The Creaking Chair - Part X

08th June 1999

The other day I was speaking to Aman on telephone 

and we ended up talking about how we came to be friends, 
Not in the obvious sense, both of us were in the same batch in my graduation 
but more like when did we actually start talking,
what were our first words; non-verbal cues to each other that our frequencies match as Sahil would say in his generation
and not for the fault of our fading memories 
but neither of us could genuinely remember that moment of first encounter
Its quite ridiculous how easy it is to portray in a biography, a musical or a documentary 

‘We met for the first time in a sports bar while playing pool’ , or 
‘The first time we met was when Calen introduced us in one of her parties and we hit it off right away’
Realities always work differently, and hence the allure & charm of fiction I guess 
I repeated the experiment with Steffi and Manu and guess what?
We drew up a blank again !

By now I was quite determined to find out what had really happened,

I headed for my attic again, pulling out all my journals from Graduation days 
Alas ! no mention of that fateful day for either of them there too 
This comes as a rude shock to me though, 
a man who has always prided himself with capturing every significant detail of my life in these journals 
If that author friend of Kamal every decides to write my memoirs, 
She should just go through these journals, or maybe a movie would be more entertaining

I still decided to revisit the memory lane of some of the most wonderful years of my life

and went ahead reading all those diary entries and slowly these names started to appear
first it was sporadic, where I was massaging my ego by judging Manu for his hairstyle 
The warmth of the relationship slowly crept in
when time routines became intermingled,
the routes to the market to pick up milk started having a pitstop to meet Aman 
and when conversations changed from college gossip to broken hearts and future dreams 
This makes me sure that my story should definitely be a book 
a movie can never do justice to this surreal pace of integrating into each other’s lives as family

It is the second day and I am in the attic again to read from where I left yesterday

I have not yet reached Archit’s mid night accident and the scare he gave us all! 
But it made me realize, I could never find that moment when we first spoke to each other 
In hindsight, it may have been the most relevant moment between us 
but in the grand scheme of life, it was an irrelevant speck
just like the Earth in the Cosmos, and yet a lifeline 
just like Old friends

P.S. – to read about the day Archit’s mid-night accident & his temporary memory loss, go to 19th September 1952

P.P.S. – The only friend with whom I remember my first encounter is with Richard & our debate on the why I never learned the lyrics of Opera music and yet enjoyed it thoroughly

- Ashk

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