My mind doesn’t think like that. It still thinks we’re friends. It still reaches out for the second coffee mug. It still thinks fondly of that animation we watched together. It still absently makes me wear that chain you bought me for my birthday. It still thinks we’re friends. And it still adds your name to the recipient list of collective texts I send. It still recognizes your name as only your name. Nobody else can claim it from my mind. It’s your name. It still thinks we’re friends. And it still holds a grudge over the incomplete autograph you wrote me when we finished school. It still holds you to the promise of completing it later. It still digs up your name when I desperately need someone to cry with. It still expects you to show up when I’m sick. It still sometimes hopes on you, when I run out of change for the rickshaw. It still thinks you’re my friend. My mind doesn’t know. It doesn’t know. And it makes me cry that it doesn’t know. It still thinks you’re my friend. It still plans to build that underground tunnel from my house to yours. It still wants that Singaporean rice. It still thinks you’re my friend. It still thinks. It still thinks. And yours… Has ceased to think.
You know who you are,
You know how much I value you. You know how much your support means to me. You know. And guess what? We’re the same age again, for the next eight days. Hugs?
Remember the childhood years? That game of touch-me-not at Barray abbu’s old house, the kidnapping plays at Taya’s house, the monkey bar on his terrace and our antics of climbing it, the cousins who pretended to throw us off the railings there? Do you remember playing hide and seek with the elder cousins? Do you remember all the nicknames I gave you? I’m really sorry for the offensive one, although you did get me scolded for it :p Oh, and do you remember the mummy in my room’s store? 😀 It’s still there. Come visit someday, it has missed you. All those night stays, the pleadings for night stays, the ijtemaai duaaen for my father forgetting to pick me up from your place on his way home from office… and those two times that he actually did forget!! 😮 Oh and remember the times you and your younger sister stayed at my place, and you’d both be sad for the first few hours because…. well, you know why. It was infuriating. Oh well. I loved you then and I love you now. You two were the sole reason I begged to be transferred to campus IV of our school. We fantasized we’d play in the basement in recess time, but school brought with it quite different times.
And then we grew up. There was competition for five rupee coins, there were new friendships and petty disputes over them. I apologize for those, I admit I was incredibly shallow and inconsiderate. And it hurt you. I’m sorry. In that period, there was confusion and lots of changes swimming about everywhere. It changed us as well. And for sometime, our relationship was in the background. But it was revived, no? The bathroom meetings on the ground floor? And… ahem, remember that singular exchange? 😀 Oh and remember the time I got a new haircut and I was so excited to show you, I opened my hair and arranged it in that specific way, outside the bathroom, and Miss Zarqa came along!! 😮 We were scolded. And the spelling bee!!! I can never forget that. I remember how I explained the phonetic symbols to you and Fizza. And how we memorized the spellings for typhoid and haemorrhage, and how much we loved pronouncing hullabaloo and bootee. And all the free periods we got to practice, just the three of us sitting outside to study spellings. I still blame myself for getting that spelling wrong in the regional rounds. I over-complicated it. I remember my reaction when we got our matric results, and I was envious. I admit that. I didn’t even congratulate you, and it brings tears to my eyes. But I did hug you and congratulated you at school early morning the next day. The damage was done and I was extremely in the wrong. Forgive me if you can? For all those times?
And then school ended, college distanced us. Your anxiety in those two years, and my depression; we bonded differently. Different colleges and different subjects after having studied the same subjects together, for six years, our desks almost always near, for there wasn’t much space in the classroom either :p I missed you.
Remember that one crazy night at my place when our fathers went out of city? We watched a movie, and then theorized every lunatic idea that came to mind, lying beside my bed on the carpet in the dark for so long, we ruined Einstein, and made a joke out of philosophy where everything was nothing and nothing was everything and bananas and feet and darkness and Lord knows what. Conclusion? Birmingham Asylum. Electricity went off, my mother came to talk to us, and we sobered up.
Sobering times followed as university came along. Same institutions again, we began to meet almost everyday, and found the solace of silence in each other. We found colliding and conflicting passions, favourite spots and baffling philosophies. As different and as similar as we continue to become, you still are the best cousin, and my rock. We have something different, don’t we? That kind of comfort, I can never find with anyone except you. Too sappy? But i’m being honest. See, I even wrote you a love letter 😉
We’ve changed drastically, and we keep talking of changes. All the changes aside, you need to hear what’s coming. You are a fantastic person. Your thoughts, your words, your strokes, your expression of everything and your extraordinary ability to feel (reminded me of the theater society, and need for “empathy” :p). Whatever life may have brought, you’re still that amazing person. You might not see it, but everyone else does. Have faith in yourself, as I do in you. Love thyself, as I love thee.
We believe in the process, remember? 🙂
You were right, I did it for attention. But it offended me deeply when you said it, when in fact I should have realized you were giving me an easy way out. Almost six years later I realize this and find closure. I’m sorry for the way I reacted. I am indebted to you.
I think of that day every day. It has been almost nine years I think. I’m burdened with guilt. The fact that I can never apologize sickens me. You were my best friend at that time. I should have known better. I hope you’re happy wherever you are now.
I forgive you. I know why you did what you did. I understand, although I obviously don’t approve. I forgive you. I hope you’re doing as well as you seem to be doing. I hope you understand my reaction as well.
I don’t know you anymore. I just remember your name, your face, the time we spent together, and the monkey-bar incident. I hope you think of me too.
___________, ___________, and ____________,
I was a child. You shouldn’t have done what you did. Every day I think of it and try to justify your actions, and I often succeed although I know it was wrong. I can’t say I forgive you. I don’t know if there’s anything to forgive. I don’t know what that constitutes. Just know, it affected me deeply. I would’ve been an entirely different person had it not been for you.
Very dear _____________,
All of us miss you. I wish I could’ve thanked you when you were still here. I have fond memories with you. I still haven’t thrown away your gifts. I don’t know if I ever will. You’re missed, but you don’ need to worry. We’re all okay here. I hope you’re in peace.
A nobody is
of no importance.
But you, my dear
are important to me
as you always shall be.
So if you’re anything
you’re not a nobody.
But if you insist
I’ll humour you.
you’re a nobody.
But allow me
You are a nobody
bent on being
And the only thing
are a nobody
that is a
Beautiful albeit damaged
Strong albeit afraid
Strange albeit familiar
Yes, you’re a nobody.
The years I’ve spent in this world have taught me a lot. People have given me lessons to treasure, places have lent their experiences to me and I always find nature willing to contribute to my knowledge, wisdom and experience, of which I have little at this age.
There’s one friend who taught me to think in a twisted way. She thinks a lot-unnecessarily. And then she worries. And then she becomes crazy over all the worst possible outcomes of whatever has happened. She taught me to control and direct my thoughts. But she also taught me to think in a twisted way. About every aspect of everything. I control it, but I find it useful at times. She also taught me to value little things. To accept one’s shortcomings, though she often doesn’t do that herself. She taught me to accept situations, and do something about them rather than fretting over them in a non-productive way. She doesn’t do it, but she taught me to, unconsciously.
Then there’s this other friend who is apparently very careless, but at the same time, very responsible. She gives me maturity. She taught me to take everything together, to balance life. I haven’t learned to do it completely, but I’ll get there. She also taught me to cope with whatever life throws at us. I see her struggling and I see myself struggling and I see both of us getting the better of situations we never thought we’d get through. She has a love-hate relationship with life. And in all her uniqueness, that relationship suits her. She’s one of the most thoughtful people I’ve met, and one of the most productive as well. She might not have the best of everything, but she makes the best of what she has. She’s obviously a treasure.
A third friend, who is equally important for me, taught me respect. For everything. Having gone through some very tough situations in life, she’s the most realistic person I’ve come across. She might not be very optimistic, but it saves her from getting crushed by expectations. No, she’s not hopeless-just realistic. She plans the future but she keeps it loose enough to accommodate changes and spontaneous decisions. She expects from life but she keeps it real enough to be able to cope with disappointment. She’s traditional but she keeps the world on track. She teaches me time and again, to plan, to expect but to keep it real at the same time.
There’s another friend I love, and she taught me to express. She taught me to not restrain myself unnecessarily. She taught me that life is not all about rules, it’s not all about others and yet, it’s not all about ourselves. It’s about itself, in reality. She’s the wind
Everyone I know or meet even if very briefly, they teach me something. Passing people teach me too, sometimes by their appearance, sometimes by the phrases of their conversation that the wind brings to me, and sometimes by the way they look at me, other people or the environment. The people I encounter in public transport, they speak volumes without actually speaking too. They teach.
Nature teaches too. My university is the best place I’ve been to. It has trees that whisper secrets, and some of them don’t even need to whisper. Their majestic roots and beards speak for themselves. And oh those twisted trees in the park, they have a very weird structure with which I do not agree. And that is what they teach me. The other trees? They teach me that we’re here to stay whether we like it or not. And that we get through tough times. We’re never tested for more than we can bear. The little ones teach me that we’ll grow-with all the chaos to the side, we’ll grow and we’ll grow strong.
The buildings have a lot to tell us too. They’re old and huge and open. They have cracked walls and tall windows. And then there are the new buildings in contrast to them, with their shiny glass and fresh paint, new desks, clean boards and modern architecture. The library is huge. There’s a world of volumes in there. Its massive structure has been standing for decades, and it has a withered look but it remains poised. It tells me it has experience. That with age comes elegance, comes experience, comes wisdom. There’s a long path that goes from the main gate of the university to the faculty of arts. It teaches perseverance to everyone who walks on it. owing to its length and traffic… I find the path beautiful. I refer to it as the path of the righteous, since it’s so long and straight and tests our patience to limits.
My point here: Everything teaches everything. Provided we’re willing to learn.
My very dear Friend,
I love you and I love you the way you are. But you need to know some things. The world won’t let you be. It won’t let you stay innocent and bubbly and childish. It won’t let you be you. The world needs you to grow up. You’ve given me a lot to think about… And I need to tell you this, for your own good. You need to let go of all the pouting, the stubborn attitude. You need to realize life. You need to realize what you have is more than good enough. You also need to understand, that you’re not the only one with feelings, yara….
I know you don’t want to grow up. I don’t either. But trust me, you don’t want to remain a child either. You can’t help the world if you don’t grow up. When I ask you to grow up, i’m asking you to become mature. Keep the childhood. But keep it inside. So it doesn’t let you get old on the inside. But do grow up. Take responsibility. For yourself. Feel those around you. And know that life is not fair. It isn’t supposed to be. Just because you deserve something does not mean you will get it. Realize and accept these things as a fact of life. Keep your goals in sight, stay happy, and do not let the unfairness of life demoralize you. Life is hard and everyone else has had to overcome obstacles. Be a child when you need to be, while being a grown up at the same time.
Someone rightly said; Why be born again when we can simply grow up.
My very dear Friend, growing up does not mean becoming totally serious, hardly having fun, and having to deal with stressful matters all the time. It just means accepting responsibility. Being mature. Getting a wider, more realistic perspective of things. And you know what? It makes us a better version of ourselves. It allows us to flourish, to bloom… It is a good thing, to grow up. We must realize, that every single act of ours, has a direct effect on everyone else. We must learn to control our emotions, become a stable, rational person.
We need to grow up. The world needs us.
A friend expresses the challenge she has ahead. In form of poetry. In form of Harry Potter fan poetry. Apparently she has a thing for horcruxes….
And seven subjects I have got.
To pass their exams is my mission,
In only a month’s time slot.
Death-eaters are everywhere,
We call them distractions in local tongue.
They stop you from focusing,
And help you to flunk.
What can a person possibly feel when a beloved leaves… After being so close for so long… What can a person feel but deserted and alone?… No matter how much we try to be mature about it… It still hurts just the same. Still hurts too much. It becomes hard to think about anything but that. The mind takes so long to actually accept the fact. Even though we know… We know very well. It is still a shock. The mind still takes long to register it. The thought of that one person missing…becomes unbearable.
Especially when that person is your best friend. One of them. And especially when things just started looking up. And especially when that person has no choice but to leave. Heart-rending. It’s not everyday that you find someone so unique that you never want to let go. Someone so very unique, that everyone but themselves sees it. Someone amazing… Who you can open up to. Someone just as strange as you… Someone different. Unlike you, but like you too. Your person.
My person is leaving. I just wanted to tell her, that I love her and always will.
Her hair and her eyes.
I think of her going away.. and all those moments replay in my mind. How we both never knew the other existed till 8th grade. We didn’t have a great opinion of each other. Then circumstances forced us to sit beside each other for the rest of the school years. At first, I didn’t get her. She often confused me. I wanted her to like me, for us to get along well. And I couldn’t figure out how. I couldn’t figure out how she felt. But then when I did get to know her, when I started to understand her, I was amazed. I can still say this about her, she’s the most unique person I’ve ever met. We never talked much. The silence was often comfortable. And when we did talk, it was almost always meaningful.
I think there are two kind of best friends. Those you can be crazy with, stay stupid stuff to, and then laugh over it for hours even decades. You understand each other. You can make the other forget their pain, be happy with them. And those who you can talk to about important stuff. About feelings. And you’re comfortable telling them. You solve each other’s problems. You listen to the other seriously… You can be quite philosophical together… You don’t need to talk all the time to understand what the other is going through… And their are those too… Who’re both kinds.
After all of this, it comes down to the fact that I know, whatever happens, happens for a reason. Allah knows best, He knows what’s better for us and He knows what we can not comprehend. If He has planned for her to go away…then it’s best she does. And it’s like we’ll never ever see each other again. No, we probably hopefully will. It hurts, and it will keep on hurting. But that’s life. No one ever said it’s easy. It’s actually very difficult. It actually does become unbearable at times. But that’s what we live for. The challenges, and to live through them. To learn from them… To let them make us stronger. And then to face more challenges. Till we breathe our last.