Author- Preethi AnanthaNarasimhan
A hug – what a wonderful mode of expression! Friendship- what a beautiful relationship! To share a hug with a friend – there’s nothing in the world that compares with it at certain situations. And I’m sure you can’t deny that certain hugs stand out from your memory lane, can you? 😉
I have been fortunate to have many great friends in life. I presume being in mid-twenties and thirties, anybody can relate to the experience of parting with friends. I have had to say quite a few goodbyes in the last 3-4 years. This is the story of one of the goodbye hugs that I shared with a dear friend which conveyed more than I could express or grasp – which I think will always stick out of my stack of hug-memories!:)
I found an amazing friend in my flat mate and class mate while I was studying my masters. The year was so hectic and went by so fast, I didn’t realise when our acquaintance had grown into a friendship or that I had developed so much fondness for her. It was no surprise that we were parting ways at the end of the year and I had been mentally preparing myself to say goodbye – after all, it’s part of life! I kept telling myself ‘how hard can it be? I’ve done it before and with much closer friends and family. It shouldn’t be so hard’. She was leaving a good one week before me. I had not even started packing my stuff and she was already leaving. Well, I was pretty confident that there wouldn’t be any tears as I’d had time to prepare for the goodbye. I knew I would tell her how beautiful it was to have known her and what a great time I’d had with her.
Just the night before her leaving the flat, she needed a little help in shifting her packed luggage and she called me for help. I walked out of my room as if it was any other day she’d had knocked on my door for this or that all through the year. I walked into her room to see it that most of her things were packed in 2 large bags and her lively room was almost empty. The multiple layers of duvet we used to sit on cracking assignments was missing and I saw the bare white mattress in its place. Her fully loaded desk was swiped clean as if nobody had ever used it. Her many little things- filled shelves were all empty and it didn’t look like her room at all. It slowly reminded me that this place is looking familiar to how my room looked before I unpacked my things into my room at the beginning of the year. It was just another cell- ready to be occupied by the next student coming in!
I was suddenly overcome with emotions and went silent. The smile on my face faded and I must have probably had a ghastly expression on my face that she gave me a jerk and almost yelled out my name to ask me “Preethi! What happened?? Why do u look like that?!” I had nothing to say!
I unconsciously hugged her. Hugger her so tight I heard myself and her sobbing. She understood what I saw and much more that I hadn’t said- couldn’t have expressed, with that hug. I hugged her to my heart’s content for the satisfaction of knowing that she is understanding what I’m unable to tell. That I suddenly realized how I had underestimated the strength of friendship just by measuring the amount of time we’d spent. How naive of me to think that love is proportional to time spent together, to assume that it’d be less difficult to say goodbye to friends you’ve known for a lesser time, to think I’d not be as attached to my new friends as I’d be with my old ones!
Well, in the end, I didn’t have to say anything at all. We said goodbye one last time the next morning, knowing it won’t really be the last time and very sure we’d meet again. Yes, I am meeting her again next month and I cannot wait!
I wonder what we would do without hugs in life! Or for that matter, what would we do without such wonderful friends to share such meaningful hugs with! Thank goodness, I don’t have to live in a world like that, would you??