Another poignant conversation with a friend of mine over the immensely popular social networking site we know as Facebook-
1: I feel weird sometimes; maybe I’m sick?
2: Why do you say that?
1: I don’t like interacting with people much; as a matter of fact I hate it. I am a recluse, a loner and the worst part of everything is I actually enjoy being socially inept…
2: You’re a writer; writers are supposed to be like this I guess?
1: That’s the part I hate, why can’t I be like others? Like normal people? Socialize and have a good laugh?
2: So, from what you’re telling, you don’t want to meet your friends and relatives and yet you somehow feel bad about that?
1: Yes, maybe.
[At this point I sent her a sad smiley coupled with a crying one to make her understand how I felt. I really did feel hollow; but the smileys were an exaggeration, to be frank.]
2: I Googled up, you have ‘Hikikomori’.
[She said like a boss.]
[It was my turn to Google the term and I was not surprised, ‘Hikikomori’ was a Japanese term which delineated a behaviour akin to mine, the article I delved into was full of terms like ‘extreme pulling inward’, ‘acute social withdrawal’, ‘isolation’, and ‘confinement’. To my bad luck, I was well aware of such terms.]
1: Well, I don’t hope there is a cure to this irritating ‘disease’ is there?
2: Have you ever been in love?
1: Not really.
2: Never had feelings for anyone? Well, that is strange.
1: I had feelings, not just for one, but a multitude of people from the fairer sex.
[I wait for sometime to elaborate my answer, after all I was seeing new found hope in this girl-friend of mine, she could hold the key to curing me of this terrible ‘thing’.]
But they did not seem to have feelings for me; I guess, or had thoughts for a very brief interval of time. So briefly, I could barely notice.
2: Did you feel the same way like this when you were in love, or does the word ‘infatuation’ describe it better?
1: I would definitely go for the latter-
2: Okay, ‘infatuation’ it is. So?
1: I did not feel like a loner then, I felt strong enough to face everybody, anybody…
2: Well, there you have it, love is the cure.
1: Find me someone to love then?
2: That is up to you figure it out.
1: But how can I find love from home? Worse, who will love me? That means I’ll have to be like this until love finds me or vice versa?
[My head was brimming with questions. But I felt good. Lively.]
2: As I said, you’ll have to figure that out yourself; otherwise what is life without these moments? To work for your own good and cherish these memories later, close to ‘her’ sitting by the fire perhaps?
1: It was both amazing and ridiculous at the same time that the answer I’ve searching for years now made its revelation at such short notice. She had the answer all along.
[I wondered if she ‘was’ my answer.]
©Biswadeep Ghosh Hazra