Its weird. Everything begins and ends with nothing. The question is why do somethings begin if they have to end? We meet so many people in the course of a lifetime, some stick on, some pass by, some are somewhere out there but never forgotten.
One of my 'best' friends left a couple of days back. The dude forgot his phone at home and the only number etched (forcefully, unwillingly) in his memory, other than his of course was\is mine. "iam leaving for good"! yours or mine?!
That was all he said. I could only manage an "OK".. horrible.. fewest words spoken on phone, ever! But the funniest part is I dint feel a thing! should i, shouldn i?! what am i supposed to feel.. something or NOTHING??
We met for lunch. They chatted mercilessly in malayalam. I played with my spoon and plate wondering what the hell am I doing here, unwanted attachment. why was I feeling outta place with my friends of three long eventful years? anyway, we went shopping! thats one thing I dont like indulging in.. Everyone went hopping from one shop to another. Dude takes a huge pile of clothes, anything and everything he managed to find, goes to the trial room, comes out with oversized pants, tries to grab others attention but no one except me comments!
I tell him its too long, he ignores and asks others. I tell myself not to feel bad. But I did feel bad, pathetic actually.. This is the same guy who wouldn even go to the loo without my permission! Well, not really, but he was.. never mind. Finally San walks in like a breather, I am all too happy to see him. Anyway, the dude in question continues to admire himself in the mirror. I tell him "You still are self-obsessed, somethings never change" He gives me this 'whatever' look and goes about his business and I stand there looking at the mirror and the stranger standing in front of me. Nothing between us. Zero.
We, as in, all of us start giving our expert comment on movies and he tells me to watch this mallu flick that casts my favourite actor, I ask without any emotion " oh you remember what i like? I am surprised" He says " I dont forget things" ... conversation with others about how corn is too tasty continues with me standing in the middle of these newly found old people. Have i changed or have they? Or has Nothing changed..
Time to go. I offer to drop him as the rick guy has to pass our dude's place anyway. We go to book his tickets, five minutes, walking in silence towards the college where we first met. Not feeling a thing. Silence is broken:
Dude: How is your brother?
Me:(surprised) he is fine. How is your brother?
Dude: Fine. Busy with studies.
Me: Oh ok.
Inconsequential conversation between two ppl who used to talk for six hours at a stretch, talking bout nothing at all but still having said so much..
We take a rick. The auto guy asks for extra money. Dude looks at me, knowing very well I wont pay a penny more than the meter, "lets go, i will pay the extra amount" . I say another horrible "ok".. In the rick:
Me:So how come u suddenly decided to leave? (you left long back, dint u?)
Dude: Not suddenly, had been planning since three months.
Me: oh ok.. so what plans next? (yeah like he is some education minister!)
Dude: havent thought of it yet.
Me and Dude together: Will come back here only! (laughter, genuine laughter)
Silence again. Twenty minutes pass by.
Dude: Traffic sucks here.
Me:hmm..yeah it has become pretty bad. The bikes and stuff..remember Goa? Bajaj avenger? ( i kick myself for saying that)
Dude: yeah. nice bike.
Sittin half feet awayI could feel the distance of a million miles. We were struggling for words to fill our empty namesake dialogue...Back to nothingness..
Rick stops. He gets down. Says bye and walks off. I say, well, nothing.
From the shortest phone call to the longest auto ride which lasted a paltry half an hour, I couldn help rewinding the tapes of memory, washed away by time. There was.. thats the word 'was'! There was nothing, there is nothing. Still there is a void. Unfilled, probably it never will be. We begin and end with one word Zilch Zilch and Zilch.