New Year 2024

I came over to Bangalore for New Years but the crowd I was around with was a much younger crowd. All in their 25-28 age group and I guess they naturally see me as some sort of a “responsible” adult around whom they can be as wild as possible and knowing that I’ll get them all safely back to their places. That’s a nice thing to have but it also makes me feel a lot left out. I want to feel included but that’s not how friendships and attractions work - just because I want something doesn’t mean I can get it. While I was going around places here, I was a little bit bummed out as well.

That’s when my friend Pooja from Chennai called on Dec 29th and said that she wants to spend the New Years eve with me and is coming over to Bangalore. Pooja and I go a long way back. She’s been through stuff in her life but is one of my closest friends through the years. And while we’ve never met much mainly because she lives in Chennai, every moment I’ve met with her has been awesome. She’s one of those people who knows how to make me feel loved.

When I go to pubs and discos with my usual gang, I always get the distinct feeling that while they are happy to have me around, I’m not the person whom they LOVE to vibe with. I guess I end up coming off as boring or uninteresting. Not to Pooja though. Pooja specifically said she wants to dance with me on New Years. So we went to this nice party place in Koramangala, Bangalore along with the rest of my crowd… Pooja and I were the oldest of the bunch. She was in a nice dress and through the night right up through the New Year chime… she danced with me… I’m not a great dancer, but you know the feel when you have someone matching your vibe and energy and no matter what stupid movement you do, they enjoy it and go with it? That’s what it was for me. I know the rest of my crowd was partying hard in the same dance floor… being all fancy with expensive clothes and fancy dance moves… but for once, none of that mattered to me because I was with someone who looked me in the eye with her big black eyes and smiled as we moved to the music and made me feel that I deserved some love too. I’ve never felt this way before you know? Not with anyone else. I mean, this isn’t love or romance or lust I’m looking for, but just the feeling of being shown that me as a person could be loved and be desired to be around as well. Not a lot of people do that to me. I’m glad I had Pooja by my side this start of the year.

I wish I could spend more time with friends like her. But I guess, part of what makes this moment very special for me is that I don’t have a lot of friends like her. (I know at this point you are probably wondering, why I’ve simply not asked her out - when Pooja and I started talking way back in 2014, one of the first things she told me was that I’m not her type (I really am not - I’ve seen her type!) and that she really loves me as a friend. I respected that, and that’s how we’ve always been!) Pooja is also the only person who would never miss a chance to hug me. I mean, she hugs everyone, but to me, she’s the only one who never fails to greet me with a hug. I was an awkward hugger when I first met her. But after 9 years, when I met her last September after a long time, she remarked “WOW! You have seriously got better at this!”. You know the little things like this compliment, gets so left out when I’m with this generation of people? That one sentence from her made a whole world of difference to me you know.

She left back to Chennai this morning. I don’t know when I’ll meet her again, but she sure is one of the most precious people I’ve ever had in my life. And I’m glad she was around for the start of this year!