We are shifting house next weekend. Shilpi has been toiling night and day cleaning and packing. It's inspiring -- to put it mildly -- to see her do it so methodically. Sorting, packing, labelling. One particular thing she has been doing is both heart wrenching and overwhelming in its importance. She has been ruthlessly rejecting a lot of stuff that we had been carrying around only because of their emotion value: old notes, paper reprints, letters, cards, magazines, old clothes, pram, cradle etc. Our shifting will be simpler and lighter. Our new house will be more empty. If we decide to get new things to fill that emptiness -- good; if not -- even better.
Hm. What else can be thrown out, to make moving about and moving on easier?
I have been blessed to have got a large number of friends. But that's not been without hurts. I have met plenty of imposters who have simply occupied a space in my memory, and decided to go their own ways. Friendships which never happened don't hurt. I prefer strangers who meet you for a short while and go their own ways with no false promises. But there are those who would swear by their friendship if I met them. But to meet them, or get in touch, it would take me every ounce of my being. There are those from whom I have never heard, not with a single exception. And yet, when I have done the harder job of travelling long miles, negotiating complex schedules, to reach them, their only input to the relation has been an eloquent description of how much they treasure their friendship with me. They won't reply to my mails. They would never call. They would quietly visit my city and go without even calling. I would come to know of it through facebook. Change of jobs, birth and bereavement -- every major happening in their lives, I come to know from the grapevine, from the social networking sites. In some cases, I have even had friends moving in and living in the same city for years together, without bothering to communicate. Any voice raised on this matter would be quickly silenced with unquestionable excuse of busy-ness.
I too have decided to cut some of this crap out from my life. Crap that sits in my heart in the form of friendships and relations which have just occupied a corner of my memories without being a source of any gratification.
In the end of the day, it's a thankless job to be seen as that harmless and patient friend who will always be there for you whether you care or not, year after year. Sometimes, even I would like to speak my mind, without thinking too much about my tone. Without gulping the very gist of my emotion in order to be politically correct. Last weekend, I liberated an imposter who had been swearing by my friendship for 13 years, but for sure had no place for me in his thoughts.
I feel happy and light! And please, don't ask me if I am counting you as one of them, just because you haven't been writing to me every week. :) I think, if you know me, you know me to do better than that. And yes. One advice. Preserve your friendships. But only the true ones. Send out Good-bye cards to the imposters. And live with light heart with space for new friendships.