When I visited the US this time around, I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my friends from grad school had moved to the bay area. It had been three months since he joined, and I had no clue about it. In fact, it was about two years since we had last met, and I had lost touch with him for the most part. We had a few email exchanges in the last few years, and I knew when he had graduated etc. But I am not the kind of person who will keep in touch with people once they/I move on. He does keep in touch with people, but you need to be a single female for him to do that. And I don’t fall in that category 😉
We decided to meet up for dinner. And it was almost as if the two years in between had not passed at all. We did catch up on what happened during that time, but otherwise it was just the same. Our rapport was the same, I was just as comfortable talking to him about a lot of things, and so was he. It was almost as if we picked up the thread from where we had left a couple of years back. I was thrilled.
This is not the first time this has happened. It’s been the case with other friends as well; at least the ones that I am really close to. You tend to form new friends, new ties when you move to a new place, and that leaves lesser and lesser time to maintain the old friendships. Plus phone conversations are not really as informal as meeting up and chatting in person. One of the worries I had, when I moved from the US to India, was that I will lose contact with friends in the US. Thanks to my frequent trips, that has not been the case so far. But I am now sure that even if the trips are not as frequent, and even if I am not really in touch with good friends on a regular basis, when I do happen to meet them, it will be just the same.
I was reminded of a quote by Richard Bach, that I had read a long time back, that seems quite apt (although I don’t subscribe to the “after lifetimes” part, and in fact a lot of his philosophy):
Don’t be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.