Neil, are you sure? Don’t you think you’re moving a little too fast? I mean commitment, and the whole long distance thing… man, they kind of suck you in, like a black hole.
Neil, my friend of 10 years turned around and faced me. Neither of us had realized when things had come to this.
“Madhan, I’ll give you three reasons, why I think my long distance relationship will work, in fact why it’s going to rock.

1. We love each other. I mean it. Sometimes, what we share amazes me. No, don’t look at me like that man. You would probably understand it at some point in time. You’ll feel it in you, and it feels like heaven.”
Unable to see the point he was making I waved it off. “Whatever man! None of that made sense to me, so NEXT!”

2. it’s meant to be so, dude. It’s like a curtain raiser for the next step. You really can’t ignore it. It’s an important leg of the big journey called love which is a part of the even bigger journey called life.”
“Whoa! Ok Mr. Alchemist. Lets, for a second, think about this journey. There are bound to be problems. What’s going to happen then? Now don’t get excited. I’m not saying you guys will break up or anything, but there are just too many issues, that need to be considered.”
“Like what?”
“Like… I don’t know… ok how about staying in touch?”
He gave a smile, the ones you give when you’re asked the lamest question in the universe,  “Mobile phone, e-mail, Gtalk, Skype, Orkut… dude you are so not web 2.0”
“Alright, let’s look at this your way. In this journey of yours, what if you face a puncture? Or what if you both run out of fuel? What if you get lost in a desert, where there is no green grass, no blue lakes, just strong, hot, sandstorms. What would you do then? Do you see it now? I mean, do you have a guarantee or something??”

Neil looked at me. His face told it all. It was calm, not nervous as some would be, as mine would be. It was a solemn look. One of determination and confidence. Was he expecting this question? If not, then why did his answer seem to be one that had been rehearsed a hundred times in front of the mirror? Why did it feel right?
“Have you heard of oases Madhan? They are like small glimpses of heaven for a traveller stranded in a desert. They say one finds an oasis only in dire times of need. And dude, you forget that deserts are nothing but reservoirs of fuel. I just need to know where to dig, where to search. Madhan, stop thinking of life as a shopping mall, where I can ask for a replacement, or where I can opt for a money back offer. Life isn’t complicated at all. It’s just how we make it out to be.”

“And point three is, I LOVE this woman yaar. I feel super amazing with her. It’s not about whether we can make it through or not. It feels right. I mean, we are totally mad about each other and perhaps, I don’t know, but maybe she’s the one. Dude, I tell you, meeting her was fate and becoming her friend was destiny, but falling in love with her, that’s something I had no control over.”

I stared at him. I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t prepared myself for the conversation to turn this way. “Neil, you really love her, don’t you?”
“I do, and I’ve never been this sure about anything else in my life.”
I smiled, thinking about what he had just told me. “I guess, I envy you man. I envy you both. God bless you.”

Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that’s all there is: love and its duty, sorrow and its truth. In the end that’s all we have – to hold on tight until the dawn”
–from Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram



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