Contest 9: A Forgotten Friendship

Friendship-picture

Welcome to Contest 9! This contest is CLOSED. Closing date for comments/entries was Wednesday, the 17th of December, 2014. The winner will be announced on Saturday, the 20th of December, 2014. If you missed this contest, don’t worry! The next one will come along soon enough.

There was a short break after Contest 8 to accommodate the giveaway and blog launch I had for Palem, but now everything seems to have settled down, and things are getting back to normal. That means, among other things, resumption of our writing contests.

Topic

The topic/prompt for this contest is:

A Forgotten Friendship

We live in the age of Facebook, where perhaps forgetting an old friend and losing touch completely is rarer today than it once was. But still, one of the abiding themes of people and relationships is that they move on. At various stages in our lives, we have different people we are close to, and seemingly for no reasons at all, we drift apart, we lose touch, we forget.

Today I thought we will make an attempt to pay tribute to those relationships in our past which were once precious. This could be a first cousin you grew up with and then fell out of touch after you became adults. A friend you were particularly close to in school but somehow never felt that way about when you met as adults. With our own parents we have this constantly changing dynamic – so if you’d like to explore that, that’s great too.

Here are some thoughts to get you going:

1. I will leave you to interpret the word ‘friendship’ as you wish. It may or may not have a romantic element. It may or may not be with another human being. It may or may not have a filial connection.

2. It doesn’t have to be a story out of your childhood. After become adults, in fact, we have more of these fleeting relationships. What about that work colleague with whom you had lunch for a couple of years, and then you moved out of the company and fell out of touch?

3. People enter and exit our lives all the time. I want you to think of one of those people who left a lasting impact on you.

4. You can choose to either focus on the person or on the nature of the friendship. Or an incident that lingers in your mind. Or anything at all around the theme. I will leave the choice to you.

5. Any form that you’re comfortable with is good. That means poetry, mood piece, fiction or essay.

6. Word limit, as usual is 300 words. (But you know this is flexible. By all means feel free to write a longer piece if you want.)

How do you enter the contest?

It doesn’t get simpler. You leave a comment to this post. If you leave two comments, they will count as two separate entries. The maximum number of entries you can submit is three. If you leave more than three comments, I won’t tell you off (I’m too nice for that) but I will only pick the first three.

What’s the prize?

A Flipkart e-gift voucher worth 500 Indian rupees. It looks like this.

Flipkart-Voucher

No, you can’t touch it, but you can buy things – especially books! – with it. If you live outside of India, your choices are limited to e-books because Flipkart doesn’t deliver internationally (yet).

How is the winner selected?

Each comment will be rated on three things:

1. Clarity: We should understand what you’re trying to say. Good grammar and punctuation will help. So will a reasonable structure to your entry. Beginning, middle and end.

2. Personal Touch: We’re interested in getting to know you better. So go for depth, specificity and honesty. In narrative pieces, the deeper you take us with you into the scene, the better it is.

3. Beauty of the writing: Make your words sing. Give rich sensory detail. Describe well. Transport us to to your world. Be cogent, crisp and clear.

The above three criteria are ranked in the order of importance. So clarity is more important than personal touch. And personal touch is more important than evocative writing.

Rules/Guidelines/Suggestions

1. The closing date for comments/entries is Wednesday, the 17th of December, 2014. The winner will be announced on Saturday, the 20th of December, 2014.

2. When you enter comments on this blog, you will find a separate text box asking for your email. I recommend that you enter your email into this, so that I will have a way of contacting you in case you win. Rest assured that I will not use your contact information for any other purpose, shady or otherwise.

3. Sexually explicit or offensive material will be deleted at my discretion.

4. Avoid plagiarism. I will check for it, and remove entries that I think are lifted from elsewhere.

And finally…

Have fun! If you think this is the sort of thing your friends would enjoy, share this post with them and invite them to participate. You can share it with just a click on the sharing buttons below.

See you in the comments!

Image Courtesy: 1

Comments

  1. I am in

    Like

  2. Falguni srikanth says:

    This is really interesting and my favourite.i have been away from this blog cause I had Internet problem.i got caught up in pending works after Hud Hud.
    Eager to read….
    What the younger generation thinks…😄😄

    Like

  3. ‘m in

    Like

  4. Forgotten Friendship:

    When I was in class 1, we had a rickshaw puller who used to take me and my elder brother to school. Every morning at 11:00 he used to shout our names from the road and waited for us to come down. We used to go in the rickshaw but never came back with him. We mostly stayed late after classes for Karate practice as our school have arranged a teacher who can come only at 5:00 p.m. Often class ends by 6:00-6:30 and then we used to wait for dad to come back and pick us up.

    My father owns a grocery shop in the main market area of the town. He always tried his best to be on time to pick us up but at times, work load made us stay longer than usual. There we made a new friend. His name was Bala Bhaiya, the Gatekeeper. He was a South Indian fellow and in my town you don’t find anyone from south that often. His big built, dark complexion and thick moustache made him look a bit intimidating and bossy. Of course at that time he had the “Power”. He held the bell which declares a class free and had the keys for the gate. A powerful man indeed.

    Very few from the school actually saw a softer side of him. He used to be all tough and rude when any student tried breaking rule, bunk classes or come late. But the time after the Karate classes, helped me see a new dimension and then I realized for the first time that “People are not always the way they seem.”

    In winter evenings, waiting for dad to come, often we used to sit near his table on the front gate. Almost daily he used to get something or the other to eat and made sure he offered it to us. Guava, Sita-phal, Oranges and Tamarind were his usual. Later even we started keeping something from our lunch box for him so that when he offered us, we can do the same as a good gesture.

    For a few years, it was the same routine but then he quit his job and some new guy took his place. He was one distinct friend I have ever had in my life. He was not from my class, not my age group, not anything at all in common but we were in the same school.

    Even today he visits my dad’s shop once in a year, usually before Diwali and asks “Baba log kaise hain?”

    -Arpit Khandelwal
    Twitter: @karpit3
    http://www.rightfromleftside.wordpress.com

    Like

    • Hey Arpit! First entry this time 🙂 Thanks for sharing this. When you mentioned a rickshaw puller I remembered two rickshaw pullers who used to take me to school everyday. First there was Devayya, then Sammayya, the latter being quite notorious in the area for his exploits with the bottle. He used to treat me well, though. Always offered me a piece of whatever fruit he was having etc. Now I don’t even remember when I last saw him.

      Like

  5. Vaishnavi says:

    I’m in

    Like

  6. simrankinra says:

    Forgotten Friendship : A clock’s gimmick.

    I am a sixty two year old lady who is about to turn sixty three in a few hours.

    It has been two years since I retired from the post of Head of the Department at a renowned college in my state and now I am in Seattle, living with my daughter. I did not really want to come here and intrude in her personal space but my dear daughter doesn’t think so. She loves me a lot; she had forced me and booked my tickets. My son, who lives in Ontario, is coming over to celebrate my birthday as well. I am not supposed to know about it, though. They have planned a surprise. My husband, and her dad, is here with us too. With a good job, a perfect husband and successful loving kids, I do not have much to desire for.

    At sixty two, my hair has grayed. People tell me to dye, but I find this very ‘sexy’, to use a modern adjective. My face has wrinkles and it has started to sag.I am supposed to either turn into an absolutely boring, dull and pesky woman or get some facials in order to lift my skin, dye my hair and look a tad younger. They don’t let me be. Life was mayhem earlier, but now I have adapted myself. Aging has given me a lot of gems. Age has provided me with such intellect, that you don’t find in books or religious texts. I know I have become physically weak and the pain in my knees forces me to use a stick at times; but internally, I have become very strong and full of might. Life has given me a lot and now that death can swallow me any moment, I don’t repent because I have lived a full life. A good job? I got it. Married into a good family? I got it. See my children kiss success? I got it.

    I am lost in my thoughts, but I can sense my daughter approaching me from behind. I know she will close my eyes from behind like she has been doing since childhood and then give me a tight hug, humming the birthday tune for me. She does the same, but along with it, she flashes two tickets for the cinema. With undue excitement, I agree to go along. I am standing near the long queue for popcorn while my daughter is still deciding what to buy.
    A strange man shoves by me from my side.
    I know him, but wonder who he is.
    I have seen him somewhere.

    *

    “Sorry,” he mutters.

    He has a French accent.
    I think I know him; pretty well.

    Peter. I know he will not recognise me. Peter. This man, here in Seattle? After all these years? Peter. I know him pretty well. Peter. He is the man I had first fallen in love with. Peter. He used to live across the church I visited every Sunday with my grandmother. Peter. We had a relationship of almost three years. Peter. He told me one day how he had to leave me because he could not focus on studies. Peter. I came to know later on that he had fallen in love with some other woman. Peter. After I got married to Paul, he got married to Zara as well. Peter. I can see him fighting with the guy in a distant candy corner. Peter. He smells of alcohol.

    Oh, Peter!

    *

    My daughter and I had a good time at the movie. I almost fell asleep on my daughter’s shoulder and she stroked her fingers through my hair like I always did through hers’. I am lying in my bed, next to my husband right now and the clock says it’s three in the morning. Aging doesn’t let me sleep properly.

    I absolutely forgot about Peter, but now he seems to be on my mind again.

    My husband turns and pulls me in his arms, making me rest my head on his shoulders. He plants a slight kiss on my forehead. He has been doing that every single day since we got married. I love him and he loves me. I can hear my son whispering to my daughter in the next room. They are planning me to surprise me in the morning with his presence.

    But, Peter.

    And suddenly, my elder sister’s words resound in my head. She was wiping my tears and questioning in her hoarse, heavy voice.“With a good job, a perfect husband and successful loving kids, will this break-up matter forty years hence?”

    Well…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Simran! Welcome to the blog. I enjoyed this a lot. You did a good job of setting up the character, though I felt there was a bit of overwriting. For instance, I thought the word ‘Peter’ appears a bit too often in the paragraph where the character is reminiscing about him. Also in the first few lines, I thought there was a bit too much ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’. I think it will be a better piece if you brought in elements of action, description and speech into the narrative. Right now it is dominated by the character’s thoughts. That’s fine, but thoughts should be only one of the four pillars, the other three being action, description and speech.

      Having said that, you captured the nostalgia rather well. We all have a story about one that got away 🙂

      Like

  7. I’m in! It’s a wee but over 300 words but here goes:

    “We are friends.” She repeated, disappointment apparent in her eyes, if not in her clenched fists and gritted teeth.
    “Look. I think you’re mistaking me for someone else. I’m sorry. I really gotta go now. It’s getting late.” Meher turned around and started walking home. *What is wrong with people?*

    “Friends.” She muttered under her breath. *How dare she not recognise her? The nerve.*
    “I will make you remember. Oh yes, I will.”

    Meher looked at the overcast sky. A few minutes ago, the night had been flooded with moonlight. And now, the sky resembled a hungry beast, complete with the rumbling noises of an empty stomach. Meher chuckled at her own analogy-more so in an attempt to dissipate a growing sense of paranoia in the pit of her stomach. She started walking faster.
    Something wet landed on her nose.
    “Shit.” She whispered as another drop hit her. In seconds she was drenched. “Shit. Shit. Shit.” She cursed as she ran for cover. She saw a taxi slowing down.
    “Taxi!” It stopped. She opened the door and sat inside, shivering.
    “Civil lines, please.” She told the driver. He didn’t respond.
    “Excuse me?” She bent forward in her seat and tapped him on his shoulder. But it wasn’t the face of a man that turned around to see her.
    “Hello friend.” A sweet voice replied. “Let’s go home.” Before she could respond something pierced her arm and she lost consciousness.

    *

    “It’s okay. I’ll make you remember.” Meher woke up to that awful voice. “I’m sure you must have forgotten because of that bump to your head last Wednesday.”

    “How did you know? Who are you?” Meher screamed, struggling with the ropes that bound her to a chair.

    “I’m your friend.” She repeated, walking closer, a metal rod in her hand.

    “You’re insane! Let me go!”

    “Your best friend…”

    Like

    • Hi Saniya! Welcome to the blog. This is a creepy piece. I get the feeling that you were not able to fit in everything into 300 words. I would like to read the full story. I feel you have an ability to build atmosphere well, and the small details that you bring in (something wet landed on her nose) have sensory elements that draw the reader in. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing.

      And we don’t really pay that much attention to the 300-word limit. We’re not an ‘official’ contest, so everything goes. In the future, if you’d like to write a longer, more complete piece, don’t hesitate just because of the word limit 🙂

      Like

  8. Shivani Mankad says:

    For the theme Forgotten Friendship
    ‘ Shattered Fragments of my past ‘

    I’m not the Evil queen of a children’s fairy tale,
    I don’t ask my friend to feed me lies.
    This story – a forgotten friendship,
    That lies below a veil..

    I’m not crazy, I’m just friends with a Mirror,
    It alone shows me the naked truth.
    It treated me equally when I was content with ecstasy,
    Even when I tried to pull the trigger.

    I’m not lonely, I keep my distance from them,
    But high school is a miserable place to be alone in.
    In this speck of ordinary dust,
    The unknown people wanted a gem

    I didn’t wish this, but it’s the fate I seal,
    In this pursuit of popularity, I lost my friend
    My actions were driven by an urge,
    And I’m not controlling the wheel.

    That boy seemed too good to be true,
    My grades deteriorated and “friends” cheered,
    I did things I never do,
    Unknowingly,I became my fear – social taboo.

    He left me because I didn’t prefer skirts over jeans.
    Was it possible to score below F?
    That’s when I realized that my friends’ cheers,
    Were all acquired by artificial means.

    I returned raging, with what I’d become,
    In anger threw a punch at my friend,
    The cracks on the mirror, reflected the ones on my heart.
    I emerged villainous, the Queen of a slum.

    Removing the veil, approaching it one last time,
    I glanced to see my reflection shamefully,
    I’m ready to face punishment,
    To pay for my dreadful crime.

    My hunger for power made me blind,
    Like I said in the start this is a tale of forgotten friendship,
    I wished to salvage by trying one last time,
    But I’m looking for a long gone reflection, something out of my find.

    Like

    • I liked this, Shivani. Probably the first ‘fresh’ interpretation of ‘forgotten friend’ in this contest. I liked the way you refer to a previous version of yourself as a forgotten friend. And it’s true, isn’t it? We all change every moment of our lives incrementally, and very often we don’t even know where those people have gone. Somewhere deep inside, I guess. I liked the way you used the mirror to bring out this concept. Quite nice. Thanks 🙂

      Like

  9. Most of my village memories revolve around the lush green forests, ghost stories and the numerous thoughts of her. She was a wonderful companion whom I had met rather unexpectedly, since she was younger than I was. She was tiny actually, while I was four years older and certainly dominating. But the anticipation of meeting her always made me squirm with excitement as I would collect butterfly shaped clips, colorful nail paints and comics for her. Both of us were in that age of innocence trying to explore the differences between the glamorous city life and the laid back mysterious village ways.

    There are so many memories of her that now I feel a strange knot in my stomach, every time I think of her. I remember how I used to love champa flowers but dreaded the tiny monstrous caterpillars that would be hidden in their leaves as they grew like wild gnomes all over the backyard of my village home. But she would wait for me to set a foot on the village road and come with handful of champa buds for me. During one such time, I remember it was the onset of summer vacation and we had just reached our village home. I had slept after a sumptuous lunch and was woken up with an assault of champa flowers in my nostrils. My mom saw me up and informed me that Anubha bought these flowers for me, and because I was sleeping, she left them on my pillow. It was the most beautiful gift ever and I was extremely excited to give her my gifts too!

    She had come again to check whether I was up as I happily picked up the flowers and noticed a tiny errant cheery green worm on one of the stalks. Without realizing she was waiting to see my reaction, I showered all the flowers as a reflex action on her, with a scream to rival a banshee. She had run off, only to return apologizing. That day I felt small, in a different way – disgusted way. But thankfully, my butterfly clips (oh, the grown up caterpillars!) compensated for my behavior.

    I recently met her and kept staring for a while. She had gone to the city and completed her degree, and had come to see me that year. I remember standing on the terrace, turning my back towards her, but not being able to face her. I could not find anything familiar in her face…because that old charm, the innocence that the both of us shared had gone missing. I just could not make a conversation and much to my dismay, neither could she. After few minutes of awkwardness, she took my leave and I felt some part of me leave with her. And that bond, it has disappeared into nothingness now, lovingly so.

    Like

    • Hi WOH. Thanks for sharing this tale of a childhood friendship. I think all of us can relate to this. When we meet our old school friends after a gap of years and years, we all have felt that distance, that awkwardness, that things are not quite the same as they used to be. This ties in with what Shivani said in her piece: that we change without realizing it, and once the paths diverge, as time passes, the distance becomes larger and larger.

      All we can do in these situations, I suppose, is to be thankful that we at least have the memories .

      Like

      • Wings of Harmony says:

        Yes, at least the memories stay, even if the relationships don’t. Thank you for the awesome theme and comments 🙂 😀

        Like

  10. Your words had overwhelmed my heart,
    When you said ” We were friends”,
    Dismay, it didn’t survive.
    Your stillness revealed,
    What words could not phrase.
    And in tears I was wrapped.

    I swam across my destiny,
    Searching for your love.
    Staring into the dusky night,
    And trapped in twilight.
    Lost in thought, lost in tide,
    I pondered over my empty soul.

    And then I realized,
    That this affinity is just a mirage.
    Your words do not applaud,
    the language I know.
    My feelings are only a grope
    With no meaning at all…

    Like

    • Hi Niharika. I liked this poem. A couple of phrases really stood out – ‘wrapped in tears’ and ‘trapped in twilight’ bring some sharp images to mind. And I understand the note of despair that the poem ends with. There is a friend in my own past whom I remember quite fondly, but a couple of years back when I discovered him on Facebook and sent him a friend request, I sent him a message recalling all our old times, only to get a terse message from him that he had never heard of me and that he couldn’t remember any of what I said. So we all have those who mean a lot to us but who don’t even remember us. All we can do is shrug and move on 🙂

      Like

  11. Rohit Bhasy says:

    Nityanand Rajagopal.
    Missing since March 2009
    Height: Average. Taller than me by couple of inches
    Weight: Was definitely heavier than me
    Skin tone: Dark
    Hair: Oily
    Age: Was three years elder to us. Must be 30 now. No. Wait a minute. He was five years elder. That makes him 32!!! GOD! He is an uncle now, officially!

    Nitya aka Anna, was the eldest member in our group, during our graduation days. Timid among strangers and quick-witted among friends, Nitya became an indispensible part of the group soon, owing to his friendly nature.

    He’d often walk with us with a hand on our shoulders talking about the assignments we had to complete, or the practicals he had messed up. Never the participative kind, he preferred being a bystander.

    He never shared much about his family. All we knew was he had a mom and a younger sister. I don’t remember him talking about his father though.

    During the three years of graduation, our friendship grew stronger. We made some great memories during our industrial visit to the north east. We all thought we were friends for life.

    And then college ended.

    And Nitya disappeared.

    No one knows where he is now. He used to be in touch with one of our friends, through whom we got to know that he was working at a hotel in chennai. But his contact with this friend too, ended. And since then, the name Nitya, has only evoked anger and irritarion in us all.

    A friend, who never bothered to stay in touch and who we once thought was our friend for life. He isn’t on any social networking website. I tried reaching out to him a lot and i’ve given up hope now, as have most of the friends in our group.

    We still hope that one day, we will get a surprise call from our friend…our lost friend…Nitya

    Like

    • Hi Rohit. Thanks for awakening some of my memories too. I can think of some of my friends during my college days with whom I spent a lot of time. But now I don’t know where they are and what they’re doing. In some cases, I only remember the faces but I no longer remember the names. I only remember the good times we had. So I can’t even look them up. And the fact that they haven’t looked me up yet probably means that they have forgotten me too. I guess that’s the basic reality of life: people move on.

      Like

  12. Over a cup of tea

    Fog filters the slant of the sunlight that lights up my face. It is a freezing January morning. I stand in a queue, craving tea and waiting for my club sandwich at the takeaway window.

    And then, I glimpse him, waiting too, in a parallel queue. Funny, how it has been five years since I last saw him. Funny, how our paths cross again. Funny, how at the exact moment my eyes sweep over his face, as if by a cosmic conspiracy, he looks at me, too.

    And all the memories of sharing countless sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies and conversations over countless cups of tea on countless winter days come rushing back in an instant.

    I step aside. He leaves the queue, too. As if in a trance, we walk towards each other, stopping just a step short of colliding. My gaze drifts to his hands, bereft, save for a gold kada I had bought him for our first year together.

    “No wedding band, because, well, no wedding,” he smiles, reading my mind.

    No wedding now. Just like five years ago, when he had proposed, over a cup of tea at his place. And I had declined, after moments of deathly silence. At 23, I hadn’t been ready. I didn’t believe in marriages. Still don’t. Because marriages decay. And I revered our relationship far too much to lose him like that.

    I had lost him, anyhow.

    Both of us had different expectations of one another. Disappointed, we had snapped ties and tried to forget each other, succeeding, to a great extent. Until today.

    “I had loved you far too much to marry you,” I finally find my voice and tell him what he had deserved to know, then.

    “And I thought you did not love me enough!” he concedes. “But now, I understand,” he reassures me.

    “I understand too,” I half-smile.

    “You declined the marriage proposal. But, here is a proposal you cannot decline: A cup of tea, together?” he asks.

    I say yes. I had found him over a cup of tea, had lost him over a cup of tea. But this time I intend to give us the closure we deserve, over a cup of tea.

    Like

    • This started very well, Garima. I loved the tightness in the first two paragraphs. It fell away a little bit once the dialogue and internal monologue started. So your strength may lie in descriptions (which the first two paragraphs do). In dialogue, I sense a little awkwardness. This is quite common, but can be ironed out through practice. As a quick tip, only use the word ‘said’ in our dialogue tag. Instead of using words such as ‘concedes’, ‘reassures’, ‘half-smiles’, the word ‘said’ or ‘says’ does the job much better. Just that one thing will improve your dialogue noticeably.

      Having said that, I like the idea of closure over a cup of tea. If only all our friendships could get that. No? 🙂

      Like

  13. THEME- A FORGOTTEN FRIENDSHIP
    My poetry…….
    THE PLUCKED FLOWER
    Oh! my little girl, with an archipelago of dreams,
    The daddy’s princess and the mother’s pride
    Like an angelic sparkle and a priceless emerald,
    with the biggest heart and an enlightened mind.

    I remember those times together,
    when swore we would spend time forever.
    I remember those smiles and fun,
    one blink of eye and the past has gone.

    You were fighting on a battle field,
    You had lost your arms and weapon,
    You were scared and defenceless,
    Hoped that the faith will come strong.

    Fatal scars and tough weeks of battle,
    I thought nonsense were doctors, drips and medicines
    Let cancer not win the fight,
    Hopefully, its just a zodiac sign.

    Destiny had a different role to play,
    She left us behind to yearn in the midway.
    I laid beside on that hospital bed,
    crying of hurt, coz few things left unsaid.

    The Almighty made u His,
    Journeys bid us apart,
    But am with u and u are with me,
    always in our hearts.

    Dear,I look at your empty bed next to me,
    still feel you are present beside me.
    This is not the end,
    I will see you out in the middle someday.

    We weren’t even friends.
    We were roommates-The soulmates, The soul sisters…..

    Like

    • This is a good piece, Arpita. I liked the part where you say Destiny had a different role to play and left you midway. Also thought the imagery of likening the battle with cancer as a real battle. Having lost a cousin a few years back to a sudden accident, I know this pain of sudden loss only too well. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  14. A Forgotten Friendship

    Only if I’d realised it then.
    Only if I had named it – addiction or Infatuation then.

    I would have saved myself from so many troubles today.
    I would have saved  myself from so many dreams that will never come true.
    I would have saved myself from so many tears.

    And Most importantly my heart would’ve been whole right now.
    And I could give that whole heart to somebody – Wholeheartedly.
    And I wouldn’t have to think Of  this “The Friendship ” we had at all.

    They call this ‘The Friendship’ of so many years
    so easily – ‘The Unrequited love’.
    What they never realise is
    How much we want this ‘The Friendship’ to become –
    The long lost- Forever Forgotten friendship.

    Tragedy struck as people of my kind are,
    The Heart has involuntary muscles.
    Moreover even after the good for nothing brain dies,
    It has the guts to beat 5 more minutes.

    Long story short,
    No matter how much you train your brain,
    No matter even if you damn hell stop it,
    This heart is anyway gonna win,
    And make your life – a devasting Tsunami.

    Now the idiots who’ve been/are here have two ways to go

    One, they find a replacement of specimen
    And dedicate their lives to two results-
    An even bigger tsunami or
    The mythical,female favourite – Happy ending- love.

    But No. I belong to the second category of idiots.
    We believe in the medieval custom of ‘Waiting’.
    We believe  in doing this because Yash Chopra got to us before any rationality could.
    How can you erase the simran-raj formula we girls have overdosed on since the day we were born?
    Fifty Shades is not an erotica for us, It is a die hard romantic love story.
    See what I mean.?

    But then Again
    There are ways to survive
    I for one have found my salvation.
    I know the exact shape of heart today,
    With the 4 chambers it has,
    And I know how unromantic,
    And undrawable it is.
    Hence when all it does is pump blood,Why give a shit?

    So spare me the horror – The Friendship.
    You’re forgotten.
    Let’s never meet again.

    Like

    • Hi Indu. I like this a lot. I especially liked the part where you talk of how Yash Chopra got to us before any rationality could. The way you speak of the heart both as a biological pumping machine, and how it is designed by nature to win over the brain (because it beats for five minutes after the death of the brain) is quite novel and fresh. There are some bits in the middle that could be done away with, and it will make the overall piece tighter, I think. But overall, it’s very good. Thank you 🙂

      Like

  15. A ‘forgotten’ friendship it isn’t, but guess we start living with the emptiness they leave behind.
    We cherish so many memories of ‘us’ and yet their face seems to be slipping away from our minds over time. Their memory strikes us in strange ways, at unsuspecting moments only to transport us to a time when we were on the same page, even if not literally!
    It was the first ‘death’ I had experienced in real terms, the one that I witnessed from close distance, so close that it made me numb, for a long time.

    My grandfather they said, my world, I gathered.

    Five years gone by.. Shadows of existence flutter by…
    Amidst the steams of a hot cup of tea,
    in the holy fragrance of the incense sticks,
    in the enrapturing scent of the ‘beedi’,
    in the laughter of the army men during break,
    in the smoke of the fire lit on cold evenings
    I find you beside me, even today.

    Five years gone by.. Shadows of existence flutter by…
    The sandalwood paste accentuates the nostalgia,
    the calm forehead that had then turned cold,
    the toes that suddenly seemed icy,
    the body that was the temple to your soul
    suddenly had turned empty, but still
    I find you beside me, even today.

    Five years gone by..Shadows of existence flutter by…
    The slowly flowing river took with it your ashes
    the sweet scent of your perfume
    that refused to leave the home
    that stands testimony to the time that we ‘lived’
    To the being that now exists in a photograph-
    I find you beside me, even today.

    – Divya Nambiar

    Like

    • This was lovely, Divya. I’m sure your grandfather would be very happy if he could read this. There is something quite unknowable about that bond that people share with their grandchildren, isn’t it? By any rational way of thinking there should be nothing in common between them because they’re two generations apart, and yet they find something to bond very closely over. It’s one of those little miracles of life, I suppose. Thanks for sharing. Made me think of my own grandfather 🙂

      Like

  16. Rajnisinha says:

    FRIENDSHIP SITES—-FREE REGISTRATIONS

    God Bless them and May their tribe increase. The cause for this affection??

    Well last evening I was sitting alone in the dark [load shedding] when my cell gave a missed call ,number showed CHENNAI ;was absolutely clueless– no one in Chennai has my number the song ‘tere bin mai kaise jiya tere bin’

    —thats my ring tone put by my nephew he says if someone rings you that is because he/she has been missing you so this is the way he/she should call you . methinks this nephew of mine is very intelligent and absolutely correct.

    Well so the cell again played that number this time I succeeded in receiving it and the voice on the other end said’ Rajni !!!”
    I said ‘haan’
    she says ‘ this is Meena here ‘
    I sit up ‘Mee–ee–n–aa–!!??’
    And then”” WHAAAT MEENA!!!! arre!!! how on earth –how did you get my number!!!???

    she-!! “haha see found you na !!!”

    And then she told me it was all courtsy that site

    We had lost touch in 2000 when we shifted to Nagpur and they went away to the States .she did have my number ,but then with time and circumstances we couldn’t contact each other then I changed to another service provider and forgot to inform her etc etc

    They too went to Australia and again all those etc etc .

    Crux of it all is that we had lost touch . Though we did not forget each other .Then May 2008 they came back to India and now that they are finally settled they went in search of ME

    Why??

    Because we were the best of friends.Our husbands were batch mates and even we wives shared the same vibes does sound .STRANGE but its true.

    We were next door neighbours for 19 years and even after that we did change house;but remained in the same sector.would go for walks together–share recipes etc etc.

    Will you believe it if I told you that my daughters would sleep to the words of a telugu lullaby’ humma dumma ghumaadi’ and she sang ‘ dheere sey ajaa ri akhiyon mein’ to her kids.

    SO the story

    —- new in Chennai – no friends –she was net surfing— logged on to a blogging site was going through the Blogs when she saw one of mine she thought the language seemed familiar—reached the archives——not only the language but the contents too were familiar then—which reminded her of incidents from the past it couldn’t be co incidence—no more doubts it had to be me.

    She got herself registered with the intention of contacting me through comments and messages BUT what a coincidence she stumbled on my nephews zone in another friendship site sent him a message got my phone number from him and made him promise not to tell me –and then all those calls .

    great isn’t it !!

    Manmohan Desai is no more But if any other filmmaker wants he can use these FRIENDLY sites to reunite lost brothers, friends. Because with the current social scenario there is every chance of kith and kin losing their way —my word of advice —Do register in to as many friendship sites as possible –YOU never know…….,

    And yes I must thank these instant messenger chatting sites too The whole day today [ minus those hrs of loadshedding] we spent chatting and have covered the days upto february 2003

    Monday chatting resumes.

    Ever considerate husband of mine
    obliged by getting lunch from outside.

    Like

    • Heart-warming story, Rajni! You should leave links of some of these friendship sites that you refer to. I tried finding some of these but have not gotten much in the way of response. After Facebook has come up in the last decade, things are a little easier, but many times you don’t know the last names of the people you’re looking for. That makes it harder. Oh well.

      By the way, what movie is the Telugu Lullaby from? Do you have a youtube link? I thought the most famous Telugu lullaby was ‘Laali Laali…’ 🙂

      Like

  17. Friends – lessons from the Souls

    Rightly said, people enter and exit our lives all the time. They are there for a reason and when the job’s done, they are gone.

    I was at a particular low, when Anu, my bubbly 21-year old niece came to meet us with her mother. She, due to a particular incident, wanted to move out of the college hostel into a rental accommodation. Reading my mind, husband dear insisted that she discard the PG idea and move in with us.

    Anu was a breath of fresh air into my otherwise lonely life. Soon, we were BFFs, though I had seen her last when she was 4! I would look forward to her returning from college and at night once my kids were in bed, there would be a la Boston Legal in my breezy balcony, with a coffee and sometimes a cigarette.

    One evening, she was distraught; some nincompoop had broken her heart. An attempt to ask her and she became inconsolable. Incoherent too. Crap, I was stuck for words, expressions and everything communicative that could help her deal with the crisis!

    Idea! In other words, my kitchen had nothing beyond baby food. Hence…the disguised brain flash made me call up for a double cheese pizza and ta-da! Boy, there is NOTHING that cannot resolve over a double cheese pizza. And coffee. And ciggys, of course.

    When the clouds cleared and she was able to focus, what she said was profound and unforgettable. “It is not walking hand-in-hand from dawn to dusk with just one person whom we love. We love our parents, our friends. Each day, we meet some, we fall in love a little, sometimes more and sometimes it ends. And all this makes up for a life time of love.” Life has never been the same again.

    Like

    • Haha, a nice account of your time with your niece, Sucheta. Loved the Boston Legal analogy, and the fact that there is no problem too big to be solved by a dose of double-cheese pizza. Here’s wishing you both a lot more such evenings on your breezy balcony 🙂

      Like

  18. A forgotten friendship
    It was suppose to be the end, but this whole feeling of death was so novel to me. Just as I was getting the hook of the whole Death-is-the-next-adventure feel, my mind wandered to an indefinite past but I was disrupted by human noise. I hate this human noise, it always ruins everything.They said I was losing too much blood. It didn’t really matter anymore. For all I wanted was the excruciating pain to come to an end. But more than that, I wanted to hold you tightly, squeeze you real hard. The warmth of your touch, the smoothness of your surface. No matter how hard I squeeze you, you never complain. But again, you never complained about anything, ever. Oh, why can’t I have you here, right now? Where are you? Where did I leave you?

    The end was coming close. I could feel it. Maybe when you’re dying, some supernatural death sensors get activated. It feels like an internal countdown starts and you know precisely how much time you have got. With the little time I had as a living human being, I wanted to think about you.

    When I come to think of it, you were the best friend I ever had. You weren’t in my Facebook list but were always connected with me. You loved me more than my first (or last) girlfriend. You have seen me cry more than anyone alive. You bear with my unhygienic habits, dirty room, messed up wardrobe. You never complained, ever. And I took this all for granted. I thought I ‘outgrew’ you. I was ‘too cool’ to care about you, to talk to you or have fun with you. I was a lonely kid with everything in this world and nobody to share it with. You taught me human emotions. You showed me the power of unconditional love.Only when the world gave me a piece of reality, I realized that you were one thing I should have treasured, forever. It’s not like I didn’t come back to you. Every now and then, when I was a colossal damage, you greeting me with that same smile and slowly fixed me. Gave me that undeviated attention. You always had your own set of admirers but you always loved me the most, that one fact I took for granted. No, don’t get me wrong, I am not implying you had romantic interest in me. I knew it was always platonic. When she left me, my ‘dream girl’ you gave me support. When I got nightmare, your touch calmed me down. When my boss was being an arse that he is, you heard my never ending rant. All with a smile. That smile could end wars, I never told you so.So now when my end is near, I regret not giving you the attention and love you deserved. They say it true, you only know you loved it when you let it go.

    I wasn’t able to make you feel special while I was alive. So take this memo as a token of appreciation from my death bed. In five minutes, the doctor will declare me dead. But your purpose doesn’t end there. I want you go and help others like me. Make their life a better place. Add colours to their mundane monochromatic lives. Teach them to smile, to share, to love. I don’t care if the world will mock me for saying that my best friend was a cowboy with blue scarf and yellow boots. You were a lot more than a soft toy for me. You were, sorry, you still are, the best chap and the greatest chump I have ever known. It is now your duty to keep the spirit of companionship on and not let our story be a tale of forgotten friendship.
    Goodbye mate! Take care. And..I love y
    -beep beep *silence*-

    Sneha Nanvati
    Hyderabad

    Like

    • Hi Sneha! Loved this piece. Felt as thought I was reading the last few moments of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. I also read a post somewhere about the adult Calvin suddenly remembering Hobbes after years of forgetting him. Reminds me of all the toys I had as a child. For some reason I never went for soft toys, but I had guns and light sabres that I was very close to. Maybe not in the same way one would get attached to a soft toy, but still. I never cuddled with a gun, for instance.

      But anyway, it was fun reading your piece. Thanks for sharing. Here’s hoping that toy will make a reappearance into your life sometime (assuming it is inspired from real life) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This is very close to my hear and I even blogged about “her”. I really miss this friend of mine…Thanks for coming up with such a topic Sharath 🙂

    I still remember that day. That was my first day at school. I never went to any ‘tiny-tots’ or kindergarten, I was directly admitted to a High school which had a nursery division. I was sitting alone when a girl with chubby cheeks and dangling pony tails entered and took her place just beside me. After a minute or two, as soon as she gathered herself, she smiled at me and from that very moment I liked her.

    Since then our journey started. We shared every trivial thing and also those girlish stories which we wanted to keep as secret. We could confide everything to each other. It so happened that it became almost impossible for me to spend that drab and grey day at school on which she was absent. Once after her absence for three consecutive days, my despondency reached its crescendo and my tantrums forced my ‘Maa’ to take the desperate decision of finding one’s house without any proper address or location. I only catered ‘Maa’ with the name of her father and the locality where they used to reside. After three wrong ‘knock knock’ at three different houses ‘Maa’ sternly said that the fourth attempt would be the last and final one. I immediately prayed to all known Gods and Goddesses so that they would get aware of the bereavement of a little girl and could shower their blessings accordingly! And lo ! the world was much cleaner and pollution free at that time and they did hear me! The fourth house ended our adventure and ‘kakima’ (anuty)welcomed us with a big smile. My dearest friend was suffering from fever and so was unable to attend the classes. While I was babbling all the stories of the last three days to her, the two moms also got acquainted with each other.

    From that day the two families also came closer and the bonding of friendship between us grew tighter. It happened many times that we quarreled with each other only to feel that none of us would be able to live without the other.

    Gradually the innocence of childhood gave way to the chirpiness of adolescence and every secret wish and evil thought …every dream..we used to enjoy together. Strange enough but when we studied together it took less time to remember and understand things. Life was a blessing..studying was fun.

    It was one Sunday when Kaku, Kakima (uncle, aunty) came to our house. It was a surprise visit and both of us were overwhelmed on getting a chance to chat. After they were gone ‘Maa’ told me that uncle has received a transfer notice and had to shift to Pune. It took me some time to grasp the meaning. I was at a loss. ‘Maa’ also told me that my friend knew nothing about it yet. The realization that probably I would never be able to see her again almost made me hysterical. I went to my room and wept…and wept.

    Next day, when she entered the class I could clearly see traces of tears on her cheeks..they no more looked chubby. None of us uttered a single word. Intangible, invisible thought waves rattled our minds. After the school was over she said ”chithi likhbo” ( I would write to you). That was the last time I saw her. That was not an age when mobile phones winked from everyone’s pocket. We exchanged letters several times but somehow as we both grew up and got busy with other activities, the connection faded.

    Sanjukta, I still miss you, and I know it for sure that you still nurture the same feeling for me which you used to. Still after so many years, memories of our friendship evokes emotional resonance. Friendship is a blessing, an unseen bonding between two similar minds . God outdid all his creations by creating friends. Sanjukta, wherever you’re, stay happy,stay blessed.

    Like

    • Hi Maniparna. Thanks for sharing this story. Must have been emotional for you to write it down once again. Just the other day a friend of mine was telling me about her childhood friend from school, from whom she was inseparable, and yet when they met after a gap of long years, they found that they had nothing in common. They spent a few awkward minutes with each other and took their leave. They still had fondness in their memories, but they couldn’t bring themselves to feel that fondness for their adult selves.

      Perhaps that’s the way of all childhood friendships. Seen that way, maybe Sanjukta and fell out of touch for a reason. Maybe it’s all for the best. It will be nice if you guys had a reunion, though 🙂

      Like

  20. Journeying through the Road of Friendship….

    Twenty years of friendship –
    no small thing.
    A journey of little joys
    on many a bumpy road
    definitely not in an expensive Ford!
    Just walks along the beaten path
    sometimes hurried to reach a place,
    sometimes at a leisurely pace.
    Strolling on a rainbow across the sky
    spreading our wings, ready to fly.

    Distance and time just
    temporary barriers,
    not a hindrant to pursue a friendship
    blessed by the Power Above to survive
    through the maze called life.
    Walking hand in hand
    for two decades can take a toll
    on any relationship, blood related or not
    but, not this one
    as two friends enrich their lives
    sharing emotions and reflections,
    talking, chatting, arguing and loving.

    The little fancies of teenage life
    floating on a cloud sometimes,
    landing on the ground with a thud at times
    maturing into an association
    that spreads across time
    ready to take on the world
    with just trust in hand.

    I wonder, as each day strengthens our bond,
    ‘Is it some magic wand
    that brought us together?’
    ‘Or, some previous incarnation connection?’
    I know not,
    I only savor our faith in each other
    just as you do, I know.

    I treasure
    the beautiful threads of love
    that bind us with tender joy
    like a surprise gift wrapped
    with a sprinkling of stars
    to brighten the road ahead.

    God Bless You, Dear Friend!

    Like

  21. Journeying through the Road of Friendship….

    Twenty years of friendship -no small thing.
    A journey of little joys
    on many a bumpy road
    definitely not in an expensive Ford!
    Just walks along the beaten path
    sometimes hurried to reach a place,
    sometimes at a leisurely pace.

    Strolling on a rainbow across the sky
    spreading our wings, ready to fly.
    Distance and time just
    temporary barriers,
    not a hindrance to pursue a friendship
    blessed by the Power Above to survive
    through the maze called life.

    Walking hand in hand
    for two decades can take a toll
    on any relationship, blood related or not
    but, not this one
    as two friends enrich their lives
    sharing emotions and reflections,
    talking, chatting, arguing and loving.

    The little fancies of teenage life
    floating on a cloud sometimes,
    landing on the ground with a thud at times
    maturing into an association
    that spreads across time
    ready to take on the world
    with just trust in hand.

    I wonder, as each day strengthens our bond,
    ‘Is it some magic wand
    that brought us together?’
    ‘Or, some previous incarnation connection?’
    I know not,
    I only savor our faith in each other
    just as you do, I know.

    I treasure
    the beautiful threads of love
    that bind us with tender joy
    like a surprise gift wrapped
    with a sprinkling of stars
    to brighten the road ahead.
    God Bless You, Dear Friend!

    Like

    • Shail, thank you for sharing this. I particularly enjoyed the two lines that go: ready to take on the world with just trust in hand. So apt, because if you have trust, then everything becomes a lot more bearable. The other side of trust is the risk of it being broken, but if you don’t trust, you will never know, I guess. I also liked the image of a surprise gift wrapped with a sprinkling of stars. Also ‘strolling on a rainbow across the sky, spreading our wings, ready to fly’.

      Very nice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Looking Back (a prose poem)

    The world was my oyster at fifteen. I didn’t know what I was doing, or why I was doing it. A sense of gay abandon was all I had back then; the master of my yet unknown destiny. Throwing around bags of attitude and trying to “fit in” were my only preoccupations. The end of high school, in a way, signaled the end of an era. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh at the hyperbolic value I’ve attached to stray feelings, people who seem to have gone with the wind, hours spent chatting with friends who I’m no longer in touch with, and yet, I sit here, sighing at bygone days, perhaps just like words fading away on parchment…carved in a subconscious that rears its head every once in a while, floats in a mass of pixels, and recedes into nothingness. A collage of unfamiliar faces merging into nostalgia.

    Like

    • I was reading this book called ‘Fooled by Randomness’ recently. In it the author says that the past is always deterministic. To the present and the future we don’t have the same attitude. We complain about the present, and we fear the future. It’s only in the past that we find comfort and – occasionally – joy. Thanks for bringing that out in your piece, Shloka 🙂

      Like

  23. Alisha Patel says:

    The Voice Inside My Head

    Golden, glittering grains of sand, waves gently kissing the shore, sunlight dancing in the water, pink, flowy dress, my long, brown hair ruffled, I couldn’t help but admire Nature’s beauty.Like every morning, I had come and sat there, waiting for my friend to come.I waited for him to come carrying the soft scent of the salty water with him, waited for him to come and mess my hair up a little more, like he always did, waited for him to come and gently graze my skin, ah, bliss! How very lovely he was.
    But, the best part about him was his voice, his sound. He would often come and circle around me a few times, at other times, he would be calm, letting me listen. Listen to his presence, his being there, and he never missed a chance to make his presence felt. That was probably what attracted me to him even more, that was probably the base of our friendship. Presence.At times, I would talk, and he would only listen. Other times, he would be the one talking, and me? I would simply listen. Sometimes, he would howl with all his fury, or maybe he would whisper, however, I would still listen.
    Our days would start off with each other, discussing plans, (sometimes, making up plans), yesterday’s meals, the jellyfish that had just come ashore, or maybe even the kid who flashed a 32-watt smile when he got the new toy! Anything and everything.
    I’m sitting here and he’s late. He’s never late. Never. Why today, then? Doesn’t he know that I’m waiting here, extremely excited to hear that silky voice, to be able to talk to someone, someone who, unlike everyone else, is willing to listen to me?
    A few more minutes pass by, I’m still waiting. I’ll probably start getting annoyed in a while, but I still give him some more time.

    Ahhhhhh, he’s here. That scent, soft and salty, he’s finally here.
    I have so much to tell him! I talk about the chocolate-cinnamon cake I had the day before and tell him that it is a weird combination, but tastes heavenly. I tell him about how my dog was doing a two-legged dance, when he saw a treat in my hand, about how it’s weird that we have different worlds all in the same world, eventually, and then I asked him if he thought it was weird too.
    *silence*
    It was unusual of him to not say anything. Usually, he would always have something to say. Funny that there was nothing this time.
    I thought he was thinking. So, I let him. It was worth listening to his voice.
    I sat, watching how the ocean kept coming to kiss the shore, no matter how many times it was pushed away, I smiled.
    He still didn’t say anyth—is that static I hear? Ouch! It feels like I’m being poked. In my ear! Why? The static is getting louder. *beeeeep* What is that? That too, coming out of nowhere? It all feels like a figment of my imagination, so I dismiss it just as quickly as it came, and for a while there, it did go. But then again! This time, the static was even louder, it was making me dizzy. I tried to focus, but nothing was in focus anymore, I tried to block my ears from it, but it wouldn’t stop, it felt like something was crawling in my ears, it felt like dark tendrils were being released into them and that they were feeding on them. The tendrils kept crawling forward. I felt them in my head too. What are they? Why are they making my world spin around me? Where is he? Why isn’t he saying anything? Can’t he feel it too? Everything was magnifying itself, the thoughts, the static, the crawling, the loud beep, everything! The tendrils felt darker and heavier all of a sudden and then,…., nothing?
    It was gone! Hah! It was all gone!
    No static, no noise, just darkness?Have I fainted?

    I don’t know what happened after that, but trust me, it wasn’t too pretty. Had it been pretty, I wouldn’t be here. But I am.
    Room 326, School Of Sign Language, lying on my bed, wondering. They say I’m deaf, viral infection apparently, something to do with my immune system. I don’t believe them. But then they wouldn’t be lying either, now, would they?
    Deaf. Deaf. Deaf. They say I’m deaf. How can I still hear my own voice then? A flurry of thoughts come racing to me. I want to pull a few strands of my hair out. It seems like the best thing to do. Is that anger? It probably is. Lots of anger. Anger magnified to supernatural levels. Why? Why me? Why not anyone else? Why me?
    The temperature in the room has risen substantially and it’s very hot.
    Air, I need air. I open the rusty window and what’s that? Him?
    I feel his presence. He’s there. He has to be there! After so long, he’s finally there. The happiness, I tell you! Is that a new perfume he’s wearing? I think so. It smells like a garden. I can feel him! Oh, the tingles of joy I get! I want to fall in love all over again as I wait for the syllables to roll out in his lovely voice.That voice though, so deep, a voice that made me feel protected.
    Why isn’t he saying anything?
    And then it strikes me.
    I can’t hear him.
    I can’t hear anything.
    I try so very hard to recall his voice, the silky way in which it wrapped itself around my bare soul, to remember the way he whispered, the way he howled.
    I can’t.
    I want to, I truly want to, but my ears aren’t allowing me to.
    I want to not only feel his presence, but hear it, too.
    I want to hear his voice, one more time.
    One time. That’s all I ask.
    Won’t you do that for me?
    Won’t you let this old friend of yours listen to you?
    Just one time.

    Let me listen to the melody that your voice, my voice, our voices created together.

    Let me be friends with your voice again.

    Oh wind, do you not want that too?

    Like

    • Hi Alisha. Thanks for sharing this. I got the feeling that this is a bit longer than it needs to be. For example, there are a lot of repeated words. (E.g. He’s there. He has to be there. Why wasn’t he there?) In writing style, repeated words can be used for emphasis, but when it happens without the author realizing it, it can have a sloppy effect. Not to mention it makes your piece longer. It’s one of those skills that you should develop as a writer to try and minimize repeated words.

      I liked the concept, though. You captured quite well the feeling of a person who can no longer hear the wind. I was just trying to imagine how that would feel, and realized that I would really miss the feeling of the wind filling up the ears. Well done 🙂

      Like

  24. A FORGOTTEN FRIENDSHIP- CARE FOR THE SOUL
    “Time has a way of breaking up our memory into fragments of miniscule pieces. Pieces so fragile and delicate that they get caught up in the winds of time and strewn along the pathway of life, and eventually forgotten.
    Trying to capture and preserve them within the confines of our mind becomes exceedingly impossible as time goes by, and slowly they begin to vanish for good… buried forever in the past’ Life is a repertoire of moments coated with velvetiness of love as well as at the same time bruised by the thorns of betrayal.
    We don’t loose friends,real ones can never be lost.Frienship means understanding and not agreements.It means forgiveness not forgetting.It means memories lost even if contact is lost.
    The famous adage in sanskrit goes-vasudhaiba kutumbakam that means the world is one family and all are bound by the single thread of frienship. Friendship is the ship that doesn’t sink.A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when u have forgotten your words. We all lose friends. We lose them in death, to distance and over time. But even though they may be lost, hope is not. The key is to keep them in your heart .Friends are the perfect cure of our loneliness . Losing someone who cannot be replaced by anyone else is harder that losing millions of dollars.
    In William Wordsworth words-
    Though nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower
    We will grieve not, rather find
    Strength in what remains behind ….

    Like

    • Some interesting points you raised in this piece, Arpita. One is that time doesn’t wait, and each moment is exactly the same length in reality, though they seem longer or shorter depending on how much we like them in hindsight. The other is that maybe those we lose were never real friends in the first place. Loved Worsworth’s lines as well. Always better to rejoice over what we have than grieve over what we have lost. Thanks for writing in 🙂

      Like

  25. Chinmay Sahu says:

    can i post this till tomorrow, or does this end at 12 am midnight today???

    Like

  26. Bhavesh Jeewani says:

    I came up in life the hard way. Very early, I lost my parents to what I later found out was a car accident. I was lucky to get an education. My uncle was well off and didn’t mind the extra responsibility that my parent’s passing brought on him.

    I was a good student but had to work hard. I took up a job in the electronics industry, soon after my graduation. I wanted to be financially independent and build a life on my own. In return, I had to let go of the post-graduate degree, I so wished to pursue. A year and a half into my job, I realized that I had been wrong. Although I enjoyed my work, a post-graduate degree was highly valued in my line.

    I started preparation for the exam that would take me there. Work was heavy in office and I soon found myself walking a tight rope.

    But, when I look back, they were good days – days of labour. I slept well during those days and developed a strange kinship with my lifestyle. A typical day would start with some study and then preparation for office – work was exciting. Once back from work, I would listen to some music, catch parts of a movie and read topics for my exam, before hitting the bed.

    Life is more settled now, no rush to go to office. Mornings are lazy and begin with driving the kids to school. I then head to office myself, where I am a consultant. I am supposed to know everything and help others succeed in their work. I am good at it – they tell me.

    But, the heart still yearns for the sweet labour, sound sleep and a sense of fulfillment from the time gone by. And then, I wish I had pursued that whimsical idea of time travel, I concocted during post-graduation days.

    Like

    • Ah, interesting twist on the ‘friend’ angle here, Bhavesh. It seems to me that work and activity were your friends. They gave you sound sleep, and perhaps also that sense of achievement and direction. Why aren’t you able to sleep well now, though? From your piece it doesn’t seem that your life is particularly stressful. From common knowledge, that should enable you to sleep well, right? And yes, don’t we all wish we had a time machine to go back and relive some of those sweet memories? The only thing is that we may find that the incidents were perhaps not as sweet as we remember them. After all, our memories are only our mind’s versions of the events that happened.

      But still, it would be nice to go back 🙂

      Like

      • Bhavesh Jeewani says:

        I think a person is happiest when he is engaged – an idle mind, often wanders. In hindsight, yes, I could have developed the ‘sleep bit’ some more.

        As always, thanks for your comments Sharath. Appreciate it.

        Like

  27. A cool afternoon, it’s a long sought after Sunday. After my lunch I had taken a small but loving nap, under my cozy warm blanket, while my buddy and flat-mate had gone out on an outing with his colleagues. I get up, make some coffee and go to the terrace of my 14th floor apartment. As I open the door from the living room to the terrace, I am greeted by a cold gust of wind and a crimson red, mellowed down, enlarged sun on its journey to a break; only to be up there in the sky the very next morning. It’s the modern era life style of an individual of middle age group like me, especially of someone who works in the service sector. We live away from our home in a jam packed bee hive like vertically arranged settlement system. Hardly do we get time for the small get-together or gatherings; rather we are knitted together, virtually, by the modern day social networking sites and technological advancements like video chats and mobile phones.
    I start fiddling with my laptop, as the sun plunges into its bed rendering the whole environment make itself cuddle into a dark blanket of a progressing cold wintry night. The whole city gets lighted up, the sky line occasionally endorsed by the blinking lights from the planes taking off and landing, makes it a scene to be kept looking on and on. I suddenly come across an update; Varun, a friend of mine, had posted some pictures of his marriage, a typical big, fat, traditional Indian wedding. In our tradition we get married in the girl’s house and then the groom gives a reception party in his home some days later. I had forgotten that the reception party was in the same day in our city community hall. The modern day social networking sites are a boon as well as a curse in many a dimensions, one being in that, although we are notified and reminded of the special events and memorable dates by these, yet at the same time we are deprived of the sweet feel and the soft smile of accomplishment of remembering it on time.
    The moment I open the album, I get stuck on a face. It was a family picture of that of the bride and her family with the groom. I try digging out details and come out with some facts and details. I simply couldn’t believe my eyes, it was Ishita indeed,charming and pretty like always.
    And I dive into the ocean of past, revisiting the moments of the bygone.
    It has been almost fifteen years, and time had as if taken us to two completely different worlds. The old factory’s colony and the three storey flats; the togetherness and the belonging amongst all the families; the school and the playgrounds all seemed to shimmer in front of my eyes. And in almost every moment then, with Ishita by my side, it was like bursts of emotions. I felt lucky to have spent a childhood away from the hustle-bustle of the city, to have grown up in the era prior to technology. In the afternoons we used to play small game like hide and seek and many more together, we being still kids and being untouched and untarnished by the thought of separate genders. Ishita was a very good as well as a genuinely dedicated student, and I remembered of how I used to copy most of my home-works from her in the breaks. We both passed our school and got into colleges, she got into commerce and I got into science stream, but it was not the streams that got close friends like us distanced away. It was the sudden change in the thought process and the inscribing of the typical societal thinking of us being adolescent human beings of different sex; thinking of being restricted of acts we used to do without a second thought, as kids; and the dawning of the thing that the society calls maturity, that the process of getting us distanced got started as well as got hastened. Even though we used to meet, talk and also celebrate festivals and functions quite often, but the charm and magic of childhood times was like lost forever. In the mean time, her family also shifted, her father having got retired and it was the final nail in the coffin. In that era of usage of mobile phones restricted only to aristocratic people, inland letters used to be a much loved means of communication. For some time we exchanged some inland letters too, but then geographical distance also played in its part and a friend was lost.
    Memories! Ahh! so many of them, it felt like the Pandora box had got opened. My eyes get teary, I get up and bring out my old folder containing my school album and some inland letters. I see the pictures staring from our first standard up-till the last day of our school, in all of them nearly, we both stood together and a smile pops up.
    Indeed the world happens to be so small a place, I see the clock it’s already eight in the evening, I get up, give out a big sigh and start getting dressed up for the party, with a new enthusiasm and bliss and with a hope that I would meet my long lost pal, my buddy, my school mate, my childhood friend and the bride’s sister-in law; Ishita, after so many years. But with some question in my minds, “will she be there in the party? And she will be there, will she recognize me after so long a time? Did she ever remember me all this period, or had time put layers of dust to bury those memories?”

    Like

    • Hi Chinmay! For most of the piece I thought Ishita was the bride, but when you mentioned she was the bride’s sister-in-law, then I thought to myself: well, maybe there is some hope yet. I thought the ‘setting the scene’ part of your piece was excessively long. You have a propensity to use a of adjectives and descriptive words. ‘Small but loving nap’, ‘warm and cozy blanket’, ‘cold gust of wind’, ‘crimson red’, ‘progressing cold wintry night’. Descriptions are good, but sometimes it’s possible to go overboard with adjectives. It’s better to use nouns and verbs for the most part with only well-placed adjectives doing your work for you.

      But having said that, I’m curious to know how this story pans out when the character goes to the party. When is part 2 coming out? 🙂

      Like

      • Chinmay Sahu says:

        Hi Sharath, firstly I would say you are doing a splendid job by encouraging the half-heart story tellers like me. Thank you for that. And for the precious words i will surely try implement your suggestions. Having said that I will like you to have a look at some stories in my blog. i happen to write small stories(though they are quite a bit long yet i call them small :P) in my blog and hope to write a book, novel sort of some day. so i would love to have your help as well as insights in future as well.

        About the 2nd part hoping to upload in my blog soon.. along with a modified this first part.. 😉 😛

        blog link:- straight-frm-d-heart.blogspot.in

        Like

      • Hi Chinmay,

        Easiest way is to email me a link to one of your stories, with a short write-up on what you would like help with, and what you generally struggle with when it comes to writing. And also what kind of writing you’d like to do.

        My email is sharath40@gmail.com. See you there soon 🙂

        Like

  28. A lot more than 300 words, but here’s my first attempt…

    Would I call him a friend? A mentor maybe? A teacher for sure… He seemed fresh out of college and brimming with excitement to introduce the language of Computers to a bunch of 14-something kids… We almost mistook him for an elderly kid from the same school and ignored him as he stood at the entrance of our class and waited for the din we were creating to end. After a minute or so, we heard a voice boomerang and went silent. That puny frame of a person with such a voice!! That was our first meeting.

    As days went by and we started attending his classes, we saw in him, not just a good teacher but also a friend. He was someone we could all relate to easily. Not sure how, but among the lot, he developed a great amount of trust in me and I was known as his pet student. Be it handing over the computer room keys while he was away, or monitoring students while he was on his smoke break, he entrusted me a role that I felt really happy about. Ofcourse, that didn’t mean he was any partial with me. On a day when I had taken my transistor to school to listen in to the cricket commentary during breaks (oh! Yes, I was one hell of a naughty one even then), he caught me playing it in the class and confiscated it, something I wasn’t very happy with.

    When the school management decided to stop our computer lessons the year after, he agreed to take private lessons for all interested to pursue. Many of us choose to do so and learnt a lot in the long run. But then things changed. I developed a fear of exam and told him a few days before that I wouldn’t be writing his exam. He tried to reason with him, convince me, but I wasn’t budging. With no better reason to give and not wanting to admit fear as a cause, I accused him of keeping my transistor with him for so long. He was taken aback by my behavior and at the same time angry. I remember him borrowing a cycle of another close friend, going all the way home and bringing back my transistor as I waited at school, as instructed. That was the end of our bond that day. He told me just one thing and it remained forever etched in my memory. He said that in future, we may talk again, but the trust lost in you may not be regained that easily.

    I saw him again after almost 10 years. All of a sudden, at a traffic signal. He looked just the same, but the same couldn’t be said of me. I hoped and prayed he would recognize me. He did and gave me a broad smile. The guilt and regret of so many years, suddenly felt far lesser that day. We couldn’t talk that day as the traffic turned green, but we were to meet again, two years later, again by chance. This was the corner of a street where my grandmom lived. We spoke some pleasantries, exchanged cards and promised to stay in touch, only to lose contact again. One fine day, 2 years from then, I found his card while searching for something else and decided to call him. He was a Project Manager at an NGO. I went over to meet him and felt really happy and proud to see him do what he loved. Next week was his wedding and I attended the same too.

    After a final gap of 3 years, I called him again to invite him for my wedding. He was then the CEO of the same organization. We stayed in touch from then on and he became a client too for a brief period, with that confirming that I had finally managed to regain the trust I had lost.

    As I look back, it seems like fate had a role to play here too. The two chance encounters, a chance finding of his card, all made me believe that we were meant to meet and erase our differences. Maybe I have a lot more to learn from him and vice versa.

    Am smiling as I write this and that to me, is a true test of friendship 🙂

    Like

    • Hi DPR. A charming story. Like you I can’t help but wonder if fate was really nudging you two towards each other. Hopefully now you guys won’t go out of touch and will renew your friendship, more as equals than as teacher/mentor and student/mentee. All the best. And thanks for sharing your story with us 🙂

      Like

  29. Garden of Five Senses, Delhi, Summer 2012.
    That summer, after thinking of numerous place, we decided to sit at a public park. It was sunny. And, everyone in the park were sitting on shadows of trees. We discussed about many things – the academic backlog , current college affairs and job prospects. It was so interesting how we had come along beautifully and showcased a testimony of truest human bonding.
    I spoke to you also about my financial crisis and as always you had budgeted and loaned me 500 rupees.

    My office, Kurla (East), Mumbai, Winter 2014
    Couples of summers passed by since then. Apart from just few emails every year, I am deprived of you – your friendship. I cannot think of or consider it ‘The End’ of our friendship because, it’s incomprehensible to me. I cannot fight this toughest war between my belief in our friendship and what I have to accept now.

    Should I consider it forgotten? How can I? Because all memories are so fresh; and I am sure it is same at your side too.

    Eagerly waiting to see you. To meet you!

    Like

    • Hi Bikash! I think letters are a great way to keep in touch. Even if you write to someone about your day, even the most frivolous aspects, it keeps the connection alive. As you know, I rely on emails to keep alive some of my friendships too. (You get one from me every fortnight, don’t you?) So I think you should take the initiative and write to your friend once a week or so and keep the thread alive. Otherwise, as you said, it may just become forgotten. Hope that doesn’t happen.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  30. You were a glowing star in the night sky, always there to glow when everything seemed dull and lifeless. An introvert I was, I hardly spoke to anyone, played with none. It was as if the word friendship was a myth. Then you came, like in fairytales, brought colour to my life though biologically all you could see were shades of black and white. When I first saw you, I was hardly a few feet above ground and you were a few inches. It morally boosted my spirits to have an acquaintance shorter than I was. Like people drank to make merry or to share sorrow, we just ran towards the sinking sun like one day we could reach the end of it all. Nevertheless, we did make sure we were back by dinnertime. You made sure we had a long tete-a-tete before we dozed off. This made my heart feel less heavy every time. The way you emote with your face always brought smiles to mine. Despite the physical differences, we played every possible way there ever was.
    We grew together and took life as it came. When I had my losses, you were there for me as strong as the strongest pillar, like you were concrete and I was a soft jelly waiting to be torn apart. My very existence brought joy to you and yours did to me. Then one day you left as if nothing remained here for you. I stood staring for long at the lifeless form of you. You laid there quiet while I shouted for you to come back. You did not. The memories you left me only make me wish if you could have been more human like me or I could have been more dog like you. We could have shared the same lifetime then, maybe.

    Like

    • Hi Ashish. The same thing happened to me when I was six or so, but with a cat. We used to live on the first floor with an open balcony back then. One day he was walking on the edge, and I panicked when I saw him and ran to get him, which alarmed him and made him jump to the ground, some twelve feet below. He broke his leg, and went away from the house never to come back. I went into low-level depression. My parents got and identical cat of the same age and convinced me that it was the same cat. We gave him the same name too. Only later did I realize that this was not the same cat, but by then I was older, and okay.

      I still think of that cat. So I connected personally with this piece. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  31. Echoes of Bygone –

    Heard talking of a friend.
    Felt the thought of an ally.
    Seen expression of a comrade.
    But only if those actions were true.

    A word, defining alacrity
    Friend has lost its purity.
    Seeking for that companion
    Is now no less than a meditation.

    A hope lost for my kind,
    I find refuge in the wild.
    While accepting my solidarity,
    She acknowledges me in nihility.

    I envy those with this divine bond,
    Because without it we are shorn.
    As long as our life unfold adversity,
    A friend will rises to lead us to victory.

    Like

    • I appreciate the sentiments behind the poem, Keshab. As someone else said in this same thread, friendship is the one thread that holds all of humanity together. I felt that the rhyming in your poem was a little forced, though. Sometimes poems come out better when we don’t try to rhyme and instead just flow with the rhythm instead. If you read it out loud and it sounds like a rhythmic song, often it doesn’t matter whether it rhymes or not. So perhaps you could try writing a poem of that sort too and see how it comes out.

      Nevertheless, thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  32. Just saw that I have missed the deadline 😦 … then realized that I would like to submit something anyway, as it’s fun, and the topic is apt. So, here goes…

    Like

  33. A forgotten friendship.
    ———————-

    It’s funny how life forces you to look it in the eye. We grew up together, and grew closer during our teenage years. We shared plans and exchanged dreams as if tomorrow would never come. Then the friend of my childhood and I parted ways geographically as the vocations of our choosing dragged us apart. Yet, we managed to meet and stay in touch. Neither of us giving it much thought.
    We were as different from each other as the proverbial chalk and cheese, both physically and in temperament. She’s intense, I’m not. She’s petite, I’m a chocoholic… you get the picture! 🙂
    She had her life mapped out neatly. Me? I’m more of a happenstance and serendipitious person.
    So, when I told her I was to be wed, I truly didn’t factor in how she would react. I didn’t realize it would destabilize our lifelong ties. And I still puzzle over what went out of sync. Half a decace later, after ignoring all forms of communication she called out of the blue. She had found her soulmate. She talked as if the intervening years hadn’t existed. I followed her cue.
    Putting aside tears shed over countless sleepless nights, I promised to fly out and be by her side as she tied the knot. I kept my promise: you don’t forget childhood friends overnight.

    Like

    • Hi Vinisha! Glad you make it 🙂 Without being presumptuous or judgemental, I think your piece brings to fore – for the first time on this thread – the darkness that exists right under the surface of even our closest relationships. Love is often tarnished with blind lust, friendship and companionship with envy. Often I think that we make a mistake by classifying these emotions as ‘sins’, thereby forcing ourselves to rationalize them away instead of accepting them. Your friend may have rationalized her envy by thinking that you must have done something underhanded in order to ‘gain happiness’ before she did. And maybe she believed her notions, therefore kept out of touch.

      Inside all of us there is this undercurrent of meanness, that often springs from envy. Hope your friendship, at least from now, will steer clear of it. All the best 🙂

      Here’s something I was reading just yesterday. References at the bottom are good too. Read/watch/listen if you have the time.
      http://comfortpit.com/why-facebook-envy-motivates-us-to-succeed/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your input Sharath. I never thought of it as envy on her part. I figured it was more a feeling that I may not have as much time for her as I may have before. Yes, it was a strange period in our relationship and thankfully we have come through it. I didn’t think about the underhand angle either, as nothing was hidden. If at all, it’s possible that it was an unspoken fact that we both knew I hadn’t really planned on anything like my wedding happening. Yet, things fell into place so smoothly that it all happened sooner than we anticipated me actually wedding. Such is life!
        I believe in higher power, the Almighty, has to have a good sense of humour and be pretty relaxed towards our human foibles, else we’d be history for sure. Thanks for your good wishes and for taking the time to give me such detailed feedback.

        Like

      • Thanks for the link too!

        Like

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