“To say goodbye is to die a little.”
― Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
Every day we meet people, hang out with them and then say goodbye. I call them the ‘Wayfarers of life’. They are not entirely constants although they might change into one at any given time, but basically they are there for that moment. We make most of our memories from the Wayfarers of our life, and it is possible that we may stick together without talking to each other (Thank you Social Media) but that’s just because of the power of the moments spent together, we however are completely different people from the time we say goodbye.
“We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.”
— T.S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party)
As a traveller that I like to call myself, meeting ‘Wayfarers of Life’ and being one for the other person, is pretty much a daily drill. Every now and then, I come across beautiful people with whom I have an amazing time and that is about it, we move onto the next phases. Goodbyes however are one of the toughest things irrespective of how casual it may sound.
A dear friend of mine was leaving Karachi after living here for 3 years. He is an I.S.B (Islamabad) boy or atleast that’s what I call him. So I decided to buy him meaningful gifts that he could take with him. I have to admit, buying gifts for men is difficult. And as much as the fact is true that I have a lot of male friends (I LOVE YOU ALL), I have never really gotten them gifts.
Just a quick background on my friend, He is big on travel, LOVES IT WITH ALL HIS HEART, and that’s probably one of the foremost reasons why we are friends. He is a dare devil, I truly admire him for some of the things he did in his career. He loves food and culture. We have the longest discussions on life plans and well pretty much discussed every aspect of it. He is a cheerful person who just happens to think a lot like me.
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to buy. And again as a traveller and an architect, I heart stories. So I made a list of the most talked about things between me and him, and developed little hand-written notes on what every gift means. Now I don’t have the pictures of the gifts I got him, but I am writing down the hand-written notes to explain the relevance of each gift, because words are a powerful expression. For a traveller one of the most important thing you can do is express, and express beautifully AND honestly. As Patrick Rothfuss says;
“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
3. Karachi Notebook