How I perceive the word strangers have changed over the years. Let’s just put it this way, when I was 13 years old I used to simply label them as people whom I haven’t met or the unknown ones I could often spot in the background of my still photographs. It is astonishing to think how I might never cross roads again with the same person, who is captured for a lifetime in my photographs. It is not necessarily emotional, but I will likely never know these people. It is just a passing thought, but what I learnt about the word stranger later in my life is the tricky part. It was an epiphany that the meaning goes way beyond the people in my photographs, or the people I am destined to meet later in life.
I didn’t know ‘strangers’ would also include the person who was sleeping next to me one morning when the day was sunny and the cars were honking outside. He would end up as someone I used to know. I feel stirred by emotion about this at times when I find myself all alone, in a dimly lit room while Lewis Capaldi’s Before you go is on repeat. If I am being entirely honest, then I
They say time heals everything. I would say time, eventually helps us getting used to the new normal. The new normal without that person, a place someone else might fill up in the near future. The frequent choice of similar phrases people use during these times like someone I used to talk to or we don’t talk anymore makes it feel like the human connection has lost its essence. Separation doesn’t always have to be overly dramatic, but the moments spent and the feelings felt are often true.
Ex-lovers or special connections have made it in another one of my boxes of strangers, but so did friends with whom I don’t speak anymore. Once we were inseparable, chattering over the phone discussing everything and nothing at the same time. These discussions included gushing over the latest heartthrob of the reality TV, and discussing which nail polish goes with the sea green dress she owns.
This baffles me because some friends feel like family and we hope they stay forever. But, that’s not how the world rolls! No matter whose fault it was or how unfair the circumstances were, it does cost a friendship or a special relationship. Then one fine day, Facebook suggests a new friend popping up your ex-best friend’s profile and you quickly hit the remove button. That’s how simple it is to remove people from our lives now and they eventually become a no-one.
It feels like we meet as strangers to make memories and then as the time rolls, some stay and some leave. The ones that leave become strangers again and we let them go.