Friendships are awesome! You have friends at your workplace, friends at your husband’s workplace, friends around your home…basically, you are a very social person who basks in the glory of having a lot of friends-a lot! It has just been two years since you reached the place and you get the feeling that you can settle and stay there for the rest of your life. Sigh! You knock on wood and smile. Then the cycles of time take a sudden turn (as they usually do right when you think you are on the right track) and your husband gets posted out of the place, thanks to his transferable job. You are heart-broken and torn between the decision to stay back or move out. Your friends cry, you cry. They get all emotionally worked up and you feel like you are committing a blunder by leaving such priceless friends behind. Nevertheless, you do. They are true friends, all of them…so you of course stay in touch; what else is the social media for? Sentimental messages continue and fill you with nostalgia. The messages reduce in frequency as the months pass and you understand that everyone is busy, just like you. It is understandable. There are times when you wonder if your memory is slowly waning off with time and then reprimand yourself for thinking so. They are all good friends! The process continues and you keep on thinking…”If only I could return!” And then one day, you actually do!
There is a chance to visit the place and you grab it although it involves rescheduling a lot of things. You are visiting THAT place, after all! You feel all excited and even though it is a last minute plan, you are incredibly motivated and thinking how you are going to meet so many friends in just two days and squeeze in time to visit a favourite haunt. You decide to skip it and meet your long list of friends. You think of calling but then decide to message them all, thinking they all would be equally excited and will call you immediately. It feels good to get attention of the people who matter! That’s when you realise that there are more types of friends than just good ones!
- The ‘Real’ ones
They respond back immediately and your chest swells with pride. They ask you your program, your convenience and promise to take out time for you. When you reach the place, they call you again and plan out a meeting with you despite being incredibly busy professionals, then even reschedule their routine. They insist on picking you up from wherever you are and treat you to dinner at an old favourite joint. Being with them makes you feel you never left. They are the ones you know you will miss when you go back this time. They are the ones you want to come back for.
- The ‘Unexpected’ ones
They are the ones you never knew cared for you so much. You contact them and they cross the length and breadth of the city just to see you for a couple of minutes. You knew them but never really ‘knew’ them, it dawns on you. Meeting them brings a smile to your face and you understand that friendships cross the boundaries of class, creed and age.
- The ‘Who Me?’ types
They are the ones who do not acknowledge you at all. They know where you are staying and are just in the vicinity but make their best to avoid you. You feel quite sure you might encounter some of them just walking by even if they are not going to especially visit you (though it is expected) but you don’t. You end up believing they even changed their routes to prevent any confrontations. These don’t bother you; they never were keep-worthy!
- The ‘Eye-openers’
They are the friends who reply to your announcement with a lot of excitement and you get that twinkle in your eye as you remember your gang and the fun you had, your daily dose of laughter. You tell them your itinerary and they express joy and a subtle suggestion to meet. Then everything falls silent. You ask them to plan a hangout and let you know but there is no response, only the echo of your own voice resounding in the emptiness all around. You wonder-did you just lose some friends or realise that ”Out of sight, out of mind” is not just a saying.
As you start on the backward journey, you pause and look back. You know you will still miss the place a lot but the people whom you would miss this time around and cherish won’t be the same you left with the last time! True friendships stand the tests of time and revisits!!