I've friends in town. but the ones closest to my heart are scattered all over the world. The statistics are as follows: 3 in US, 2 in Delhi, 1 in Noida, 1 in Pune, and well, 1 is in Guwahati, but is perpetually tired after a hectic day at the bank, so it doesn't count as being near. An occasional phone call, a funny email, frequent texts, 'liking' stuff on social networks; that's the current platform where friendships have shifted.
It's no one's fault; life moves on, career and marriage decide the course of our lives. Thousands of miles deter that staying up all night to talk, long days of shopping for the best bargains, excited whispers of a new romance and the loud screams that follows, sitting quietly over a cup of coffee, and never letting our inner child lose in the mayhem of adulthood. I do feel a sense of loss; but I accept the inevitable.
But technology has narrowed this chasm somewhat. It connects three of my girlfriends every midnight with me. There is this Wisconsin bombshell, a bundle of wit, who has me laughing my guts out every night with her hilarious stories. She is always on the invisible mode on chat, and I'm never sure whether I would be disturbing her at work if I send her a hello. But she invariably sends me a message few minutes before midnight; and our talkathon begins! We talk about our fathers and the funny situations they land up in so often; reminisce about college days and gossip about the ones we shared the classroom with; we worry about our negligible love lives and the reluctance to do anything to salvage it; she teases me about my 'innate romantic streak'; she is exasperated with the men I fall for; we discuss the silliest topics ever on the face of this earth; and confess to each other the queries in our minds that we would be too embarrassed about asking another individual. Often we go, "yeah, me too!" She is a ray of warm sunshine at midnight!
There is my friend in Noida; we connect over the BBM alternative, Whatsapp. She sends me soulful songs; we discuss music, movies and our beloved books every night. She is privy to the turmoil that my heart is in; and is a soothing voice to all my apprehensions. She says things will be alright, whatever happens; and I believe her. She is always the first reader of my blogs. I tell her the stupid assumptions that my heart makes; and she patiently listens to them. She is often the voice of reason that I can't hear myself through the blur of love. I love telling her the little details of my day; and she joins in my enthusiasm always. It's a feel good hour of conversation every night.
Another is the lady in Boston. We don't chat, we don't talk on the phone. We write each other long mails. Really, really long mails. We expose our vulnerabilities, we lay bare our hearts, we share our deepest thoughts, we tell each other stories. I treasure all her letters/emails. I read the vivid life updates that she sends every fortnight and feel I'm there with her, as she shows me around her new life. We write about love, about women, about reading, about writing. I value her advice a lot and follow it diligently. Every time my inbox flashes her name, I know the reader and the friend in me is in for a treat.
How isolated I would have felt without my midnight girlfriends! I need someone to talk to at the end of the day, share the little things. My sister raises a suspicious eyebrow when she sees me typing rapid texts on the phone every night. She asks me who is the boy I've been talking to. I show her, and she shuts up.