I happened to meet a person recently who was thus far just an acquaintance. A beautiful person with a beautiful mind and beautiful thoughts.
Everything fell in place like magic: the time, the meeting point, the logistics—all this conjured up over a rather simple pretext of exchanging a book for a hard disk full of movies and music.
As the day unfolded, no-holds-barred conversations on the sunlit balcony began to unspool some simple truths and mysteries of life, made some silly fears disappear and reinforced some long-held beliefs.
Like this belief I always I had. That friendship happens. It can’t be made no matter how hard we try. And when it happens, it can’t be contained. It’s free spirit. It has no beginning or end. Like weather, it just arrives and departs only to come back with different, or rather, more nuanced hues.
This meeting summoned memories of a similar rare encounter. Years ago, I met a person who still happens to be one of my guiding lights. Now I look at us more like two stranded travellers, each one carrying torn pieces of a map to a single destination. It’s just that we had to walk a certain distance, meet at a certain juncture to realise what the other one was holding.
In other words, it took a great deal of time to realise how far we had travelled. That’s the reason why it is often difficult to judge any friendship before it ripens. It’s left to the filter of time, the rough and tumble it brings with it, to decide its worth: will the friendship let you be what you are and accept you as you are and will it simply let you grow; will it turn out to be so imbecile that it takes just an ‘Unfriend’ click on Facebook to end it or will it use you as a crutch or turn you into one?
You never know. But still, no regrets. What’s life without these encounters—good or bad?
There is this other friend of mine with a peculiar tendency that lies between his intellect and instinct. It helps him look at people’s passions and tastes and interests and impulses, and absorb all this deeply into his thought processes. He keeps saying that the incredible beauty of life needs beautiful encounters to shine through.
There is also this firm belief I’ve held close to my chest. That no matter how hard we try to obfuscate mutilated relationships by wrapping them in hubris and high-sounding words, the realisation that they were worthless in one sense or the other is hard to escape from.
Similarly, there is a certain way to fathom the beauty of any friendship. It is beautiful only if you are able to live it backwards as if it were a fantasy.
Not just today. Not just now. Not just in this moment.