Friday, December 18, 2009

A Miracle called Friendship

I have often wondered about the miracle that is Friendship. I’d like to call it a miracle for that’s exactly how it seems when it touches your life in the most unexpected and mysterious of ways. And each time I’ve tried to fathom how or what makes it turn out to be the way it does in the end, I’ve drawn a blank. For many a times we may aspire to get to know someone better because we feel instinctively connected to that someone on a certain level that most others wouldn’t even get close to, the very first time we meet them. But it may happen that we later realize that somehow those first few moments when we felt that connect, may have been misguiding after all, as we discover that we are actually two very different people. At other times, what may start out as just a casual acquaintance that you don’t pay much attention to initially, or even the first few times, may well turn out to be the strongest bond you’ve ever shared with another human being who is not your next of kin or blood relative. Such is the quality of friendship. It may come to you from totally unforeseen quarters but once it has touched your life, your life is never quite the same again! Just like miracles that turn your life around completely when they happen.
As I think deeper on the subject, my mind comes up with an image of a nest with fledglings in it. It may all seem unconnected at first but I feel that one can draw many parallels to that image in relation to the whole concept of friendship, if we really look at it from angles to which I intend to introduce you to now. Just like fledglings in a nest we embark on the first few formative years of our lives, by placing our trust completely in the other fledglings around in the nest. The bonhomie naturally exists. This is at a point in time when the outside world is absolutely shut out and way beyond our understanding and perception. Blind faith in one another and acceptance are the dominant factors that prevail at this stage. In most cases, the nest is analogous to the portals of our schools where everyone starts out together as equals, sheltered from the harsh world outside. At this juncture in life, our minds are still young, fresh, untainted and open to the idea of unconditional acceptance. We don’t evaluate, judge or appraise another simply because these are still alien concepts to us at this point. It is still not plagued by the ills of the vast world outside. There is no room for initial mistrust to start with, nor is there a whole lot of speculation or a tread-with-caution attitude. Everything is mostly just black and white here. Shades of grey are barely visible. In the sense, you either get along or you don’t. And it’s not because your getting along with another and making friends with him/ her is influenced by any other ulterior motive. It is not coloured by what may turn out to be beneficial and what may not. Simple and straightforward, it’s friendship in its purest form, if it exists between two people. And together you learn to share, to care and be genuinely interested in the other. Thereby, it’s no wonder that some of the best friends we have are those that we made early on, in school.
As time goes by and the fledglings start discovering their wings, and explore the extent to which those wings can take them, the influence of the outside world creeps in. Just like when you and I probably stepped out into college and realized that things still seem the same, people are still somewhat open to the idea of new friendships but not exactly with the same openness or enthusiasm. The ground is now set for a more self-centered picking. With maturity has now come a certain amount of speculation followed by selection. You figure out who you are now and then decide which group you belong with. Your school group of friends may have had nerds and party animals alike, for instance, and it didn’t matter. You all got along just fine. Here that kind of heterogeneous mingling may not find place as you may decide you don’t belong with the nerd herd or that you simply cant afford to hang out with the gang that’s most notorious around campus. Self awareness brings about the need to fit in and make a mark. Blending in with any crowd just may not work.
Finally when a full grown bird flies out to face the real challenges of the world, as do the human counterparts that are readying to start with their work lives, a lot more hard reality hits. You literally get welcomed into a new world, a world where people are neither open nor really keen to even know you personally, leave alone making friends with you! Even if you do approach someone with the idea of building a friendship, like you did back during your student days, you soon get a feel of how the real world works. Realizing that someone you considered a friend and bared your thoughts to openly at your workplace, is actually misusing that information elsewhere to strengthen their stand in the organization, now cuts you like a knife. But soon you too get accustomed to the ways of the world for what it is. It's now a matter of blend in with the crowd or else prepare to stick out like a sore thumb kind of situation. Taking a great amount time to get to gradually get to know people before you build any bonds or make any commitments may not be the only addition to the way you begin to deal with your personal relationships. One may also begin to include a whole lot of other tactics that include more than a fair share of caution, if not a general mistrust of all one meets for the first time at the work spot, if only to protect oneself from being hurt and letdown. Then that could be followed by evaluation as to whether it’s going to work in your favour or whether it'll prove to be detrimental as far as your interests go. In other words, friendship has lost the meaning you once thought it had. It has become just another causal word in your everyday life. If there is any new bond to be forged you learn to look for it outside the workplace. The adult bird at this point has figured out exactly which tree to build his nest in and who may or may not come near his nest, who he needs to be wary of and scare away.



  In conclusion what I’d like to say is that despite how time and the places life takes us to change the way we bond with people, friendship could still walk into your life. And as I said earlier, it happens in the most mysterious of ways and maybe with someone totally unexpected or even when you least expect it to. And when it does, embrace it with an open mind for it could be synonymous with a miracle happening in your life.

On my mind... But not yet in print..

There have been way too many occasions in the past few months when I have willed myself to sit down before my computer and write another article, another poem and post it on this blog, and I almost succeeded at times. Except that each time I got close to something I thought was good to go up here in print, I would experience what some call the writer’s block and then I’d scrap the rest of the article as well, thinking its better off unpublished on a blog. But today, I have decided to put aside any such impulse that may arise and post these few lines here, even though it may not amount to anything in the way of an article. Ask me why ? Because I feel that even a few lines expressed out here, is a good comeback. The rest of the posts here on my blog, I understand vary from being philosophical to painfully emotional in their content, for those that don’t really dig either ! But then the joy of writing lies in the expression of one's thought no matter how it's received and perceived. Maybe this is just self reassurance for I posed the perception here myself. But I guess I needed a bit of both to bring me back on track, on the path to doing what I enjoy most, writing endlessly.
This post here, being neutral in its theme or having none at all for that matter, perhaps makes it more endurable. Atleast I’m hoping it would be. For I am looking at coming up with some more posts for my blog, and the very fact that I am getting repetitive about this goes to show how bad I want that to be. And the reason for this is quite simple. As I've mentioned already writing is something I really enjoy and once the inspiration kicks in, there is no stopping me. At this very moment a million thoughts co-exist in my mind. And all of these thoughts are fighting for prominence and to be formulated into words, sentences, paragraphs and finally take the form of an essay or even a poem before they make their way here. So it's all in my mind... But not yet in print. Only wishing that’d be a lot sooner than later !