Chew on it.

Chances are all we have.

Tag: night

Last night.

Everyone around me says they can do without the internet and I agree. I can do without it too.

Of course it isn’t a compulsive brain-damaging urge to want to stay online and browse all the time. It’s just that I have made so many friends through Twitter (little note – it’s part of the internet!) and they are across so many time zones and regardless of time zones, they are leading so many lives that I want to be part of each of them and I’m afraid of the day when even one of them doesn’t think of me if they are in crisis because I want to be there since that’s what friends do even if you have met once or never. I want to be there to share their joy, news, highlights, frustrations, rants, their pillow talk friend, their shoulder to cry on, their first SOS contact I want to be on their speed dial because what if they’re into something that they can’t tell their mom or what if they just want to hear a human voice? It’s not compulsive, it’s my emotional drive to not let anyone be alone, even if that means I get late to class in the morning and have to text an apology as the teacher takes a break to sip water and even if it means I have to skip gym before work and instead head to after work when my body is dragged through the day and has a thousand conversations with every soul I have interacted with running through my mind wondering what is the next most comforting thing to say because if you ever need reassurances I must be around to give it to you, to soften the blows and to set things straight. I don’t think of it as an obligation because I choose the people I interact with even if they are many and one day I don’t know who I love the most and who I would want to settle down with and I was pretty sure I didn’t take her name the last time someone asked me who my best friend was but hey, circumstances change and I can assure you that she really does think I’m the best friend in the world and for me, in my heart that is enough, even if she doesn’t remember what she told me the next day. I’m here for everyone and I like it, till the names blurred last night and I wanted to know who I am in love with and if I am in love at all and I had no answer because of so many names in the same list, each a promising candidate of my affections and a brilliant soul.

So I put my internet off, and I slept.

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Forged, unwilling friendships.

You’re at a party.
Your seniors got promoted. I hear the hint of alcohol in your voice. There’s music. You’ve eaten, and you’ve asked someone the score. You have calculated the Fantasy League points your players have got and will go back to the guest house and check if they’ve increased. The music isn’t something too loud but you don’t mind it. You never mind most things, even if you wouldn’t do them yourself. You’re dressed in a light shirt and trousers and you’re worried your hair will catch attention. “It grows up,” you’d told me, when I asked you to not cut it. You’re mixing with the men in your confusing Hindi and you’ve come to terms with the agreeable company you keep. The scotch isn’t the finest like your GM’s party had, but it’s a week you’ve decided to enjoy anyway. You are still talking more than your alcohol.
A few hundred miles away, I’m curled in my bed. Ready to hear your voice put me to sleep instead of your arms for yet another night. Filling in the distance with words that we share to bring us closer.
I dial the number you usually answer. It rings. And rings. And rings some more. And falls silent. I remember that you must be at the party.
But you had the phone. Why aren’t you answering? Is something wrong?
I try the number you asked me to call. It follows pattern and falls silent with the same result. No you. A pit forms in my gut.
What if he’s passed out? Or had an accident on the way to his room? Is anyone looking after him?
I try the first number again. It rings. The seventh time, the ring sounds different and my spirits soar and crash, as the ringing continues. It ends. And sighs with me.
It’s like the wind has been knocked out of me. I curl in more, cradling my now-alive tummy that has abandoned hope. I shut my eyes tight, opening them for the 3 seconds I need to leave a message on your IM.
Call?
I close my eyes. Alcohol – 1, Radha –
You call. I almost choke.
Among other things like what time you will call and if I should stay up, you say it. “I love you,” you say. Reassuring, fond, firm, alcohol-induced because you never say it otherwise, even if you feel it. I am overwhelmed. In tears. Choking.
Do you know what that does to me? Your grip on my heart has tightened at 11.45 pm.
You kiss into the phone, and say you’ll call. I nod my understanding.
And for the sake of those three words and bringing them to your lips so I can exhilerate in that moment of your attention and love, I shake hands with alcohol.

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