Thursday, January 12, 2006

Of Writers and Friends

I haven't done this for so long, writing with someone.

About a decade ago (ok, it was longer, but you can't make me tell) my best friend (sister-friend:-) and I traveled together to India. We went backpacking, took a Bharat Darshan train ticket and went all over, from the north to south, on the road for several months. I felt powerful and cool and independent. We carried daggers for protection (and actually used them a couple of times, so there) and did exciting, adventurous things. I am realizing fully only now how amazing that time was. We had no fear. I had no fear, despite some of the less savoury experiences of the trip. More on that at some other time.

During that time we were also writing a book together. A novel. It was fantasy, a genre I was drawn to by Kelly and read quite a few of at that time. I no longer read any fantasy books but still, this was amazing, this experience of melding creativities, spending late nights discussing the plot, describing how our heroine (dark, kick-ass, snake-like) would conquer all. It was heady. Eventually, I lost steam three-quarters of the way through and Kelly (my opposite in so many admired ways including dedication and a rare stick-with-itness) completed the book. We never did anything with it, and it might not be the best writing we've ever done. But damn! It is so precious because of everything else. It carries with it the unquenchable smell of our trip, the boldness of our young selves, the optimisim of youth, the conquer-it-all attitude and most of all, the scent of our friendship that has survived so much for so many years.

And now, years later, we are writing together again, an article for an anthology. We're emailing and talking on the phone, discussing the themes and patterns,reading each other's work and finding in it the crystallized versions of the people we are today. I am finding in her writing the mirrored reflection of my own feelings. Even though we wrote our first drafts separately, when we sat down to organize the piece it fell comfortably into place. Our writing complements each other. We're treading diffent but parallel paths in our lives.

There are few things more precious in life than friends who have seen you at your worst and who are happy when you are. Here's to all our friends. Especially mine!:-)


temporal said...

hi J:

there is a timeless comfort zone between friends

when we were on the road we met some friends whom we had not seen for years

and we fell in to that comfort zone instantly...despite the passages and ravages of mother was eerie in some ways and reassuring in other...

Jawahara Saidullah said...

Welcome back! It's true in most cases but there have been others...people I was friends with and I met them after some time and discovered our lives and views and everything was so divergent. We reminisced about old times but for a friendship to thrive you also have to go forward, find new footholds, new similarities. After talking of the past was done there were awkward pauses.Perhaps, this is truer for friends we had when our personalities were still being formed and so was theirs.

Bina said...

Yay friends!