Travel Induced Drift

Note: This is random rambling, there’s no structure to my thoughts because I’m trying to understand my mind as I write as well.

I am just about getting back to life in Auroville after a week-long trip to Bangalore. A trip that was planned with the sole intention to catch up with friends, friends I have not met in nearly three years.

Life was such that I could transit or stop by at Bangalore at least once a year but COVID happened and life happened and here we are. Each friend I met had a milestone event I congratulated them on, from buying houses and cars to having kids. Delayed congratulations don’t hurt as much as delayed ‘I’m so sorry…’.

A friend went through months of painful fertility treatment, another friend was just out of a hospital after shoulder surgery, and another friend is taking a break from their partner. I have not been there for any of them. In fact, some of these things I discovered only when I was in Bangalore. You see I’m not much of a phone person, and that makes it harder to keep in touch with friends. In fact, most of my good friends are people who themselves don’t like to be on the phone much. But it doesn’t take away from the guilt I feel every time I say ‘I’m so sorry…’ a bit too late.

I don’t know though if life would have been much different had I been in the same city as most of my friends, I also doubt, it would have been any better. Many of these friends rarely meet themselves. I don’t know what I’m trying to say here, I guess trying to convince myself?

I do not have a 3 am friend and that’s because I have freed myself of being someone else’s 3 am friend as well. All relationships are transactional in nature, we get what we give.

This is the price one pays for a nomadic life – the closer I get to myself, the farther away I get from my social self.

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