Three friends meeting after a long time. We are standing on the balcony of the married friend’s place. The house is in an isolated area of the city, on the sixth floor and though you can see some lights, its mostly dark and quiet with only noises of silence.
S1 is looking out, back towards me with both hands spread out on the railing, S2 is sideways with one hand on the railing and me on the threshold of the balcony, legs crossed, head resting on the door. We don’t say anything for a while, and its not awkward. Then S1 says how scared he is of loneliness and how he feels college should never have ended. He lives in Bombay and calls people to his place all the time because he cannot bear to be alone. Goes on saying how he can never live in a quiet place like this.
S2 is the married one. His wife cooked for us and while we ate, she was serving hot rotis (she knows how good food deprived we are, always). Now she eats with her brother and has left us alone to be. S2 says that he chose this place because it reminds him of the Chennai house where S1, T ans him lived together.
I remember that place. We stayed over when we had assignments to complete and the boys couldn't stay over at the campus beyond a certain time. It was a dirty, stinky place with a banana tree outside. But mostly I remember it because every few weeks T would come complaining into the class saying that his Jockeys got stolen. One afternoon he was sleeping with his head on the table, a common scenario when we’d worked round the clock, I wrote his name on his underwear band. I later told him that I’d done it from preventing the thief to take them. He still holds a grudge against me for doing this and threatens me to avenge himself one day even now.
Anyhow, I remember us standing on S2’s balcony like it is a picture taken. The colours, postures everything so bright and vivid. And the silence, the peace and the need to not talk. It was magical.