Life is all about memories. At the end, that bank of memories is the most prized thing you truly own. Some memories you want to hide in the deepest recesses of your brain, so that you don't have to face them ever again. And then there are happy memories, which bring a smile to your face even in the toughest times. Those memories give you strength.
And then there are memories of the third kind, that instant, that precise moment of time, when you know, something changed for ever. You can be with a person for a lifetime and build several memories with him or her, but when you close your eyes and think deep about that person, it is always that one instant that flashes before your eyes. That instant is the strongest memory, you have about that person. The reasons could be many. That instant may have strengthened or weakened your relationship. That instant may define the nature of your relationship the best. Or may be that instant defines the way you have perceived that person for ever.Whatever is the reason, there is always that one instant.
AM has been my friend for more than 18 years now. We have had several moments where we laughed together, played pranks, drank together, partied together, went on holidays and so on. All my engineering friends, including him, used to call me CD.
One day after a party, almost 14 years ago, few friends of mine decided to drop me home. We all were drunk. AM was part of that group. My parents, shockingly, discovered that day, about my experiments with alcohol. This was not supposed to happen. But my response time was obviously slow. I got frightened seeing my father, and headed straight to my bedroom and plonked myself on the bed. All other friends also got scared and didn't enter the house. AM, drunk himself, entered my room and started straightening me up and was about to remove my shoes, when my mother realized that he is drunk too. She ordered him to leave immediately and told him that she will remove my shoes. She also threatened him that she will call his father the next day. AM said, "CD is my friend. Shoes toh main hi utaarunga" (CD is my friend. I will only remove his shoes)
This instant, defines him and strength of our friendship.
We were on this infamous Goa trip. One night SS passed out after drinking a lot. We friends were sharing the room. One guy, took out talcum powder and smeared his face white. In the middle of night around 3 am, SS wakes up and goes to the washroom. He comes out after sometime, kind of disappointed, his face still white with that talcum powder. He chooses to wake me up at that ungodly hour to make a confession. "CD I think I have puked on my own face."
This instant, he trusted me, when he felt most sad. And more importantly, he emerged as the proverbial joker in our pack.
Delhi to Ludhiana (The Long Night) - Two beautiful girls entered our bus in Delhi. One of them looked familiar. I was with one of my university mates. We were coming back from Gwalior, after some college competition. After the dinner halt at Panipat, the familiar looking girl, comes up to me and calls me by my name. I didn't recognize her at first. Then, as we get talking, R turned out to be my schoolmate. We had never talked much before. She was a medical student, coming back from Manipal for her vacation. For rest of the ride, we both kept talking and shared notes about the years gone by. Those days there were no mobile phones. So no numbers were exchanged. As we reached Ludhiana, due to some communication gap, her father waited outside the bus stop, while we disembarked outside railway station. Then started the struggle to locate him and unite them. Mind it, no mobile phones. Few policemen found our movement suspect and they didn't believe our story and thought we were doing something shady. Then they helped us locate her father. I never met R again in person. After many years, we found each other on internet. We talk / chat on phone often. And I believe are good friends, despite the tyranny of distance between us. But that bus ride defines the contours of our friendship.
Chandigarh to Ludhiana (The Last Date) - V was my girlfriend for the longest time. We had been seeing each other for years. We didn't know at the start of that date, that it would be the last one. We spent our day in Chandigarh watching a film and eating out. We did some shopping too. As we took the bus back to Ludhiana, we made out in the bus. It was an exciting thing for young, reckless people like us to do. Love was in the air. As we bid goodbye to each other that day, we never knew we will not meet each other in person ever again. Love is unpredictable and one shouldn't take anything for granted were the lessons that instant taught me years after that moment had passed.
When I look back at all my relationships, I can think of that specific instant for each of them, which defines them. For the other person, I may not be that important. Or the other one, may define the same relationship or me by something else, some other instant, some other moment in time. It all sounds surreal. But if you think of some one in your life, but can't recall that one instant or strong memory that defines your relation, chances are that it is not yet an important relationship. Think about it.