One of my very good friends once told me that to truly connect with someone, you must assess three types of attachment – physical, mental and emotional. The same friend also said that to truly discover a person you must converse with them in three ways – meet them in person, talk to them over the phone and text them (or whatsapp, as the case may be).
Over time, I have learnt to subscribe to her view. I have discovered, the hard way ofcourse, that who you think a person is in reality, can be radically different, some times for the worse, when they have the security of a screen; you can’t confront them much, they can be offensive and if they so choose, spew as much hatred as they hold in their heart. On other occasions, you may be turned on by someone’s physical personality, even get emotionally attached to being around them, but they do absolutely nothing to seduce your mind.
So how do I end up feeling a connection with S.G., a man I have only texted/spoken to over the phone and am yet to meet for real?
“Meeting” S.G. was simply a stroke of luck. I suppose, you can say that of any person you meet for the first time, unless of course you have hunted them down intentionally. Have you ever met someone, just by chance, say when you were standing in queue at Starbucks and fall in conversation with the man behind you, and weeks later, the two of you turn into best friends? Or you sat for your first lecture in college, beside a complete stranger and the chord of friendship struck over really pathetic jokes? Or maybe you swiped “like” on someone’s profile on a dating app, and discovered, you have more in common with this person than you do with most people you know in real life?
S.G. is sort of like that – a stroke of luck. He has a different day job, but I shall always think of him as the writer. Perhaps that is the biggest reason for this connection I feel with him. All my life I have been a closet writer. Since the age of twelve, when someone first saw my potential with words, I have imagined myself as a writer. Writing about things – fascinating, ordinary, mundane. Writing about people – ones I know, ones I wish I did, ones I don’t. Writing about life – why I should wake up in the morning, what promise does tomorrow hold, what is the goal of my existence. To some extent I did it. I still do. Writing that is. But I disguise my actual words in poetic verses, musings that express only my feelings but not name people and in stories with characters unreal, but with real instances. Anonymity makes me feel safe. It lets me be heard but without having to lend a face to the voice. To mine. To anyone else’s.
S.G. in his way, has inspired me to change this. He blogs – and truly exudes his opinions, his emotions, his perspective of things – with absolute abandon. This is something I have always wanted to do, but hesitated to. I sometimes wear a mask in real life, because I don’t like stretching myself too thin with too many people who should know the real me, and then over the anonymity of a blog, worn another mask, to save myself criticism, evaluation, even plain opinion.
It’s S.G.’s words – not necessarily his opinions – but just his way of expressing himself, of baring his heart, mind, soul, that has allowed me to feel that writing has so many more possibilities when it is less disguised. I don’t have to draw layers and layers of words and hide meaning within them, to say what I have to. People who judge, would do so anyway. Might as well give them all the ammunition to play with.
That is the connection I have with S.G. He is inadvertently helping me move towards the “writer” I always wanted to be.
You may not know this (and perhaps I won’t even tell you), but this is a bold step for me. To shed off a layer of my mask. And while I disguise your name with your initials, I still want to say,
Thank you S.G. For letting me move towards a more “real” me.