For some reason, today of all days, today in the years I’ve known you, I felt that you should know how important you are.
In the years we’ve known each other, you’ve watched me love two boys, and you held my hand as they went away. You’d put away your opinions and your fantasies, listen to me vent and cry and tell me over and over again that I deserved to be happy, that neither of them deserved to be a part of me and how much my happiness meant to you.
In all the years we’ve known each other, we’ve sat next to each other all day, everyday. We’d then spend hours at coffee shop windows, and still find things to tell each for hours on the telephone when we’d go back home.
You were the one who rescued me when I fell into a rut of Nutella and bad TV murder mysteries. You dragged me out, wagged your finger at me and told me you wouldn’t allow such scary self-indulgent behavior. And because you rarely ever asked me for anything, I listened to you, and pulled myself together. You were the one who made me get my tattoo, on a day when I felt old and gray. You chose my tattoo, a fact few people know, and you, and you alone knew how that would make me feel alive again. And it did. You were the one who invented doggie cuddles for cold gray days, or sunny days when I felt cold and gray inside.
You made Mumbai more than just a magical city. You made it home. You never let me feel lonely, and together we created Happy Fridays – of beer, bunking, and greasy french fries. Together we created Sending Spundays – of the cookie man, ruby tuesdays and countless movies. You fed me when I was starving, loaned me money unflinchingly when I was broke, and never once said you were “too busy”, or “didn’t feel like it” when I said I needed to come over for chai and conversation.
I cried bitterly when you told me you were moving. I wasn’t crying for your impetuousness or what I considered to be a rash decision. I cried because without you, Mumbai stops being home, and becomes just another magical city, not much different from the New York’s, or the London’s of the world.
Our joint-at-the-hip-ness suffered this past month, and we went through the rockiest patch we’ve ever gone through. You hurt me, and I retaliated by punishing you with cold indifference, the kind I’ve shown many, but never ever you. You begged me to talk to you, to yell and scream, and tell you why I was angry, to show you my anger. You know me better than anyone else, and you knew that the moment I yelled and screamed, I would be purged of all anger. I felt that you too, had abandoned me, and because that was a thought too ugly to deal with, I turned away from it, and from you. I made you a stranger, and I made myself one as well.
It didn’t work. I tried my hardest to cut you out, to move on with life without you, but it didn’t work. Soon enough, the need to tell you things washed over me. The need to know your things washed over me stronger. And I knew, that despite the stranger-ness and the silences, and the life-altering changes, I knew that deep down you were still my SS and I was still your BB, and to remove that, I’d need a surgeon to cut me open and remove a permanent physical part of me.
I knew that we’d still have long meandering conversations and share an intimacy that our significant others would envy and shake heads over. I knew that you’d still be the one to feed my kids, and I’d be the one to read to yours. I knew I’d be the one to help you open your dream restaurant, and you’d be the one to help me open my dream bookstore. I knew that we’d never run out of things to say to each other and we’d never get sick of each other, despite all the time we’d spend joint at the hip. I knew, and I know, that despite a lingering deep-set hurt, you are still SS, my SS, and never, ever a stranger.
Yours for a lifetime of Happy Fridays and Sending Spundays,