Tag Archives: friends

Friends down memory lane

It is in the thirties that we want friends. In the forties we know they won’t save us any more than love did. ―F. Scott Fitzgerald

We sit around a huge bed covered in a thick, rough, cotton fabric next to huge windows overlooking wide expanses of this city of asbestos roofs, open dumpsters, pretty apartment buildings with AC’s hanging off the walls and rickshaws and BMW’s parked next to each other spanning a vista that looks almost pretty in the bright sunlight if you had the eyes to see it.

We’re still sitting in a circle, almost happy, almost young, almost twenty.

Some of us (who can) look over our shoulders in a familiar gesture to see if auntie (one of our mothers) is at the door to supervise us. But she has become too old now and retires to her room in the afternoons.

At first, we start talking like we always did whenever we met for the past ten to twenty years, since the steady decline of opportunities in the city and this age of globalization showered it’s bounties upon some of us and catapulted us to various parts of the globe.

Other schools, other cities, other jobs, other husbands, other children, other friends, other neighbours, other colleagues, other languages and other ways of life while some continued here in the city, swaying with the pull of distant lands or staying steadily rooted, yet none being able to ignore the loss and gain of bonds in our new and changed world. Continue reading Friends down memory lane

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The phone call

The other day there was a sudden ring and a friendly voice on the phone. Unfamiliar yet somehow disconcertingly expectant. Sort of demanding almost.

“Hi,” said the voice.

“Hello.”

That was me in my most careful, professional manner at the unexpected intrusion, hiding that of which I’m quite not sure of myself. Wary.

“Do you know who I am?”
Continue reading The phone call

On global Indians and old friends in digital spaces

I’m remembering an unusually dark and very quiet night in Davis, California three years  ago.

It’s silent outside the house but my life is full of the busy humdrum of life. I’m sitting under the yellow glow of a table lamp at my laptop and looking at an old photograph I uploaded to Facebook earlier that day. Although the photograph is almost two decades old, it has acquired a life of its own like it has never been used to before in its plastic-wrapped life in various drawers for years in its travels through many countries until it has reached this very spot—the place-which-is-not-a-place and yet the place that so many of us “global” Indians have begun to inhabit in our daily lives.

This is the  real world of Facebook.
Continue reading On global Indians and old friends in digital spaces

Peripheral friends

I remember a woman I met a long time ago who went hiking with me in California. She was a native of those mountains, having climbed those heights often in childhood.

Me, a city person, unused to those heights, kept lagging behind.

Every few steps she stopped for me, turned back, sometimes climbed down. Often, she would stop by the wayside to show me a berry, telling me which ones were edible and which ones could kill. I trusted her judgement instinctively, tasting a huckleberry for the first time or smelling a sage leaf. Continue reading Peripheral friends