Tag Archives: friends

Of getting together

Thanks to social media, it is indeed easier to stay connected to your friends from school and college. So many of us are connecting to those who we would never have remembered or run into only because of technology and our addiction to social media sites like facebook.

The other day while at Calicut, when we went out with my parents, we as in me and my daughter kept running into gentlemen my father introduced to us as his classmates.

At a jewelry shop the shopkeeper told an onlooker, ‘we are classmates’ and looked at my father with a gargantuan smile, lighting up his whole face and the shop!

My daughter exclaimed, ‘how cute is that mom!’

It indeed is.

Today, after many many days of perhaps not connecting to each other suddenly my college whats app group was very active.

We discussed over a long Sunday, the lives and living of our teachers, pulled each others legs, had some good banter. It looked as if distances had shrunk visibly and we were just around a coffee table sitting down on a Sunday afternoon sharing our thoughts.

This year, I missed attending one of the alumni meet of my classmates at SDA, Ottapalam.

My batch at LSN ottapalam are planning a get together, I hear.

(Ok, so I did study in quite a few schools and more than 2 colleges, thanks to my father’s constant transfer and relocation.)

But what makes these get together-s so special?

Is it our harping back to the past and refusing to accept the change of times?

Is it merely wallowing in meaningless nostalgia?

Is it our yearning for what cannot be?

Or is it the disillusion with the present, a desire to escape what can’t be escaped?

Well, I can’t speak for others.

But to me, getting back or staying connected to one’s school mates and college mates is special.

These are the people who knew us before you and I put on the many masks of adulthood.

These are the people who have watched us at our vulnerable best.

So if some of your classmates reach out to connect to you, do so happily. There might be a reason for that!

Similarly if you want to reach out to your friends of the past and renew those friendships, do so without shame.

True, some of your ‘friends’ may not have time, or some may have their own cob webs weighing them down.

Still there might be someone who cherishes your company.

That said, I really adore my uncle who has managed to stay very closely connected to his school friends till this date.And he is in his 60’s. This particular group is the envy of many and have managed to bring their extend-ing families to get to know each other, and spend some great time together.

One book that celebrated class unions and camaraderie is ‘Born to Fly’ by Nitin Sathe. I believe Nitin’s chronicling the life and times of fighter pilot, Anil Kumar is an ode to the spirit of ‘classmate-ship’- if there be such a thing.

As a teacher I get to emphasize this belief of mine to my students, ‘get together, get to know each other, make friends for life and hang on, like forever, don’t ever give up on each other.’

I am so reminded of Piyush Pandey’s take on the benefits of staying connected to friends and family, the more disparate the better in his book titled’Pandemonium’.

As they say, life is better in good company!

So, which old friend are you going to get in touch with?

 

 

You shouldn’t have asked

You shouldn’t have asked

if the smile she wore was dressed in joy

if the badge she showed around was of love

if the hands that held were of holding

if there were creases beneath the well-pressed coat

if the life was too light or too heavy

if there was light or just an absence of it

if the eyes were darkened in hope or clouds

if there were kindred souls to sit down for a cup of tea

if there was  a book to read and a place to rest

if a willing ear lent itself near

if her ‘doubting Thomas’ ever got a cheer

if scrounging was her hobby or need

if hiding beneath the books

if getting lost in the maze of words

if dressing in silence was a choice

if a glance, a hand, a shoulder would have helped

if the wrinkles were of time or strain or pain

if the veneer was losing its sheen

if the heart was skipping many beats

if the lips were sealed in volition

you should never have asked, no, not you!

PS: of love, life and longing

 

 

Grow up!mom & dad

“I can’t stand this.I lost sleep and appetite.Life has become a dull routine for me. There is no meaning to it.”

I hear these words often, coming as it were from the depths of despair, causing me to tear up and say, so tell me what do you want me to do? But not this time. I had just gone through the trauma of ending  a  relationship that never took shape, in spite of the 7 vows and the 3 rounds of the ‘katir mandapam’, with  the sanction of parents and blessings of elders. I remember how the whole process was. I had to doll up for almost 17 men, their inquisitive parents, undergo scrutiny and investigation before my parents and every body else chose this man, Raju, as a life partner for me. This was done after a lot of deliberation.

In front of the tears that mom shed and the silence that my father withdrew into , I had to finally give up my defenses and had in good faith agreed. My parents were ecstatic and I too had reconciled to the goodness of life, after all they said, only good things happen to good people!Perhaps there was no other go. I have never been smart in getting along with the other sex and had no clue when it came to social skills. I kind of froze when I had to socialize. Considering everything, I decided that all was well. Life was set for the best.

But it was not to be. When I moved to Bangalore after marriage, I was in for a huge shock. Raju returned home from work drunk. He was violent and abusive. I did not complain, not until he branded me with hot iron one day, because I had not served him breakfast. My parents rushed to Bangalore and were aghast at my condition. They took me back home. Raju’s parents tried to cajole and ask me to return. But in those 3 months of marriage, I had come to know a lot more about the person I married than even his parents ever knew. Finally, his mom  begged to be forgiven. They never knew this about their son, she said. My parents were clear that I deserved a better life and we decided to file for divorce.Having taken the decision, my parents were now fearful of what will happen to their daughter, what will the neighbors say, how will they face the relatives?

I had kept my quiet and had found work and was fully engaged. I made friends and was quickly overcoming victim hood and was learning to live again. I found that I am a pretty confident person, I had great talents and men did find me interesting.  That’s when the divorce procedures came to an end. While I breathed a sigh of relief, attacks of panic set into my parents hearts.

There they were already, visualizing a lone some sad life for me. The many cruelties the world inflicted on divorcees and so on. In jest when I suggested that I could find some one again, they started sermonizing, we can’t allow you to do that. You will ruin your life.You can’t choose someone just like that. You can only choose divorcees etc.  Hello, I said, you have done that already, haven’t you? Can we talk about this later? Can you just leave me alone? No, mom said, we are concerned about you and you have become selfish and don’t even try to understand us.

I am exasperated with these people. I  literally want to just go off alone to some place.

Meena looked at the walls. Her beautiful huge eyes now  dull and on the verge of giving up. Her colleague and friend sat near by . His caring eyes noting  those frowns on her otherwise cheerful face. He said simply, come, let’s go for a walk. She got up wearily and joined him. From a distance, one could hear her lively voice again.

Human spirit is an incredible thing. It does not require much to heal and bounce back. That evening walk and a few cups of coffee later, there was laughter and smile in Meena’s life. But some times, her heart cried, grow up mom, grow up dad. Come on, let’s live this life! Forgive, forget, let go.

tea and small talk

between the slurps and the sips

there were large slices of  emptiness

like solitude in a crowded room

when tea slipped

dropping down the edge of her mouth

staining her newly bought sari

white with red polka dots

he reached out to wipe it off

his hand materializing  a hanky from nowhere

an  hour later ,he stood up to go

clutching his suit case

peering at his smart phone

& she not that smart, turned to her medicine pouch.

 

 

 

 

You & I

So, we sit

you and I

our eyes fixed

on a faraway thought

not a single word is uttered

there is no need

no glance exchanged

we know each other too well

no need to reach out

having been together in separation

a sigh here, a sigh there

silence speaks.

Then at the first peep of the world

we depart

until time sets another trap, another place.