I’m standing at the bus stop, and thinking about O.Henry’s short story – After Twenty Years. The tale of two friends who plan to meet after twenty years at the same spot, seems significant to me right now, not because I’d made any such assignment myself, but because, through chance or coincidence, even I’m waiting right now for a friend – whom I haven’t met in the past ten years.
Of course, the cases aren’t the same (I’m not a much-sought-after criminal, thank you very much!), for social networking and the Web have not kept us so totally apart in the past ten years, but I still can’t contain my excitement. Probably, in our parent’s time, stuff like having a pen friend you knew nothing about, meeting a long lost acquaintance – were common, and the experiences seemed magical, adding that something of mystery and enchantment, always seen in books – to their mundane, daily routine, but which we don’t get to know. (Which our generation actually misses out on, ‘cause of the aforementioned – the WWW. But hey, I would never have gotten in touch with her without that, so I’m not complaining.)
I’m wondering how she’ll be now – probably quite different from when I’d known her (just as I’ve changed since she’d known me all those years ago), and it’s a bitter-sweet acceptance of reality – for I don’t want to let go of the memory in my mind – the memory of being “best friends”, of bonding together over a mutual love of Enid Blyton’s stories and of parties during summer vacations. And now, it will be a whole new friendship all over again, but that will have its own joys too, and I’m just glad to have known this happy twist of fate, which has given me a chance to go back to what I was ten years ago (Imagine me saying this in the same tone as – “Hundreds and hundreds of years ago…” ^_^) and relive all those childhood memories – for those carefree years were truly the best parts of life.