Happy Birthday, Abhay.
I’ve already written about our most legendary night together.
So I won’t rehash the incident — you know, the one with the sweaty supermodel clinging to you. That’s already been discussed at length, mostly by me, because even though you played it cool, it was one of the highlights of my life.
Just let me enjoy the moment, OK?
Anyway, back to the point. Your birthday. Your 26th.
We had a great time last night at your place, with your parents, and your friends, and their friends.
Your home — that beautiful duplex with its high ceilings and vibrant colours, packed full of books, and Buddhas (on the walls and tables and shelves). Your home was full of love, and sparkling conversations, and a hint of wariness between the two generations sitting there, beneath that high ceiling.
The older generation just wanted to chat, and break the ice, and see, for a few minutes, how the younger generation thought about the world. And the younger generation just wanted to get it over with, because we felt, deep down, that our parents would be mortified, if they really knew what we get up to in our free time.
Or maybe that was just me.
But anyway, back to you.
I think many people, most people, struggle with first impressions. And maybe, even if we don’t struggle with first impressions, we worry, to some degree about making the right first impression.
How do I express who I am to a stranger? What if I come across as weird, or worse: boring?
I know I struggle with it. I know Shravan is tortured by it (we miss you, Shravan).
But you? You don’t seem worried about first impressions at all. You’re wonderfully unconcerned. It just doesn’t bother you.
From what I know, you’re pretty much you, whether you’re meeting someone for the first time, or the fifteenth. I don’t know about the fiftieth; we haven’t hung out enough.
With you, there’s no projection, or overcompensation, or artifice.
Sure, you’re a bit smilier after three large whiskeys, but who isn’t?
You’re an intellectual, man. You know things: about music, and books. You’re well-read, and you’re articulate, but you’re understated. When you’re making a point, even it’s a big one, you make it like it’s no big deal.
Even when 10/10 Victoria’s Secret models cling to you, you’re unfazed.
You’re a smart guy unafraid to be smart, unafraid to be himself, and entirely comfortable in his own skin.
And your friends are smart too.
Happy Birthday, man.