An Ode to Friendship
Anyway, I always loved it when we played The Doors, I absolutely adored the voice of Jim Morrison.
Guess what, I do not like Doors any more. I really don’t?
What do you like then?
I listen to a lot of different kind of music. Punk, post punk, hip hop, and many other types of music like that.
I need to check that out dude!
Forget music for a moment. Do you feel the same angst, the same depth of emotions that you felt when we were nineteen.
Maybe more. We did not have any clue about what life is, at that point in time. We took it too casually, I guess. We took it for granted. We felt that it was there for us, all the time. Waiting with its arms open. Always welcoming. In the past decades, I have learnt that it is not true. Life is not there all the time. You have to seek it. You have to cajole it. It will try to act funny. It will hide, and make faces. It may even wear a mask. Pretend to be someone else. But the chase is worth it. When you find life, when you find yourself, behind all those masks, you feel orgasmic. You feel like you have arrived at where you wanted to be, all the time.
Wow, that was deep. When did you become a philosopher? Wait, you always were. You used to read Ayn Rand, didn’t you?
Yes, of course. And guess what? I do not like Ayn Rand any more. Of course, she is a brilliant writer, but her brand of philosophy is just stupid. Meant mainly for adolescents.
I guess I have some growing up to do then. I still adore Ayn Rand. Have not read anything after that I guess.
I have just lived through the interdependence of everything, and everyone. When we were nineteen, we believed that we could be just ourselves, and change the world to suit our purposes. We also thought that it’s a good thing. A very solipsistic worldview. If we could change the world at our whims, anyone could. And then what would the world be? An ever-splitting chimera of infinite parallel tracks that never merge? Well, that could be a possibility. But I feel the world is made up of everyone’s desire. Everyone’s will, if you may. You can not change things at your whim or fancy. You have to navigate the solid automata of the past. And most likely, you are just acting out the script that the automata has imposed on you.
Well, dude, just take a break, okay. This is becoming too hardcore. Do you still drink whiskey with icecubes?
Yeah, but now you are shifting to our post-college days. In college, there was no money for whiskey, remember? We used to drink mosambi, that funny smelling, weird high giving shit that was concocted right outside the campus, you remember?
Of course, I remember. I also remember the post college whiskey days. Remember that trip when I bought my first bottle of Chivas Regal and we drank the whole thing with those kebabs we picked up from a street vendor.
Yes, that was bliss. Life was then a neverending conquest of more and more expensive drinks. And none of those gave the high we got with the mosambi.
That’s too unfair dude. Remember the Japanese whiskey I got in one of those summers. It was so smooth.
Yes, I am being a little unfair. But the bang for the buck was not there at all. When you buy a bottle for twenty thousand rupees, you want to be able to fly when you drink the first sip.
Haha, that’s true. I guess, we went into social drinking. Collecting bottles to fill our bar with the most expensive drink. Collecting mementos of the places we traveled to. We remembered those trips as acquisitions, trophies that we collected and kept in the showcase to show off how much of life we had conquered.
Guess who is becoming a poet and a philosopher now? Is that the effect of this fine whiskey? I know at a point in time, your brain did not move till you finished the whole bottle.
Yes. Sometimes I used to smell of vodka when I reached office in the morning. My boss asked me to go wash my mouth when we were traveling to a client meeting. He did not want the client to think that I was drunk for an early morning meeting.
Oh memories! I wonder what they are. Memories. They just stay there, stay there to haunt you, haunt you with their enticing pleasure content, or pain content that has become pleasure over a period of time. I always wonder how painful memories become pleasurable when time passes. You fondly remember the times when you failed. At the time when you failed, the feeling was terrible, but somehow, now, it has become some kind of victory that pleases your mind. I guess you feel great that you survived those days.
Yes, absolutely. That’s why I don’t agree with Daniel Gilbert about his assertion that raising children is painful. When you check the moment to moment feelings, you may feel pain. But what matters is how it turns into memories over a long period of time. Any skill is painful to acquire, but will give you immense pleasure over a period of time. That’s what these hedonistic psychologists get wrong.
Wow, you ARE a poet, philosopher and psychologist rolled into one. But seriously, I agree with you. Even friendship is a pain at times. Half the time you spend in laughing at the other guy. Still you prefer it over the conversations with people who keep praising you and making you feel good. You know, deep in your heart, that the guy who talks good is not going to be there when you have a problem. It is the guy who laughed at you would be there to cry with you, to console you, to cheer you, when you hit the bottom.
Cheers to that dude!