(Bright flashes of light! Loud coughing, followed by retching, some wheezing, groan, thud sounding like blody slumping to floor, followed by a heavy object of sorts that sounds like a book such as 'Software Engineering' by Ian Sommerville.
Silence and then a voice sounds forth from the darkness.)
So, you're 20 now, eh?
"Ah, hello there Br.! You caught me in the middle of something. It can wait, it's been a while."
Yes it has, and see how different things have become today. You don't realise it, but you've just reached another milestone in your life. You're 20 years old; a time in your life when all that you've learnt over the years will help you make a very important decision. Which path must I choose? That is a question that you will have to answer.
"Speaking of paths, I found a new route to the Maratahalli bridge the other day."
And how did you come across this?
"Well, a friend of mine needed a drop home, so I dropped her off and under the circs. I was compelled to take that path."
A new friend of yours? Who is she?
"She's someone whom I've known for a while. We had difficulties understanding one another I guess. These misunderstandings sort of snowballed into something big and kept us at a distance."
Ah, story of your life, isn't it?
"Yes, but since we got an opporunity to work together in a team, I've begun to feel better about where we're going. She, me and another friend got together and really hit it off a couple of days back!it
"We were doing serious work but laughing our asses off at the same time! I never expected that, and it was quite a revelation I had that day. I learnt that it takes time to get comfortable with a person. Make the other person feel good about spending time with you. If you get together and let humour and laughter take over, and you realise that 6 hours feels more like 6 minutes, then you know you've had fun!"
So, the barriers broke, eh?
"Yes, and so did the water gates! I ended up with enough tears to make the Sardar Sarovar Project generate at full capacity; something, by the way, it's not done ever since it was built!"
That's great! So, you've found new friends this semsester. How do you feel about the future?
"I'd found them already. I just needed to brighten things up, that's all."
Tamasoma Jyothir Gamaya.
"And what a journey it was! I just realised that I've pushed almost everyone I knew away, when I felt that I was getting too close to them."
You mean, what happened with -
"Yes, you know. And I feel that I did it unconsciously, unwillingly, reflexively. Not knowing. And much regrettably so, it's been a late realisation. But it's something of a start."
Something is better than nothing.
"For the moment your eyes open, and you know.
All the things I'd ever want you to know.
I don't know you, I don't want to,
Till the moment your eyes open, and you know." - 'Your Eyes Open', Keane
Stop listening to Keane!
"Can't help it."
"I pushed another friend away too, recently. Said stupid things, I regret having said them now."
(cough cough) Chat IS as good as live conversation!
"I want her to know how sorry I feel. All that stuff we spoke about earlier makes no sense now. I have to accept things the way they are. Do what you think is right. Make it your aim in life, har pal, har gadi, har vakt."
[Aside: That's redundancy for ya!]
Tell her how you feel. Things are different now.
"If you read this, I want to let you know, I didn't mean what I said, I'm sorry. I've made mistakes before, but I'm tired and any more mistakes will not help me change. I've realised that somewhere, deep down you've got to accept change, as it comes, and regardless of how futile all this change might be, you're still human, and still in need of kindness. I'm glad we met, and who knows, my life may not have turned out the way it did, hadn't it been for you. I don't know what to say, I just wanted to say that I still owe you a coffee, and if you find the time, do let me know."
Perhaps when this craziness ends, you'll both have the time.
"I hope so, br. I hope so. I think that smile gives me hope."