“Quiet, deep, emotionally complex and intensely private, you are not a person who is easy to get to know and understand. You are extremely sensitive but disinclined to show it, and you allow only a special few into your inner world. Like a wary animal, you are cautious and mistrustful of those you do not know until you "sniff them out". You are very, very instinctive and intuitive. You usually have a strong, immediate gut reaction to people, even though you may be unable to clearly articulate why you feel as you do. Your feelings and perceptions go deeper than words…”
It’s a bit scary to find out that somebody could know you so well if they are aware of your date, time and place of birth. What’s even scarier is that somebody has probably written some sort of a program for it, since the above extract is from one of those astrology websites. Before you start pointing accusing fingers at me, let me clarify that I received this in my email and was not the perpetrator of this act.
We moved from Delhi to Chennai in 1994 and I promptly decided that keeping in touch with my old friends was too much trouble (one had to write letters then, STD was too expensive) and looked forward to making new friends. But I was 15 and the age of innocence was already over. I found that I was too late to register for the IIT coaching classes that the rest of my class in school was already into. Though I was a Tamilian, I could neither read, write or pronounce the language properly leave alone knowing the nuances of ‘Madras’ Tamil. Not that I didn’t make friends, many in fact, that I am in touch with till date but I did belatedly realise that childhood friends are precious and not something to be thrown away. Like S.
I knew S for barely more than a year during my last year in school in Delhi. We were in different sections but took the same bus to school and back from adjacent bus stops. What started as chatter to while away the time in the bus extended to joint study sessions, exchanging notes, bicycle trips to the Rajouri Garden Market and discussions on adult movies, girls and of course, teachers. He was a jovial, fun and an intelligent kid. I remember his dad used to drop us at the exam center during the Xth board exams in his car. He scored more than me, by the way.
Anyway, we moved soon after but not before I had taken his postal address along with stated intentions of keeping in touch, which I never did. Even years later, I would feel guilty about not having kept in touch with my friends in Delhi. It wasn’t their fault, you see, since they never knew my coordinates. I hadn’t even communicated that across to them. So I had given up all hope of hearing from or about them for the rest of my life.
Until of course I came across Orkut.
Now Orkut is a pretty neat concept. You should try it if you haven’t already. But tracking down my friends was still not easy. I found an online school community and looked over the 250 odd members but didn’t see anybody I remembered. Random searches for S and other friends on Orkut didn’t lead anywhere. But on one of those last ditch random search efforts, I found P who also was in the same section as S and could possibly direct me to him. P called back and we spoke for close to a half-hour at the end of which I did manage to note down S’s email. He’s now been married for the last 3 years, P had said.
I emailed S immediately and his reply was prompt, though brief.
“D&C, you are right. I do not recall you. But we can meet sometime. S”
I laughed out loud.