How often is often enough?

Let’s go to New Jersey this weekend I said. K nodded. Pausing a bit, he asked “Whom do you want to meet?” Reeling off a couple of names, I bit back my tongue and said I did not want to meet everyone we usually did. For the next few minutes, I went into detail of why I felt we were the ones always making the push to meet and keep in touch. Smile playing on his lips K waited for me to finish my rant. He then said “Well! I don’t make any effort to write or call or keep in touch with anyone. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to be friends?.”

Unwilling to get drawn into a debate I let it go with a lame “Not everyone is like you.” or some such statement. Days later, the conversation played back in my mind. The voice at the back of my head kept repeating “If I wanted to keep in touch I would.. No time or being busy is not an excuse.” Of course this was cue for me to go diving into my past life and dig up instances of all the people I have remained in touch with over the years. It is true that the ones I am most in contact with are the ones I really consider friends. If they mean something to me I make it a point to send a “Just to say Hi!” message every once in a while. Or catch them on chat or phone. There are a few however who mean much but I just haven’t had the inclination to reach out. To reassure myself and them. So, even as I languish under these silly thoughts my question is this.

How often is often enough?

On a different note Nutana Ugadi Subhakankshalu to those who celebrate Ugadi! May the new year bring peace, prosperity and happiness to you all.

10 comments

  1. HI Laksh. I love this post! This question is often on my mind,… especially now as I prepare to make a trip back to my former homeland. Friendships evolve as time passes. Although I refuse to believe it, I think that the longer the 'gap' between communcation, the more estranged we become. Some friends will be willing to pick up where "it was left" and continue from there,.. but there are many who are unwilling. Of course, that is their privilege too.

    At the end of the day,.. your question doesn't have a "perfect" answer. The best thing one can do is give everyone the benefit of the doubt and not question their commitment to you (as a friend). Be loving and open as always,… because at the end of the day, in life, relationships do matter the most 🙂 .

  2. It depends on your personality, and the nature of friendship/relationship that you share with that person Laksh. I belong to the category that like to keep in touch, but when I sense that the feeling is not mutual, the motivation to go that extra mile is lost.

  3. After leaving school, even i have wondered how everyone keeps the promise of being friends for ever and always keeping in touch and how it is lost with time. It just so happens that everyone makes new friends, new groups and the old ones are conveniently forgotten. We were a group of 10 back in school, now its down to 3 of us. Although even we 3 catch up only once in 2 months, but it is known that we are there. A friend of mine who used to live in the same colony shifted some years back to some far-off place. We talk only twice a year i.e. on our birthdays but we have those two days reserved for talking, no matter what. So, i guess it depends on how much understanding exists between people. "Often" maybe once a year or everyday.

  4. Short and great post. I have had these thoughts before as you have, I guess good friends always will find time to keep in touch in one way or the other. But still occassionaly, you do loose touch with your best friends (not after the email age of course!!), I remember my school friends and college friends whom I still search on the internet, because they were my best friends. Just that some of them never kept up to date with technology. I have a friend who I consider my best friend in school while I studied in Kerala, she was a Gujrati girl and we both were considered outsiders in some form. It was but natural for us to become the closest of friends. I kept in touch with her after I left Kerala through letters and she stopped writing after a while. Last I heard from her was when her Dad expired and they were marrying her off. I tried calling her home, they had shifted from there. So there I lost my best friend.

  5. (Continuing my comment as there is word limit!)
    The whole point is there are people who are good at keeping in touch and some who are not, but still maybe good friends. It might also have to do with gender. For me personally, I like to keep in touch and I try my best. But if the other person is non-responsive after a while I just leave it at that. Maybe they are in a phase of life where they want to be in a cocoon, some day they will come out. If they really are your good friend they will get in touch with you, but if not it is time to move on.

  6. Hey Laksh – Fabulously written and you've really said it all in this short post. My only response to this is that I'm very very glad that we've stayed in touch! At the same time, must confess, I've not been very good at keeping in touch with everyone and there are exceptions where you've got close friends who aren't in touch for a long time but once you are in touch it's like you were never out of touch.

  7. Now I know what category I belong in your books 🙂 Kidding. Now to answer your question "How often is often enough?" My answer would be " Depends on the person who is at the other end of the equation, for some it is not often enough, and for others you can be out of touch for years on end and then go back to where you were when you last met./talked and pick it right back up..depends on the strength of relationship you forge between two people. This is UL, btw, cant seem to type my name in "NAME"

  8. Like Spillay said, I suppose there are those who you can pick up where you left off. There are those who seem to be strangers when you thought you knew them so well and you might have spoken to them just the other day!!! Personally, I try keep in touch with everyone. A note now and then. I totally understand your thinking about "we keep pushing and trying to meet up and there is no effort on the other side whatsoever" – been there, done that – one of the many complaints of P against me saying I cribbed this way!! I also know that there are those who you know you can trust totally, who will be there for you come what may and also be there to tell you that you are wrong when you do something wrong! I must say here that you fall in that category for me along with Nana, Bhu, Yogs, GKa & Prasanna.
    As most who have left a comment have said, it all boils down to not just your personality but to the others' as well. Question that will keep getting asked! 🙂

  9. Laksh, that is a million dollar question. The way I look at it we all have a time span in our lives when certain people are with us always and then when their purpose of being an important part of our life is over then we slowly loose touch with them. All that is left are wonderful footprints in our life. Also as everyone else has said it all depends on the relationship that we have with each individual, fully agree with spillay comment, it has recently happened to us where we were very close to a couple and then now a few years later we felt very strange and awkward being in their company. With time everyone moves on but we have to be true to ourselves and remain as we are, wonderful 😀

    You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, so do what you want now for who knows what tomorrow will bring…. Don't set a time limit if you enjoy others company and it makes you happy, then spend as much time with them as you can with them, you never know what is round the corner.

  10. @Spillay:I agree. I guess I was being childish the other day.
    @Suman:I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I mourn the loss of that relationship as I let go.
    @Shalu:Well put! You are one mature young woman.
    @Manchus:Sweet story. I often think of a few girls from my college. I wonder if I would ever meet them. Anyways, I guess all I can do is to make sure I don’t lose the ones I have!
    @Ranjith:Thanks for delurking! I am glad we are in touch too!!
    @UL:haha! Been a while since we talked too. Hope your weekend has been good.
    @Apar:Yup! So long as this whole social dependence exists, these questions will remain
    @Kiran:Well said! I guess the key is to live in the moment. Easier said than done though

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