To be or not to be… A friend !

Original Post Date : 10/11/2015

“Depth of friendship does not depend on the length of acquaintance” – Rabindranath Tagore

I am not really sure why i began with this quote.

Well, lets face it i am not really a writer and what does a wanna be in all fields do to gain an entrance?

Its simple….they google !! And so did i “Quotes on friendship”, the 56th link gave me this answer and i thought “Robi” Thakur was a good way of instigating some bengali sentiments ,who might be reading this post. (to those like me, this may just turn out to be a healthy piece of writing advice!).

So without editing or deleting my rather disappointing prologue i begin my ranting about friendship.

Well to have a friend is like sailing a ship (the poorest metaphor possibly! ). There are times when the tides are hard and your ship might almost topple but its then that you bring out the sindbad in you and hold the wheel even tighter with the hope that it is going to pass really soon. While in times opposite it may be calm, very calm, very very calm, and everything will seem perfect, its then that you bring out the cruise tourist in you ,lay back, enjoy the mocktail and the sun but at the same time look for the shore. Friendship only comes, it never leaves. It comes in the form of people at different phases of your life , in school, in college, in tuition, in “para”(please forbid yourself from rhyming) at home or may be just for a moment on the streets from someone whose name you may forget to ask even though you might have spend almost the entire day talking to him at an age old coffee shop and he/she just happened to join in. Friendships can be “just”, “best”, “chaddy”, “oldest”, “storng” etc etc, accompanied by all the positive superlative adjectives possible. It may be hidden in not talking for days over the lamest of issues or talking for days on the lamest of issues. Its there in a cup of tea, in a burning fag, in an old story book, in a week long trip, in the same last bench of the class room, in the same gaze upon new juniors coming in for admission, from the ghats of Varanasi to the trinkets of Kolkata to the kebabs of Delhi friendship can take you anywhere ,from anywhere, through anything in a jiffy. Friends are perhaps the only people who judge you when you are being polite and feel contented to hear the slangs,they are those people who will hold you closest when you are going through a rough patch but also waiting eagerly for it too pass so that they can make a fool out of you recollecting on how you “cried like a baby dude! “. Friends are confusing but merrily so.

Friendship starts its journey when you open your eyes for the first time to see this world and clutch your mother’s finger and wink at your elder sister (though i believe its less of a wink a more of a babies inability to open both eyes at the same time…but hey no logic when we are talking emo!). From then on it moves to school where you sing with people as tiny as you ,play criss cross in the pee pee and look at girls together for the first time, as not being your enemies. Then comes college and friendship takes a sharp bend. It comes from those people with whom you share a guitar, a note, a bunk, a proxy , a laugh, a cry, a crush and an inevitable heart break. Then friendship slightly moves on to a narrower lane and you fall in love, its just friendship with an “exclusive” name . And if cupid finds it apt friendship moves round seven times the sacred fire and its not very long that you turn into that friend whose finger u once held at the beginning of time, only now that finger is yours. And there would be time and there would be time , and you will start moving towards your time out—–its perhaps at this very moment that you realize that even though your senses have grown weak your friendship has grown stronger. Only now it has moved from the last bench to the park bench where you sit with your sticks on the side, from the talks of who is seeing whom to whose daughter is seeing whose son and from the hip rock songs to the “songs of our time”, from lets do it ,to lets remember it and from the sly smile at the college gate to the contented smile on the bedside.

In the entire process we see its us, the human beings who go through a transition, whether it be in age or in mind, what remains evergreen is the abstract concept which stays till we do and continues to live its legacy even later. “The smile of friendship” never fades, we move on from one set of friends to a new one with time but it does not reduce the importance of those we “had” infact it increases it. A wise man would say, friendship is like wine, the older it gets the tastier it is. But neither am i wise nor much of a wine connoisseur. So i would say , friendship is friendship. Its incomparable, unsubstituted, and ever growing, self nourishing and very difficult to be judged metaphorically. Its blind, its partial, its madness, its calm, its strong and gives the best hangover in the world, its to little fingers joining and turning into palms. Friendship is what comes in life, grows through life, holds you through life, and even though one might fail to realize it in this market of losing jobs, its perhaps the only thing that never ever lets you go no matter how big the world may get.

And what is the only thing that never lets you go in your life time ?

Its LIFE itself.

For all my friends.

Cheers !

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Me and Tamizh. A start.

Original Post Date on Blogspot : 04/11/2015

Writing has always been something that has rather intrigued me. Something that has amazed me. But at the same time i felt that writing had a certain element of handicap to it. What was that? Well i always felt that one suffers from a shortage of words to write of as relative to speaking of. But nevertheless it seems like it has never really been an issue with writers, infact i have seen and known of people who write beautifully but stammer (and not physiologically) when they try to speak on a subject. Well, now that is a rather happy contradiction. And thus i too dare to venture on these literary grounds with the contradiction as my shield. To all those grammar ethic concerned people who may try and waste there time reading my blog. I issue this as statutory warning to them. The  “cigarette swasth k liye hanikanarak hain” type.  So now that i have bragged about my extraordinary writing skills the next subject on the way to ruining your time as well as mine is to select a suitable subject to write on. These are some of my choices.

1. The ballads of Shakespeare

2. The Aam Admi Party

3. The Digital India Project

4. AAH!! Lets not forget the IPL

5. And of course!! The Indian Reservation System.

But. I will not flatter myself and thus would gleefully evade all these rather interesting and unique topics,obvious pun intended, and write something about “me being”. Me being here. Here as in that part of the country which very little among us know actually exist. I am talking about the glorious south of our huge subcontinent.

It has been sometime now that i have settled in the southern most state of our country Tamil (tamizh) Nadu. I will not woo you by what am i doing here. Because for now i am just intending to write about it. So without any final delay or boring prologue i begin,

Tamilians are an egoistic race. They believe on their superiority of language skills, education, mannerisms, ethics, reservations and all that can be of an army school nature. Well that is how i realize it to be. They believe that what they do is right and they have got a hell lot of people supporting this notion of theirs. They take pride in being the opposites. ( For heavens even nak and mukh means the opposite to them, and they call 2 as renda!!). They believe sons are born to be engineers and daughters are born to give birth to more engineers. Almost the majority of the tamil girls dream of leaving their neighborhood only holding their husbands hand. They try and save their hands not to build machines but to cook for their kids, and yes this is the youth thinking. They look oddly at you if you light a cigarette on the streets but go about happily with the half empty bottle of rum peeking outside their pockets at 1 in the afternoon. The bus conductors behave as if they are doing you a favor by letting you hop into the vehicle and push you down when your stoppage comes as if its him who is paying you for your service of “alightment”. To them except for tamil nadu, kerala and bits and pieces of karnataka and andhra pradesh everything else is north indian and trust me they are not very fond of that. PORA, which actually “burns” when they say it proves my previous statement. They are rude, shrewd and intelligent. But thats just the cover.

Inside the book you find a very different story. Yes, the people here are rude, insolent, egoistic, unmeasurably proud of their existence but they are very much as human as any of the rest in the world. They can smile one of the most beautiful and honest smiles in the world. They take some time to get the hang of things that may appear DIFFERENT to them but once they do they are nothing but a support to those notions. They may be proud but they are every bit as honest to be so. They will talk behind your back but at the same time never let it really affect you. Its for their own entertainment only. Or should i say , they “chumma” do it. They will always smirk at you on the streets but once you put a step near their door they will never let you go back empty handed or stomached.(The picture below is of a family i had the pleasure to know during a community orientation in the village of Adukambarae Kattupadi, Vellore district and boy do i miss their unceasing laughter on seeing a guy from kolkata and their ever so tasty sundals!!) They are different and find no problem with that because they are self sufficient something that not every culture in this country can demand of being, be it economically or culturally, they love their loud movies and most of them have rowdy fight scenes and songs that can make the entire world move their feet. The girls are shy but thats because they have too much to lose once set free. They believe they are the most educated people in the country. Why?  Because they are. Period. They are like their dosas, crunchy o the outside but the soft on the inside (though i could always do with a bit less of curry leaves in everything!! ) The sons become engineers yes!! But they treat their mothers as Gods and wives as princesses. The women have a major share of all chores be it in or out. They are late but they are not slow. They are like the super subs. The come on only when the goal is desperately needed. The bus conductor may pull you down when u have reached your stop but they also have the ethic to pull up a guy from his seat in order to get a old woman to sit. They are organized, disciplined and hot tempered perfectionists, they believe in the way they are, how they are and what they can be.

Concludingly, i would say the south with all its hills and seas are every bit as different as you can imagine and more, but i guess that is what makes them so perfect in their own eyes, PERFECTLY UNIQUE.

 

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