looking back

the strangest of events lead to the most profound observations at times. i wouldn’t call myself an introvert. i can, and do socialise, and yet, i am not the most extroverted person you’d find in a gathering. friends, i have had by the dozen, thank almighty. come to think of it, i do think our tendency of giving relationships a name, the need to define them within set parameters, the inherent tendency to brand them as friendship, love, acquaintance and what not, is quite unnecessary. how can we possibly attempt to define something so complex as a relationship between two human beings? and why should we, anyways? coming back to friends, well, i have had the privilege of knowing many people, and being fairly close to many of them. yet, when i look back, these have mostly been people who have been around for a fixed period of time. they come, and they go. it makes me wonder if this whole bit about friendship is overrated. and then again, there are some, who have been there for a while now. 22 years is a long time, considering a lifetime that hasn’t spanned much more than that. there are others, who don’t count by the span, but simply because i know they’re around, somewhere. the ones in college, for instance. we shared something describing which i may do injustice. it would suffice to say we were brothers, yet not of the same womb. we’re not in touch anymore – i’m pretty bad at that business. yet, when we do catch up – like i did with this guy, after 6 long years – i could feel that something. it wasn’t ease, for much had changed for the both of us, yet, it was that unspoken comfort of knowing.

in every ‘kind’ of friendship, i have taken and given, usually always the former more than the latter. and every co traveller that has crossed paths with me, has in some way contributed to shaping my thinking. everyone of them has filled my heart with love, has taught me, among other things, the art of companionship.

why do i talk of friendship now? that is because i just discovered that in all the two years of blogging, i have hardly spoken of my friends. is it because i tend to take people for granted? possibly, for my dad once told me that i am ruthless with people, that i tend to shun them when i please. i do – when i feel encroached upon, i quickly move away and hardly look back. do i move away, i am not sure. may be we have a specific role to play in each others lives and He somehow gets us to move on when the puzzle has been solved.

“The show is over”, as they say.

and yet, my good friends would know what they mean to mean to me, or so i hope, and that could be the reason for not writing about friends in general. save this one special fellow-bum-of-the-universe, whom i had the most fortuitous rendezvous with.

before we proceed, i must be grateful to the one who speaks kindness, for having tagged me quite a long while ago, and apologise too, for taking this up after such a delay.

the meme says –

Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given : family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like. Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

and that was how i got thinking about the key word ‘friend’ and what i had posted in relation to it.

being a lover, and to an extent, a follower of the sanatana dharma, i have been brought up to believe in vasudaiva kutumbakam, a phrase from one of the most ancient texts of unknown source, that means ‘the whole world is one family’. at times in a bummy sort of a way i keep wishing that were true, or that i could truly and wholy believe in it, but for the sake of this meme, i am reminded of this man – he was more a friend(there goes!) than family. and then there was another grandparent, from the other side of the family, who to me, has been the most beautiful woman – inside and out – that i have had the fortune to set my eyes upon.

talking about family, how can i fail to mention the woman, who often wonders “what one earth she was thinking about when she conceived me, that i turned out so completely mad”. she has made me what i am, not out of what she wanted – it wasn’t a carving or a moulding – but out of what i was destined to be, and through that very act, and has conveyed unknowingly that faith in me too. today, we have both grown and in a world that seems to be leaning towards bigger and better and more of everything, i still see her derive the very small pleasures she has always taught me to. and it makes me wonder, yet again, who the child really is. no wonder they say that people grow old and then start growing younger.

what remains is talking about ‘myself’, ‘my love’ and ‘anything i like’. i am essentially what this blog reflects. yet, i am not. in some ways, it could be that some of my posts are inspired by what i would really want to be. and so, the links posted here – though each speak of different things, are quite obviously reflective of me, and hence could also relate to the ‘myself’ bit.

the toughest bit is for me to take up the bit on ‘my love’. i’d say i love a lot of things and people, and life in general, and yet, i am pretty confused about what we all call love. for one, i know that i can be very difficult. i am not insensitive to love, i find love here, yet am tempted to believe it all a futile attempt, when i think of what is most over used four letter word, not counting the famous f word. i can recognize love, can even be intensely loving, yet refuse to be bound by the very same love.

and finally about the things i like. it is a hard choice to make there, but i am terribly fond of travel, specially if it involves riding the bike for days on end, i have – before i ever started blogging – but have never bothered to recount any of the trips here, save this small, yet eventful one. and then there is my uncanny knack of bumping into adventures – which i think comes with travel. and an open mind. thank god for that.

when i read it again, though the post itself seems desultory of sorts, i quite enjoyed doing the meme. to reflect on oneself can be quite enjoyable, and in this case, it was looking back at all that i had written at different points of time in this little journey in the blog world. thank you, for being with me, and my apologies for being so irregular.

now for the tagging part – i remember someone having said he never orphaned a tag, so he will be the first one.

i have a tag pending from her, and so now it’ll be interesting to see who goes first!

justso and J, to stick to the two new acquaintances clause.

oh, and CM – humour me, please.


A man is a fool not to put everything he has, at any given moment, into what he is creating. You’re there now doing the thing on paper. You’re not killing the goose, you’re just producing an egg. So I don’t worry about inspiration, or anything like that. It’s a matter of just sitting down and working. I have never had the problem of a writing block. I’ve heard about it. I’ve felt reluctant to write on some days, for whole weeks, or sometimes even longer. I’d much rather go fishing, for example, or go sharpen pencils, or go swimming, or what not. But, later, coming back and reading what I have produced, I am unable to detect the difference between what came easily and when I had to sit down and say, “Well, now it’s writing time and now I’ll write.” There’s no difference on paper between the two.
– Frank Herbert


23 thoughts on “looking back

  1. That was such a long long post, with so many incidences enveloped inside, took some time to read! and that brilliant quote at the end– were you promising yourself something through that?? 😀

  2. Something got me emotional about your post dharma… friends – yes, I miss the few I had and wished I had been good enough to get back to them wherever I was.. alas! We do regret not having the good times back, don’t we?btw, a whirlwind of thoughts there, but a post from you that more than just worth-reading!

  3. well written as always. and why should every relationship be named? why should every emotion be named? true. but i guess it is yet another societal norm that we grew up adhering to. sorry, i grew up adhering to:)people rarely accept when you say ‘i dont know’:)

  4. That was quite a long post but definitely worth it! You have this skill of effortlessly flowing from one topic to another – which i blv is not very common. And that quote towards the end gives it a 10/10 🙂

  5. friends….now that got me thinking. I have very few that I hold dear and those I will cling on till my last breath, for I would be nothing without them.But I admit that at many junctures I have acted similarly, letting them be and pretending no news is good news. Some friends I believe would not have remained so over all these years, if they hadn’t made attempts repeatedly since I tend to wander off, with no ill intention, but simply because I thought they knew I cared no matter what!It does pay to let them know every once in a while I guess. After all they do so ever so often, expecting nothing in return.Oops, almost an entire post in there!!!!Pardon the loquacity.

  6. I hope you took some of this time-out from blogging to be with your friends more, that sweet “unspoken comfort of knowing” that you defined so well. Or is part of being a bum also similar to being a loner? I wouldn’t know but I’m a bit of a hermit myself. ;)Friendships don’t have to last forever to be good, but they have to be good while they last – I just made this up. lol

  7. “May be we have a specific role to play in each others lives and He somehow gets us to move on when the puzzle has been solved.”- Though, I think like this many many times, the fact that it is so unfair, just continues to linger !It was good to read posts you have made in the past, most of which I have already read, and few of which I haven’t.Nice work 🙂

  8. Your posts do have a haunting quality – in a good way! They certainly stay with the reader for quite sometime!I guess we have all been fine tuned like that – define every relationship we have! And if there comes a time when you are not able to name it but only feel the r/ship – you ‘fail’ to make others understand the importance of it to you.And I really really liked the way you took up your tag! :)P.S. You a Telugu?

  9. Dharma, I’ve been reading your posts one by one – didn’t want to comment until I was done with them all.Loved re-reading the one about your thatha, your grandma, and also the one where you gave a ride to a lady of the street. I also like the way you refer to your mom, as “she” – the affection and the closeness you feel are palpable.Thank you for doing the tag. Priya.

  10. well written,dharma.i am a person who cant live without friends.i’m glad that i have a lot of them from every walk of life and some are real gems.ur post made me think of the good times i had with them.thanks,friend.do post ur poems too:-)

  11. I’m lost as to where to begin—I write, backspace, write, delete—because there is so much here about you. There’s so much I identified with: defining relationships, taking more than giving, shunning people, having specific roles, “love” and futility, refusing to be bound by the very same love that could possibly stand the chance of binding… And so many things I was intrigued or particularly touched by: vasudaiva kutumbakam, your mother having given you the gift of becoming what you were destined to be, co-travellers and the art of companionship… I chased down every link, particularly enjoyed the pieces on your “fearsome” grandfather and your beautiful grandmother, loved the photo of your family, cracked up over the Dave Barry piece, and was inspired by the Frank Herbert quote you thought to add… This has been like a first rate documentary that has left you positively prominently on the screen of my mind 🙂

  12. AKKA,thank you – coming from akka, that obviously means a lot :)CM,whenever you can!GAURI,i guess i was. rather, it came to me at an apt time when i was trying to figure out myself :)VESPER,glad u agree!SHINI,i don’t regret it so much. i guess it was a phase, and it had to pass, thats how i tend to look at it. and good times are here, and yet to come too…;)thanks, as always for your kind comments!D,do i? well, am glad u like it here in this tavern! thank you – will attempt more :)UNPRETENTIOUS,thank you!people don’t accept a lot, sometimes we just have to move on.BHUMIKA,thank you!i don’t know if it is so much a skill or the way the mind is naturally – wandering!GAURI,as always – and expected. thank you!DB,i guess it does pay, and i must tell myself that again and again.and thank you – i enjoyed the mini post, and so no apologies required.GAIZABONTS,thanks!DEVIL MOOD,loner isn’t the word i’d choose. it is pretty confusing what i am. a hermit, u say? i like that. i yearn sometimes to go away to the woods.and i like the stuff u’ve made up!IWOBM,it lingers only as long as the mind entertains it.thanks for being here!SINDHU,not a telugu, nope!i just don’t find the need to make others understand most of the times.thanks – haunting in a good way is interesting :)PRIYAMVADA,thanks for going into the details and following the links.thank you for providing food for thought – via the tag :)MONSOON,poems do not normally come so easily, i find myself making a conscious effort when compared to just writing such stuff.you’re most welcome, my dear friend!USHA,:) welcome here!enakku teriyalai – edho ezhudaren avlo daan :)MISSALISTER,awwww…!! my favaourite you are, really.well, yes, coming to think of it, it does seem like a documentary. does that also make it boring, as documentaries normally are believed to be? :)thank you, for the chasing down bit – you’re very kind 🙂

  13. Reading your blog after a long time. I realize I am very ‘ruthless’ with my friends too. Is that because essentially that’s the trait of loners? Luckily, like you said, I am blessed with very good friends who overlook this horrible trait of mine.

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