope that somewhere you will carry a memory of me in your heart, just like I will. No promises, but let’s try and stay in touch.
PPS: To all those whom I have not been able to keep in touch, I am sorry. But I do hope we understand that it’s tough and that it’s nothing personal.