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Old Friends

Courtesy: Old Friends By Rupa Bhaty
Her work is at https://rupabhaty.see.me/
We grow up with our own ideas of the world and life. From a weak existence, which is sure of its own ideas, we grow into an existence of power when those ideas take wings. We trust in those ideas, talk about them and argue for them. We love them truly and dream about surrendering our selfish well being to propel those ideas. As the Sun would set in the backdrop of tea stalls, we would speak with the conviction of a sage who has found his truth.


Life hits back. It throws at us a rule book framed out of the lowest common denominator, the law of average. Every word is countered by the already tamed society with a rare vengeance. We conform to the social mold. Each act of conformance is an act of violence against the sacred spirit which we are borne with, a stab on the Will to live. With each small surrender, a word dies, one after another and the next rain flushes away the dead, through the dark night, unseen to anyone. The man retreat in a defeated silence, as dark wraps around the soul which once carried the splendor of a thousand Suns. Then comes a day, when the voice fails him and the words fly away like fireflies into the night. What remains in place of a meaningful voice is a stutter, which is as meaningless as the man himself. 


Then one day, the man meets an old friend. A friend that he meets after fifteen years. What is strange is the friend that he meets after fifteen years, was only an hint of a friend back then, a familiar friendly face, an acknowledgement of your existence. The years stand between them when suddenly a pleasant breeze blows them away. They lament the lost years and in a common past which has slipped through the fingers, they become friends. The man, who has tied himself in knots explaining to himself his betrayal to self, untangles those knots and breathes. He opens a dark box in a gray corner of his heart and finds colorful words there, which he hid before they became fireflies and flew into the night. Those words smile at him and a strange silence speaks to him with a rare eloquence. That is the beauty of meeting an old friend, that is a friend I met in Bangalore yesterday. That friend looked at me with the eyes which had once seen the man that I once was. I loved that man and I love those eyes which once knew that man. We must keep meeting our old friends, they keep on reminding of the man we once were. Only when we remember him, will we have to possibility of re-creating him. Nature intended us to be that man. We all struggle to keep our relevance as we grow older, being surrounded by old friends, keeps this struggle bearable to those around us. Make new friends, keep older ones.

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