Experience takes years. And the years teach you a lot. For instance, life isn't as you always thought it would be when you were the ubiquitous school girl with pony tails. When you thought it would be a grand affair and you would be the queen of it all. I can't even begin to count the number of things I have learned over the years.
*For instance, you can never take anyone for granted. Not friends, not anyone for that matter. There was a time when I thought friendships are indestructible. They are always there to stay. I was so wrong. I have lost so many friends over a period of time. A guy I knew pointed it out and said, "You know, maybe the problem lies with you". Is that true? Because if it is, I wouldn't know how to deal with it. But I do try to reach back to friends I have lost. There's my school friend SK. Amy, me and SK were thick till college. Till Amy decided to go to Canada and I had just S with me. Then a bunch of complications crept in, in the form of a man she is married to now, and nothing is as it was. I tried to call her when I went back home the last time. She was kind of funny and she never called me back. Her husband by the way is a professor I took tuitions from when I was in college. I still think he is a damn good teacher but I have doubts about the human being in there. I get the feeling SK is alienated from everything she is familiar and I wonder how she is actually.
I suddenly remembered a silly thing Amy, SK and I did when we were in school. We had stood beneath a tree outside my house and taken a solemn oath. I don't know if either of them would recall that evening when after an afternoon of pure mirth, one of those days when we couldn't stop laughing, we said we would never stop being friends.
*I have also learnt in these 25 years that the only people who you can take for granted and count on with your eyes closed are your parents. No matter what. For sometimes, I feel, you do need such people in your life to create a balance between the let-you-downs and the never-let-you-downs. I don't know how many times I have yelled at them and misbehaved, but they have always been there. Just the other day I told my dad that they didn't have an idea about my choice. This because he had yet again sent me a photograph of an eligible guy (a guy
who resembles comedian Vinay Pathak. Now don't get me wrong. I like Vinay Pathak but I don't know whether I would like to marry him). I felt terrible later, but still I didn't call him back. Because I knew the you-are-growing-old-and-past-the-marriageable-age thing would start again. They have their point, I want to tell them, but I can't help it if I don't fall in love with the guys they hunt out.
*There again, creeps in a disillusionment. Life is not a Georgette Heyer tale, where I could say hornswoggle to a rude duke and get away with it and even win his love. In fact, I have started wondering whether there is anything as the perfect guy out there. They say, there is a right time for everything. But is there a right guy? E says its karmic. Since she's kinda in the same boat, she commented: "We must have been kings in our past life with harems. Hence we are paying for it in this life."
*Brothers change. Mine has changed so much that I can't begin to wonder at it. The same brother who would treat me as a pesky little thing and a plaything to be toppled in her walker, has started treating me like I am his older sister. He relies on me and I think I have let him down. He wanted to marry a girl whom my mother never liked. To cut a long tale short, I didn't feel comfortable forcing my parents to accept it. It was complicated alright. Now my mother refuses to talk to my brother and I feel awful about it.
* There's nothing like young love. I met an old crush, a school friend of my brother's, who used to come over to our place pretty often. I was quite young and head over hells in love with him. Ex crush got married a year back and the other day he was in Delhi. When he called and said who he was, I almost fell out of my chair. We met up. It wasn't at all uncomfortable as I feared. I don't know whether he ever had an inclination of my infatuation, but he was very nostalgic. And for once I didn't feel like saying a sarcastic 'Oh yeah' when he commented to my brother: "AB has really grown up R. God I can't believe it." As he was leaving, he gave me a gift. The gesture touched me.
*Experience has taught me yet another thing. One fine day you just bump into someone you have never thought of laying your eyes on ever again. I have a list of such people I would want to meet and wouldn't want to meet. In the latter category would be rock photographer dude. Maybe I should forward it to my guardian angel and trust him to take care of it. And, oh yes, keep my fingers crossed.