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Goodbye ... After 20 Long Years!

Goodbyes are never really easy, especially if they come after a long term association ... so this was and is tough... After a little more than 20 years I am saying good bye to a friend (?)... Yes; we have broken up a few times in the past and they did not last too long though, you always found a way to befriend me or rather let me know how incomplete I was without you... but then this time I know it’s for real ... So mate it was good while it lasted ... but now it’s time part ways... Will miss you ... as a matter of fact, am desperately missing you, as I am typing this ... but I will get over it ... I won’t reach out for you ...

We got close when I was in my first year at college ... I had seen you around for a long time, but was never too sure if I should come forward and get acquainted ... I still remember how it was on the train journey to Ooty, that I first interacted with you and felt your irresistible charm, it was not a smooth association, we did have our adjustment problems, I even remember feeling, how could anyone ever be friends with someone as rough as you.... But then smothering your harshness or taming it, especially in the chilly environs of Ooty gave me a sense of being masculine.... it sort of established who was in control....soon, the warmth and cheer that you spread, the acceptability that you lent me, when I was with you, made me engage with you, again and again!

Back in Chennai, we had a short period where, I tried to ignore you ... but you are not the one to tolerate that, are you... you came back being your seductive best.... I had nothing else to do, but to let you back in to my life ... how could I not do that ... you were the thread that connected me to some of my other newly found friends... you were the one that livened up my dullest moments ... you were as effective when I was at a party having a good time or when I was all alone sulking and struggling or cope up with the demands of life.... You went with me, where ever I went, more than any other friend had ever gone.... I knew you could burn yourself to keep me comforted!!!

I had always known this... this was never meant to be a relationship of equality ... in fact I was always knew that I was manipulating you, for my needs ... that thought often made me feel guilty as well ... like I mentioned earlier, it was my sense of control over you that had laid the foundation for this relationship ... I felt powerful, I felt supreme ... I did wonder if I was abusing you... some even cautioned me about that ... but then you never complained did you? You were this meek, self depreciating, confidante who seemed to only care about what I wanted and never once grumbled!

Unequal as it was, it took me some more time to realise that I was not getting the full picture... It took me quite of bit thinking to realise that what I thought of this relationship was just that - my thoughts, the reality was far removed from it... Yes! This was a relationship about control ... but not my control over you but yours over me ... I was not the manipulator but actually I was the manipulated! Was I abusing you or was it me who was getting abused?? Who was the weaker partner in this arrangement ... like some of those intriguing deductions in the last few pages of the mystery novels, the masks were peeling off, the truth was emerging... statuses were being re-established... You were the one pulling the strings ... I was merely a puppet!!!

I did not want to break away from you just because you are manipulative or I am being manipulated... that would make me a hypocrite wouldn’t it... I would not even blame you for it, for I enjoyed every bit of it.... Like I said, you made me feel much bigger than I am ... you gave me confidence at times when I felt low ... you helped me focus, when I was confused, you help me stay up, when I felt sleepy, you made me feel like an intellectual when I was really being foolish, you were a perfect icebreaker in parties where I did not know anyone, you helped appreciate food and liquor more than I had ever done before.... maybe these were merely my perceptions, my hallucinations... but the fact is, this exactly what I always felt ... I cannot blame you for my perceptions ... for you never ever claimed credit for any of these... I enjoyed your company ... no doubts about that ....I had happily conferred these magical qualities to you!

But ever since I have realised that this is a perception and not reality, I have been trying to part ways with you... not merely because I feel manipulated, but because I want to feel strong ... not out of hatred for you but of love for some others who mean a lot more to me .... No; I am not making a sacrifice for the sake of people that I love ... I am just being nice to myself... I know it’s never worked in the past... I have tried several alternatives, but then you find a way to get back with me... the more I run away the more you haunt me ... the more I try and fail, the more you make me understand my frailty.... but not anymore ... or at least that’s what I have decided ... while we had some of the best times together ... it’s time to say good bye.... I know we will meet soon, I am determined not to let you charm me back, like I have let you to do in the past... When we meet next time around, if I act as if I have never known you ... you know the reason; don’t you... Good Bye Nicotiana Tabacum a.k.a Nicotine ... it was indeed a fantastic ride together...!!!



8 comments:

Ed said...

Wow...I wish I could ditch my f(r)iend as eloquently as you did. Congrats Sri.

George said...

sir...i cudn't resist..y u do that???there's such a bad thing dat person has done to u???? i wish i had a frnd like dat.......feeling miserable.....

I Witness said...

Thanks Edwin ... ditching is fun .. eloquently or otherwise !!!

George ... I guess you too know this friend ... just go ahead and part ways !!!

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Priya Prem said...

I read the 1st para yest...and you know what I thought :-)...was all set to check with her. How funny!!! Very well written...loved your use of the metaphor.

I Witness said...

Thanks Priya ...!

Geetha said...

Hey Sri....I knew what was coming...& still enjoyed the read....nicely written.......romantic indeed..LOL

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