I have had many beautiful friendships so far in my life; I cherish all the fond memories associated with them. B and A were my best friends till 7th standard. I admired B a lot; she was the school sports champion. On the other hand, A was very cute, we used to play a lot of silly games together and I think both of us were younger for the class, hence we jelled well. I wonder where they are now. Both of them knew my permanent address, yet in all these years they never once tried to contact me. Does that mean they have never missed me? Were they wiser to accept that my role in their lives was over and so they moved on? Do they any time remember me and wonder where I vanished? N1 and Y were my best friends during high school years; I have lost touch with them too. Then there were many more during my further studies; M1, K1, S1, N2, V, C1… I lost contact with all of them for one reason or the other. About my lost friendship with M1, I wrote in Cow Urine Creating A Storm! K, S, N2 and V chose to fade away into oblivion. C1 is doing very well in life. Sadly, she is self-absorbed and insensitive. (This is my conclusion after many unpleasant interactions.) So I have chosen to maintain the distance. Then there were many more friends during my working and post working life- M2, S2, P, C2, K2…the list is pretty long ranging from A to Z. Somehow most of those friendships crumbled. Some didn’t think twice before backstabbing, some never cared to nurture the friendship; singularly, I couldn't have as the famous Indian idiom says, “Ek haath se taali nahi bajti i.e., you cannot clap with one hand! I am sure every one of you recalls vividly the farewells we have had at various decisive junctures of our lives; signing of the Autograph books, writing ‘copied’ messages in them, the group photos, tears, hugs and the promises to stay in touch forever… As we grow older and wiser, a lot of that seems ridiculous but they remain an essential passage while growing up. Some years later we forget the names and faces of many classmates. Recently, a friend had a reunion after almost four decades. All the credit went to a couple of old classmates. These two connected the random dots and formed a WhatsApp group of their primary school classmates. When they actually met, many couldn’t be identified. In my friend’s words, “Most men were bald and old and most women were like bulky female amazons!” Just after the first meeting most of them opted out of the group and the remaining few are working hard to keep the group active with ‘Good morning’ messages on WhatsApp! Generally, I find this 'disconnect trait' common in women; the way a launched spacecraft discards several of its rockets before entering the space, women do let go of their friendships and relationships at various stages as they enter newer phases of their lives. Some of this disconnection could be due to separation by distance post parental transfers or marriages, changed status, demands of the newer relationships or simply because the old friendships don’t serve their purpose anymore! On the other hand, men tend to retain many old friendships and revisit those even years later. This is my observation and experience. Those of you who have been lucky might still be enjoying the company of your old friends. All I can say is, you are blessed and lucky. But for most others, loss of friendships/relationships is an integral part of life. Depending on one’s own nature and the circumstances, some may pause and rue the lost friendships/relationships more than the others. A famous Sanskrit quote says, “Runanubhanda Rupena Pashu Patni Suta Aalaya…”(Padma Puran) This means with the previous birth bondage one gets to have animals, wife/spouse, son/children and house. (All were an essential form of wealth in the olden days.) In other words, every relationship is the result of previous birth bondage. Once the debt is annihilated the relationship ceases to exist. I believe, friendship also belongs to this group. This means people come into our lives for a specific reason or purpose. They go away from us once that is fulfilled; it is pre-destined. This philosophical attitude is acceptable and it helps me to move on in life. But what about the void and pain parting has created? Why do I re-visit old friendships so often? This is Karma. In my current mindset to let go many of the closely held rigid beliefs and accept some of the universal wisdom, I accept whatever the destiny has in store for me; it is good for my mind and body. (Those who are interested in knowing the Hindu belief systems relating to relationships may check this interesting link: RinanubandhanTheory part 1: Understanding Karmic, Soulmates and Twin flame relations - The Vedic Siddhanta) The following poetry took its birth when I was reminiscing those wonderful days and experienced the joys and sorrows associated with them simultaneously. This as an offbeat thought on farewells and friendships. Many of you may find the thoughts I have expressed here alien and unacceptable. Some of you may find them resonating with your innermost thoughts. Both the POVs are okay as everything depends on where we stand. Please feel free to express whatever you think or feel but politely. ******************************************************************** Farewells and cherished memories ********************************************** Oh! Farewells are such painful events. Though separation from our buddies Are difficult and inevitable parts Of our hassled lives, The desolation and loneliness That follow separation, are ineffable. Regardless of our tormented hearts, The sun rises and sets every day. Seasons change, so also the people! As new places herald newer challenges Promising friendships bloom unawares Revealing hitherto unknown facets! As with everything, with every passing day Our ideas and ideologies also change. But the fond memories of old friendships Come alive once in a way Bringing with them, the craving To relive those bygone days again. But when I actually met my cherished old friend, I realised we had changed a lot! Once everything was a topic but now Nothing seemed of common interest! To pass every minute, we had to rely upon Heavily punctuated pauses! Perhaps everyone comes into our life With a purpose and an expiry date, I reason. But the recollection of good old times Undoubtedly warms the cockles of our hearts. Then isn’t it better to simply recall those memories Than meet and bury those friendships forever? Farewell, my dear friend; You’ll always remain special in my heart. Let's promise never to forget each other Or the jolly good times that we shared. Let’s keep our cherished memories evergreen And let’s part never to meet again. ***********************END*********************** The image has been taken from the Internet for representational purpose only.