A late but special Thanksgiving!

Here is a letter. Yes, a good old fashioned letter. It is a lost art really. I started writing this gratitude letter for all my friends and was supposed to complete this by Thanksgiving. Well, better late than never. People have asked me: Why write a letter on friendship when the trend is to write about love? Love is most of the times, conditional in my opinion. Friendship however is usually not. It is a pure form of joy that two people experience in each other’s company without any hidden/secret agendas concerning each other. But man, believe me, it was tough to write this. I had help from each one of you to write this. My experience with all of you, a long time with some and a relatively short while with others, helped me write every word. It was tough not to let some details with some people creep in and I tried to keep it general, so it might feel a bit cliche and lacking but I just wanted to get this out there and I hope you get the sentiments behind this. If you are reading this, know that you have made an impact on the world, on my world. I know words do not suffice to express my gratitude but I’ll try my best. Many memories with many people flashed right before my eyes while writing this. If any memory with me flashes through your mind, know that we made it. And if a tear flows down from your eyes near the end, I will know in that moment that it was worth it. Here goes –
To each and every friend,
This thank you is long overdue. There are so many things I want to thank you for, and I’m sure I’m going to still be missing some by the end of this letter. But here is a small token of my gratitude for just being by my side in this life and making it all worthwhile.  Thank you first of all for accepting me for exactly who I am – no more, no less. You tell me you’ll take the good with the bad, and when I question whether I have any good left, you’re always there to reassure me and show me that I do.  Thank you for understanding me like no one else does; we did click in an instant and I am thankful for the connection we have. I have seen some really nasty things but because of you, this world seems like a little bit more friendlier every day. When I met you, I thought we weren’t strangers; but friends waiting to meet. In this battle we call life, it doesn’t matter who’s in my opponents corner, because I know I am always going to have you in mine, and that’s the best asset I could ever ask for.  You encourage me to chase my dreams like no one else does, knowing what is good for me before me.  When something good happens, you’re the first person I want to tell, although I have not at some points and when something bad happens, you’re the first one I want to go to for support.  Thank you for being you.  You are beautiful inside and out. You have the biggest heart of anyone I know. God definitely spent a little extra time when he made you.  Thank you for being a spark in my life.  Thank you for standing beside me in the greatest of moments and the darkest of hours. Thank you for sharing some of my fondest memories with me. Thank you for being there every step of the way with me. For whatever time we are together, I look at that as a blessing. At some point, you’ll carry on with your life and I with mine. But I want you to know that I will always have a special place for our friendship in my heart and I don’t think space and time can become barriers between us. Sometimes I wonder how much of an impact I made on your life. Do you consider me a friend? Not just a friend, but a friend to hold onto? Then I realize that it is not my place to wonder. I just know that there are no ordinary moments. I am not sure if I was even a flicker of light in your life but I realize the intensity of the light shining within you. Thank you for shining your brilliant light into my life. I can write pages after pages but that would kill the main point. I’ll keep it short and sweet. Our story? How the hell do I sum it up? Has it been perfect? No. Anything with me at the center of it will be nothing more than a big mess. But here’s a thing I know for sure – our time in the sun has been a thing of beauty. As a writer, I am a sucker for happy endings. I hope our story resembles the stories us writers write. “And they remain the best of friends for years to come…” Scene fades to black. As a person who is thankful for the people around him, I realized there is no sunset for us. There’s just us. And it can be bad at times, but if you close your eyes and listen to the whisper of your heart, if we simply keep trying and never give up, no matter how many times we get it wrong, until the beginning and the end, blur into something called ‘we meet again’. Till our last day, I wouldn’t have liked it any other way. And I guess that’s it. I don’t know how to finish this. Because it is not over and it will never be over. It will never be over as long as there is you, there is me, there is hope and most importantly, there is grace.
Sincerely,
Your friend,
Hrishikesh Athalye
A late but special Thanksgiving!

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