Do you remember this photograph?

collage

Well, if you don’t, then you better READ THIS. Anyways, the point is that I have to change the photograph a little bit. This is how it looks like now:

collagenew

(Clockwise from top : S, A, L, P, Ra, Ru and Me)

I need answers. I feel like exploding. I want to scream. I feel like a human who was abducted by aliens and had no idea where he was in the last two months or why this happened to him.

I want to know if this happens only to me or are all of us sailing in the same boat?

This has been a salient feature throughout my life and it freaks me out at times. Whenever there is a small tinge of happiness in my life I always have to pay a price for it. The bigger the happiness, the bigger the price. No, I don’t want to balm myself with all the shit about You-wont-know-the-price-of-happiness-till-you-know-what-pain-is. Believe me, I have been through so much pain for so many small tiny happy moments in my life that all I remember is the pain. There is a shloka in Sanskrit which roughly translates to – If you don’t get things at the right time, the rasa(taste) of happiness is not the same. I think either that Shloka was written by me in my previous birth OR someone in the past wrote it when he saw my life through a Crystal Ball. Does this happen to everyone? Or is it just me?

I have always dreamt of seeing the world. To say that I was “happy” when I was told that I would be working from Manchester would be an understatement. I was elated. I was on cloud nine!!! But there was a price attached to it. I could almost see that cynical, mocking smile on God’s face.

“Do you think you are going to get all this for free? You fool!”. And the smirking followed.

I moved to Manchester in February and soon after A and L got married(to each other, that is) that month. We were sad and happy at the same time. For the first time in my life, I understood what “Mixed Feelings” meant. None of us(except the couple) could make it to the wedding. Four of us were in USA and I was in UK.Β 

I was somehow trying to console myself when the second bomb dropped. Ra and Ru got married(to each other, that is) in April, although we were hoping that it won’t be scheduled before December. Thankfully the newly wed L and A were in India and they were able to make it. Even if the rest of us could have thought about a plan to fly and attend the wedding, the great storm of “Recession” was already looming on the horizon.

I had never imagined in my wildest dreams that I could miss those two weddings. These six fools mean so much to me that I will never forgive God for doing this to us. I was talking to Ra a few days back, and I told him that I have lead a very happy life and if someone would have asked me to go back and change one moment of my life, I would have never done that. But now, everything has changed. I want to go back and change things. If I could somehow go there, and be a part of it….

I was in control of my emotions since the last two months but while looking at the wedding pics which Ra has uploaded in Orkut, I came across a photo of Ra and Ru’s wedding reception where they were sitting with A and L. The caption below the photo read….

2 couples.. and we see many other invisible friends whom we can never forget…

That was it! When I read that caption, I completely broke down. This was the price of my happiness. I got what I wanted. I am in Manchester. But God took away something very very precious to me. Something, which will never happen again and I will never be a part of it.

Does this happen to you too? Is there always a price to pay? Is destiny God’s way of playing cruel jokes on us? Or are we entangled in our own webs of crisscrossed dreams?

p.s. We finally cracked the formula for keeping a group intact. Just marry the girls. πŸ˜‰

[Photographs are copyrighted by me]

About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016.
Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.

73 Comments

  1. anrosh May 14, 2009 at 7:13 am - Reply

    friends may be far away by kilometers or meters, but they really are never far away.

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 12:56 am - Reply

      Yes…yes. That is what keeps life going….

  2. deepsm25 May 14, 2009 at 7:55 am - Reply

    This one truly touches my heart and I definitely relate a lot to it…!!! However, a belief still stands by that this one relationship for “Friendship” is completely forever…till the the last breath you take..! In the meantime, a lot of other relationships may just come and go but friends are that one set of people that nature has made to be there forever. It surely does require a lot of hardddd work to sustain it!

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:02 am - Reply

      I think the fact that we are all so far away and still crave for each other’s presence says a lot. πŸ™‚
      I agree with you.
      And, no…there is no girl left here! πŸ˜€ I have to marry outside the group! πŸ™

  3. deepsm25 May 14, 2009 at 7:55 am - Reply

    oooo btw, do I see a girl left for you to marry as well :)))

    • Reema May 14, 2009 at 8:45 am - Reply

      where do u see another girl?

  4. deepsm25 May 14, 2009 at 8:00 am - Reply

    And to Answer your questions, More than destiny, its the Time that has played the most cruel jokes in my life, when It came to my friends!!!

  5. Harsh May 14, 2009 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Sometimes you just got to make these compromises …. Thats life ….

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:04 am - Reply

      Well, I hate the fact that life is like that! πŸ™

  6. Reema May 14, 2009 at 8:48 am - Reply

    First I thought u r going to talk about U being single still πŸ˜›
    Just recenty I was unable to attend the marriage of my colleague of 4 years and a good friend due to exams. It felt bad πŸ™

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:06 am - Reply

      Haha! Haan, I started it that way! πŸ™‚ Aree, yaar, I am feeling very bad. I am depressed! πŸ™

  7. Maddie May 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I totally relate to this one. This has happened innumerable times with me, not only with friends but with family as well. You have to pay the price. Somehow god doesn’t let you enjoy the moment in its whole sense. Something somewhere is always missing. I couldn’t attend two of my best friends wedding since I was in Singapore at that time. My best friend from school couldnt attend my wedding since her in-laws (being orthodox that they are), didn’t send her from Hyderabad to Mumbai. I inwardly cursed them, I believe she did too. And everytime such an incident happens, you try to think positively and wonder whether the next big happy moment in your life would be complete.

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:14 am - Reply

      Oh yes. I too have missed marriages of so many cousins but it never pinched like this one! πŸ™ I don’t understand why life is like that. Why can’t things be perfect?

      • Maddie May 18, 2009 at 9:43 am

        We just take some things for granted. And then at that time destiny takes over and says you are not in control of the situation. πŸ™

  8. sulz May 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    it’s sad that you couldn’t be at your friends’ special days. i don’t think there are many things, if any at all, that can make up for that. but if there could be anything, it is the fact that the bond between you and your friends stays strong in spite of that. and i think being there for your friends long after the marriage can be just as important as being there for your friends at the day of their marriage. πŸ™‚

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:16 am - Reply

      Yes. Very Sad! I don’t think anything can make up for that…
      The bond is there and will always be there. That is one fact which makes me very happy. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  9. Smitha May 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I can totally relate to this – I just missed a close friend’s wedding day before yesterday.. But, guess, thats life.. Can’t be everywhere..

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:29 am - Reply

      Yes. I can understand. You have to just sigh and bear it. πŸ™

  10. Indian Homemaker May 14, 2009 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    If it’s any comfort, think of this like Valentine’s Day or Friendship day. Close friends remain close even if you missed that day… and in the years to come it will matter much more if you are always there for each other … but maybe this is no comfort πŸ™

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:33 am - Reply

      Well, we can tell a thousand things to our heart to comfort it. πŸ™‚

  11. Smita May 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Amit!!!

    Cheer up man, aren’t these things part n parcel of life???

    You know I traveled some 790 kms to attend the mrrg of a close friend and because of somebody else could hardly spend 15 mins there…

    Certain things are beyond us and in such cases we should accept whatever is happening because I believe that whatever happens happens for best!!!

    So smile please πŸ™‚

    And I loved the collage!!!

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:34 am - Reply

      Why? Why? Why? Why is life parceled so badly? πŸ™
      Thanks! I am smiling! πŸ™‚

  12. atipriya May 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Don’t have much to say..but really missed u all.. none of the 5 of u turned up πŸ™
    Lets c if we can all make it to the next wedding… most likely u r the first one in the queue πŸ™‚
    waise last waali line mast hai.. hehehe..

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:36 am - Reply

      Haan Yaar! That was the worst part. Koi ek to hona chahiye tha! πŸ™
      Aree…mere bharose mat baitho. I think ab Prashant ki baari hai. I have a feeling that abhi India jakar kuch hone wala hai. πŸ™‚

  13. Solilo May 14, 2009 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Aww…Amit. I thought you were going to talk about how you have no girls left to marry from your gang. πŸ˜†

    Sometimes it happens. As far as you keep them in your heart, it is good. Hope the distance in miles don’t create distance in relations as well. Okay before I turn in KJo. I need to stop here. πŸ˜€

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:43 am - Reply

      Haha! Yes, I started it that way! πŸ˜›
      I am sure you are an SRK fan!! πŸ™‚ And remember that dialogue – Pyar dosti hai? That completely fits here! πŸ™‚

  14. RXK May 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Dont worry bhaiya… We still have 3 chances to make it happen… just the apparel will change… And isn’t it always a fact that there’s a price tag attached to everything… you see you live a life where you pay price of loosing it…

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:45 am - Reply

      Haan..3 more. Lets see! πŸ™‚
      Oho! Ab itna philosophical mat ho! πŸ˜›

  15. Md. Aminul Islam Sajib May 14, 2009 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    Hi, I have a question. Won’t it be “Happiness” instead of “Happyness”? I’m sorry to ask it. I’m a sixteen from Bangladesh and a curious learner of English language [although got no teacher yet] that’s why I’m asking you…to settle down my confusion. πŸ™‚

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 1:46 am - Reply

      Hi Aminul,
      Well, I took it from the movie – The Pursuit of Happyness. If you see that movie, you will understand. πŸ™‚
      Welcome to my blog!

  16. priya May 15, 2009 at 12:19 am - Reply

    Arrey! There are still so many occasions left…your wedding, your other friend’s wedding, then baby showers, etc etc πŸ˜›

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 2:02 am - Reply

      Hmm..but what if….*shudders*
      Leave it. I don’t even want to think pessimistically. πŸ™‚
      Thanks! πŸ™‚

  17. Dev May 15, 2009 at 1:16 am - Reply

    Hope you feeling better man. Iam sure it happens with lot of us..we pay a price for everything in life..dont we??

    “p.s. We finally cracked the formula for keeping a group intact. Just marry the girls”

    From the pic, I dont see anybody left for you now..unless you are into men, which I suspect you are not.. πŸ˜‰

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 2:04 am - Reply

      Hmmm…yes we do. Its crazy but that’s the way things are.
      Well, no one is left now! And to set the record “straight”, none of the three left are into men. πŸ˜‰

  18. amreekandesi May 15, 2009 at 1:19 am - Reply

    I guess this is one of the biggest prices of living so far away from home…you miss out on such important events.

    I too have missed a few cousins’ weddings this past year, and it sucks!

    • Amit May 15, 2009 at 2:04 am - Reply

      Yes, it sucks. Big time! I hate this part! πŸ™

  19. Kido May 15, 2009 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Feel bad for you… Then again, that’s life… Cheer up πŸ™‚

    B/w Nice formula πŸ˜€

    • Amit May 16, 2009 at 2:26 am - Reply

      Yeah! Cheer up I will. Do I have any other option? πŸ™‚
      Thanks!

  20. Indyeah May 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    πŸ˜† nice formula you guys struck πŸ˜€

    hota hai πŸ˜€ keep your eyes peeled ! πŸ˜€

    but yeah can so understand…same thing happened with me when it came to a cousin’s wedding and a friend’s πŸ™

    dont worry thats life and it well…just happens…

    cheer up πŸ˜€

    atleast they will make it to yours na? πŸ˜€

    • Amit May 16, 2009 at 2:27 am - Reply

      Oh yes! We have been plotting and planning since the beginning! πŸ˜› *kidding*
      Yes, I am cheering up slowly and slowly. πŸ™
      Ha! hopefully!

  21. Arpit May 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    It happens Amit . everything has a price and may be this was the price you had to pay for going to manchester. though the wedding wouldnt come again but at least your group is intact. you can definitely thank god for it. πŸ™‚

    • Amit May 16, 2009 at 2:29 am - Reply

      Yup! There always seems to be a price to pay.
      Right now I am not in a mood to thank god! πŸ™‚ I’ll think about it. πŸ˜›

  22. kanagu May 15, 2009 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Dont lose your heart my friend… I am able to understand your thoughts… just remember one thing… everything happens for good… happys endings… I have experienced this many a times… arrange your marriage in such a way that everyone of your friend makes there πŸ™‚

    • Amit May 16, 2009 at 2:32 am - Reply

      Well, I think that some things can’t be related to a logical end. Some things just happen on the way and can’t be related to an “ending”. I don’t know what good will come out of my not being a part of something which would have given me immense pleasure and happiness. πŸ™
      I hope there is a logic.

  23. Dinesh Babu May 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Happiness has its price. It is $1367.89 + Taxes. The Taxes are those little things that you need to sacrifice because you wanted all of those that you get from that 1000+ dollars (or pounds in your case). But hey, you can always photoshop it!

    • Amit May 16, 2009 at 2:34 am - Reply

      Haha! That’s a good one. Well, so it all boils down to money? Can it get worse?
      And I suck at photoshop!

  24. Md. Aminul Islam Sajib May 16, 2009 at 2:31 am - Reply

    Yes, that was the only place where I found happiness is spelled as “Happyness”. I’ve watched the movie but couldn’t finish it due to load-shedding [discontinuation of electric supply]. You know BD is becoming hell day by day.

    Anyway, thanks for welcoming this sixteen years old in this large blog. πŸ™‚ Feeling Great. Can I hope your visits in my blog, please? Also, can I dare to ask you for my blog to be enrolled in your “Bloggers I visit” widget? πŸ™ You know my name, so my blog link should sit in top. πŸ˜€

    By the way, you are welcome to my blog. It will be a great help for me if you notify me whenever you find any grammatical or spelling error or any other error regarding my English in my blog.

    • Amit May 17, 2009 at 3:37 am - Reply

      Thanks Aminul. I will surely visit your blog! Thanks for visiting mine. πŸ™‚
      And for the errors, there is always the “spelling and grammar” option in winword. πŸ™‚

  25. Vijaya Bharat May 16, 2009 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Sorry for you man. But this is life πŸ˜‰

    Things like this happens to all as far as I know.

    When I am in 12th, I had 2 close friends and we used to think at that time that other 2 should present in another’s marriage (atleast) since it is the best moment in anybody’s life.

    But in my group other 2 got married last year and nobody of us is able to make to other’s marriage because we are in US, Sweden & Colombia at that time.

    So if you are making any group with this new concept, I will come as a first member into it πŸ™‚

    • Amit May 17, 2009 at 3:38 am - Reply

      Its really sad, isn’t it. If we can’t be with people who matter, then what’s the point of having all this? Doesn’t everything become a little meaningless?

  26. vishesh unni raghunathan May 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    congrats on cracking the way to keep the group together πŸ˜›

    ha well…maybe this is why happiness has got a whY in it.. πŸ™‚

    • Amit May 17, 2009 at 3:39 am - Reply

      Thanks! πŸ™‚ Yes, maybe!

  27. deepak May 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    be a strong man, don’t be so sentimantal. life is always like this. you are not in control of so may things in your life. face the odd ones and go ahead

  28. hitchwriter May 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    I just missed one friends wedding.. wanted to go but couldnt… its almost impossible to attend all though !

    really !

    • Amit May 17, 2009 at 3:41 am - Reply

      Just one!! You are very lucky!

  29. Final_Transit May 16, 2009 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    I missed a couple of weddings too, but I miss my friends more than the ceremony, because I am very anti-institutional so I don’t care about weddings. πŸ˜€ hehehe!

    • Amit May 17, 2009 at 3:42 am - Reply

      Well, its their special day. So, they would definitely like you to be there. πŸ™‚

  30. sm May 18, 2009 at 12:16 am - Reply

    very emotional and touching

    • Amit May 19, 2009 at 1:04 am - Reply

      I feel more tied up than emotional. πŸ™

  31. Ashwathy May 18, 2009 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    marry the girls lol i like that!! πŸ˜€
    are any more girls left in ur group for u to keep ur eye on?? lol
    otherwise u’ll have to bring others from outside πŸ˜‰

  32. Amit May 19, 2009 at 1:06 am - Reply

    No. No more girls. Although I have a few friends in other groups but the count of single females is decreasing at an alarming rate.
    Outsiders will bring freshness in the group! πŸ˜‰

  33. Vijaya Bharat May 19, 2009 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Seems little meaningless only but if you are that much close, they will understand for sure that you are not physically present but your wishes always be there with them.

    Your case is exactly the same. So dont worry because you got a very good set of buddies πŸ˜‰

    • Amit May 20, 2009 at 3:23 am - Reply

      Yeah! I guess! Everyone understands.

  34. Manoj May 19, 2009 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Yes, I very well remember the photo πŸ˜€ And I am happy for A and L..also Ra and Ru…and am happy for you too πŸ™‚ The fact that you talk about your friends in your blog tells how much affection you have towards them πŸ˜€ And something like this gonna happen to me too…Two of my friends are getting married to each other…hopefully!! R and N have plans to get married…hope it works πŸ™‚ And dont worry about the amount of pain you faced all this while…If you face all the pain now itself, you can enjoy the second half of life :D..good theory, eh!?
    I am back to India in March and do not have regular internet access since then..It has been days together since I saw the face of my blog πŸ™ Many posts to catch up with..I will read the rest of your posts slowly and come to know about your ‘mashed’ manchester musings πŸ˜€ I am quite eager on what others like Nita, Arvind, Sakhi, Vishesh, Poonam, Harsh..oh my God! so many…are up to! C ya l8r..take care!!…Manoj

    • Amit May 20, 2009 at 3:27 am - Reply

      And, look who popped in! πŸ™‚ “Hopefully”…hmmm..I hope it finally comes true. Its a very different feeling to see two people getting married who have been very close friends. I still don’t believe that any of this has happened. It sounds like a dream. πŸ™‚
      Oh! You are in India! Grreat! So, get a nice internet connection soon and come back. πŸ™‚
      Take care and enjoy the summers! πŸ˜›

  35. Preeti May 23, 2009 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I don’t know what to write here, Amit. But the post is sooo cute! πŸ™‚
    Although I’ve also missed wedding of one of my closest friend last week only nd m feeling as bad as u do, but not to the extreme of complaining it to God!

    Cheer up!

    • Amit May 27, 2009 at 2:23 am - Reply

      Cute? Hehe! πŸ™‚ Well, we all collectively cursed God. It was a big occasion for all of us. πŸ™ I am much better now. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  36. Destination Infinity May 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Amit you are lucky. I mean, if you look at it relatively, there were quite a number of things that I wanted and got after a paying a certain price ….. but the price was not wanting what I got. Sometimes, God gives you what you want but takes away the thrill and then gives it to you. At least, you are not in that situation, you can always come back and re-unite. So, cheer up!

    Destination Infinity

    • Amit May 29, 2009 at 11:45 pm - Reply

      Yes, I know what you mean. But sometimes I feel completely drained when something like this happens. Its a very helpless situation. πŸ™

  37. Poonam May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    But Amit atleast by getting maried to each other group is intact. And you were away anyway, did you really expect things to remain same.

    Enjoy your stay at Manchester, who knows phoren-mannered desi like you is destined for angrezi mem πŸ˜› TYou are there for a purpose. πŸ˜‰

    • Amit May 29, 2009 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      Yes, that is one thing which makes me immensely happy! πŸ™‚ It was a distant dream but it happened!
      Oye! I am not phoren mannered. I am very desi at heart. Aur yaha ki meme to hamari taraf dekhti bhi nahi hain. πŸ˜›

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