Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve been too tame and safe, not done enough to have a life I can be proud of. This year has been a lot about catching up…..the sabbatical, tattoo, dating, blogging….everything is about trying to return to the life I once hoped I would live.
Two of my friends were discussing how they got into smoking and other such things. One of them said…”I was a ‘good boy’ till I was about 18 or so. Till then it was only messing around with Korex…you know?” And they both laughed.
Recently I spoke to one of the wildest people I’ve known. We were classmates once and he was boasting about the wild sex life he had then, counting off how many women in our class he’d slept with.
It is always interesting to listen to people who appear to have lived more interesting lives than I have.
I thought, “What was I doing at that time?”
– Reading. A lot…..transactional analysis, management books, P.G.Wodehouse, Ayn Rand, Richard Bach, George Orwell…
– Taking long walks all by myself down the bylanes close to my college
– Pondering on the meaning of life
– Trying to understand religion by visiting temples and churches
– Sketching things I saw around me and some abstract pictures I just liked but couldn’t quite explain
– Cutting physics class and sneaking into the psychology class because that was so much more fascinating
– Writing….poetry that I never showed anyone, long ramblings full of questions that I still don’t have answers for
– Giggling. And being very silly. Like deciding by common consensus on one ‘bakra’ for the week who would then be followed and stared at by a bunch of girls till he completely freaked out. Like irritating each other with funny, crank calls that always began with “Is your clock running?”
– Talking. To a lot of people. About love and life and relationships and education and family and sex and marriage and childhood and dreams
– Being in love. Quietly, from a distance. Standing right next to him, talking to him and never letting him know.
– Watching the sunrise over buildings from the third floor balcony and slipping away before my classmates came in.
– Thinking. So very much.
I had a lot of friends but not a single boyfriend till I was nearly out of college. I didn’t even try a cigarette till I was 20. Or drink for that matter. Somehow I just wasn’t tempted to, at that time. I probably seemed very boring and precocious to my peers then.
And yet, those really were the best years of my life. I treasure the memories of certain conversations and people….
…..one with the girl who is my best friend today, right after her first break-up, where she told me “When it came to this, I could only think of you to talk to. You’re really my best friend.”
…..another with the friend of a friend, that began when I found her sitting outside the locked gates at 7 a.m., and told her “I thought I was the only one who got here at this hour”. And she said “I got thrown out of home.”
……and one friend who’d come over to tell me about his newest girlfriend but really want to talk about the trouble at home
……One conversation I had with a guy and a girl, all three of us strangers to each other, for 2 hours about truth and perceptions.
……Long email conversations with a 40 year old whom I’d never met (still haven’t) talking about the experience of love and marriage and faith.
……the ones with a Christian friend who was examining her beliefs just the same way I was and comparing notes on Hindusim and Christianity with her
……one boy who talked to me because I was the only one in the group to read and introduced me to Stephen King. He had an accident a month later and partial amnesia and didn’t remember my face for the rest of our college life.
……’Messy geometry’ in the form of three of my guy friends having a crush on one of my close friends and trying to get me to help them get in good with her. All while ‘she’ was also using my advice on how to fend them off. 🙂 I was always good at giving advice….I did manage to keep all four of them happy and still friends with me.
No more regrets.
The wonder years were just as wonderful for me as they were for any of the other people I know.