I am not regular chatter in the online world; rather I hate chatting with people through a messenger service. I would rather give a call and talk to my friends. It is a one minute thing; whereas chatting is endless. But, just to beat the Monday blues, a quick login to my GMAIL account, and I found one of my undergraduate friends loitering around on what was his Monday evening, rather a late evening. In India, whether financial figures of companies are tampered or not, there is one thing that remains consistently constant - the humongous working hours in the IT sector. People stay on and on and on. It is like Alfred Lord Tennyson referring to the brook,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever
In the IT industry, working hours go on forever. Anyway, I am least interested in talking about my friend's work habits. We had a brief conversation for maybe less than three minutes, but the after effects of the conversation lingered with me for the rest of the day. What started as casual "How are you? How is life?" exchanges, gradually transformed to "How is work? What about marriage?" dreads. It is rather odd, how we come out of different ages with different questions, each of them being as significant at that point of time, as what they are now, with a new set of questions. You look back in time, and say "Oh my goodness, did we really talk about that?" The trivia of the yester years become a prized possession for future conversations.
So, as we exchanged the pleasantries, since he is put up in Bangalore, I inquired about the batch of engineering friends. A class of 120 dispersed and a handful of us are in touch with a handful of others.
How is life? I asked.
Same life, same project for the last two years, and getting lonely by the day, and, losing friends to marriages. So, no tours, no meet ups.
The last sentence hit me big time. Losing friends to marriages. I read that again - Losing friends to marriages! That was hard hitting, but absolutely true.
In the last few months, several of them have got engaged, and several of them have got married. I am basically losing contact with all these guys; all these guys who I had taken for granted, he said sardonically!
A casual Mmmm made way to the other side from my end. What could I say for that!!
Both of us quickly found ways to talk about each other's work, the technical talk clearly lifting us from the inadequacy of life and marriage.
There were no good byes! The chat window ceased to exist after some time. Everything was well understood!