A Toyota Camry LE, powered by two powerful V10 engines is a six-speed automatic sedan. A double cortado has equal amount of coffee and milk in it. They seem different only to find a common ground in familiarity.
Now, the old must give away to the new. Change is painful but it contains life in it. No matter how difficult it seems to be, we must embrace it. There in lies the continuity of life. For life to flourish, day must make way for night and vice versa. Flowers must bloom and wither out only to bloom again. This is how the Universe unfolds.
When I landed in Houston for the very first time, well, let’s say that I was sad. Leaving home has always been difficult especially when the place is across seven seas. I told myself quietly that this would change when I leave Houston at the end of my graduate studies. I have never been so wrong in my life.
Has it ever occurred to you? A state of joy and a feeling of melancholy at the same time? The familiarity of the known is now gone. The corridors won’t be walked again. The walk through the Oaks, to soak in all the air under its shade will be a memory to cherish upon. The faces of your advisor, the friends shall remain in your heart forever. You will see them via the electronic media. But, can you really see them?
I leave Houston after five years. This is the largest I have stayed in a place away from home. Five years is a long time. Countless hours from these were spent under the trees overlooking a midday sun only to be accompanied by an abstract mathematical problem. The well deserved interruptions for a double cortado always happened along a familiar path. The ritual walk was never taken alone; there were always friends, the same old brothers standing by your side. In a world divided by ideologies, individualisms and ego, friendship teaches you that all these are constructs, chains to bind one down. For friends, an accomplishment is no larger than a failure. A lesson in equanimity. If only, we practiced it more often!
This other day someone was telling me about communication and its essentialness in the modern world. I was laughing inside; not that I think otherwise. But, with friends, all you need to do is look them in the eye and everything that is needed to know is understood. That is why friendship is a gift.
As my United airlines flight UA 867 rises into the night sky, I look out the window, content. We must make time to count our blessings. Somewhere across the globe, there is a friend driving a white Camry with prayers on her lips. Somewhere, there is a Greek walking down the familiar paths to get his morning double cortado; the daily rituals signify continuity. Somewhere, there is a Persian, tiny physically but by no means in stature, is following a certain marble method to achieve a perfect harmony. Somewhere, the door of 627 PGH opens and will remain so for his students irrespective of the busy schedule; we rise by lifting others.
Somewhere, life continues in all its mundane familiarity. It is like time has stopped to take notice of these acts. Change is yet to find its foothold here. I will always belong here. This is my accomplishment. Rest are just letters.