I recently got back in touch with R after a long time. Of all the things he said, what struck me was his complaint that I never saw him as an individual. “You always saw me as part of the group”, he said.
It is true. I will not deny it. I usually do that. I do not make myself vulnerable by singling people out for friendship. I like it to be a group thing. Especially with boys. I think it’s to do with the way girls are brought up in India? I am not too sure, but it’s easier to think of boys as girls, I mean to not focus too much attention on one’s gender. That has worked out well for me. It eliminates unnecessary complications.
In all this mess of not trying to give the wrong impression, I shortchanged you of your individuality and for that, I truly am sorry. It is not that I was totally blind. I was being cautious. I know you are an individual and even in my mind you occupy a place that is as distinct. I do not dilute your presence by putting you in a group. If I ever do put you in that group, while talking to you, it is so you don’t misunderstand me.
And when I refer to friends in groups, that doesn’t mean they do not have their individual importance. But you must also understand, it’s self protection.
Whether it is DASS, SAS, SAV, they all come in groups for me.
Except maybe, Maddy. I have never felt like putting her in any group. That is because I know for a fact that she will be there for me. I do not fear abandonment, or alienation from her. I trust her with my blood (to quote Dumbledore). I do not expect the same kind of friendship from anyone else. I am realist, if nothing else.
But they are all my best friends. I love them to bits. And also, it’s harder to break away from a group. Think about it. When you are in a group, you kind of have more commitment, you know? You invest a little more into it..
But this does not mean I don’t see you and acknowledge your voice as distinct and separate. I do. For instance I’d never confuse your essence with say, S or S. You are You. I assure you.