Sunday, August 01, 2010

Ruminations of a cracked egg....






Winner of the Blogadda "Friends Forever" contest on Aug 6, 2010

(Submitted for the Blogadda "Friends Forever" contest)



I have always wondered how it would feel to be a millionaire.

And I have even pondered over whether a millionaire would ever want to be me .....

You see, we are both rich. In different ways.

He lives with more zeros than he can count.

I live with more heroes than I can count.

....All my friends, who have been my heroes and heroines, right from the time, I needed to be lifted on to the school bus, till now, when I lift myself into a bus through the front senior citizen entrance....

Like my childhood best friend, daughter of one of Marathi literature's most well known novelists and magazine editor....we would gaze with great longing on the reams of blank A4 size sheets in the storeroom, which were used for the manuscripts , when the great man dictated his novels. One busy week, we created our own magazine, complete with a dicey fashionable cover, serious sounding name, articles, poems, ads, letters to the editor, editorials, warnings and what have you. Stuck it in a big envelope, wrote Book Post on top and mailed it for a review, to Yeshwantrao Chavan, then CM, and a patron of Marathi literature. When the Post Office returned the envelope with a fine required (Book Post was for Printed matter), we faced her angry father who didn't know whether to laugh or get wild, and my brave friend stood in front and took it all.

Like my friend and room mate of 4 years in the college hostel, who seized upon one of my blouses (we wore old style skirts and blouses), wore it for an exam, did well, and then wore the same , unwashed, ink-stained (in an embarrassing spot) blouse, throughout, with different skirts, because she thought it lucky.....

Like my group of friends from college, who suddenly figured they needed me after graduation, and would come visit my folks in Mumbai, even after I went to the US for grad school; ostensibly because you could see a great sunset from the balcony, but actually because they enjoyed the Sabudana Khichadi my mother made....

Like some friends who confided in me about their intentions regarding some other friends in our group, , and bid me keep it a secret.....

Like my first roommate in the University apartments in grad school, whose introduction to me was through a few sudden tadka sneezes, as mustard seeds popped in the kitchen , who took upon herself to educate me in the non scholastic features of American life, whose marriage I attended, with her mother behaving exactly like an Indian mother-of-the-bride would, who has since then had lot of mountains to climb in life, but kept in touch and reached out during some trying times, and very recently drove a round trip of 1000 kms with her sisters to come meet me on my recent US trip....

Like my other roommates, some of who are very famous today, don't really keep contact, but got worried and emailed me when 26/11 happened, knowing I was in Mumbai....

Like some classmates , who'd never had an Indian girl with a red dot on the forehead in their class,, wearing strange clothes , back in the 60's, but took great care of her , even including her in the annual department Christmas Play, and one of them today, is a leading light in his field of optics and motorcycles, and 37 years later, spent an entire day with my family when we visited him....

Like some classmates, who traced my whereabouts, when I relocated after marriage, and everytime we meet or talk on the phone, it is as if we were never away....we still call each other by names given in college, with a healthy disregard for married last-names, to the consternation of chaps with no imagination :-)

Like some of my friends where I worked until a few years ago. The road was different, the terrain was daunting, and some stood, like shady trees you could lean on, maybe sip on a glass of understanding, and carry on again, impervious to the potholes.....


Like an older friend, who, sensing my false sense of bravado during a crisis, wordlessly offered a shoulder and a pallu to wipe the eyes; another, who on her own, checked up on the children, when circumstances decreed that I attend , on an extended basis , to someone under medical care; and also some friends, who realising that a foot was being put wrong somewhere, had the guts to stand up and tell me off, knowing they would be heard and understood.

But some, are golden folks, who don't normally get classified as friends. They are actually more than that. Sometimes they are what you call life colleagues, like my household help of 25 years. When duties called, post a sudden death in my family, and the children were left alone at home, she came and found the food uneaten by two bereft kids; took charge, got them together, prepared a new fresh simple hot meal, and stayed with them, talking , cajoling them to eat, till I got home. Like a best friend would have...

And then there are some relatives, who are actually more wonderful friends. Being the sole caretaker , for years, of an aged and ailing parent in a huge house, a day came when one learnt what being alone was all about. When the flurry of visits , condolences and paperwork subsided, it was time for me to return to my life as it existed before, and I worked at closing up a house I had always called , since childhood, as my own. I packed , and was winding up some matters when there was a bell at the door. It was a favourite sister-in-law, much older to me, but with whom I had never needed words. She had simply come, she said, so my last night in my late parents' house would not be spent alone sunk in my memories, so my departure the next day wouldn't be solitary and traumatic, and there would be someone I could wave goodbye to; someone who would say , "I am here, come back and see us soon.... you are not alone !"... I still need no words with her.

Like I said, I don't wonder about millionaires anymore. Zeros don't count. Particularly next to dicey numbers.

Heroes do.
Real or Virtual.

And they fill all the blanks in my life. Scoring 10/10.

I am rich, totally, obscenely, people-rich.

No amount of money in secret banks, appearances on Forbe's lists, or any other stupid manifestation of wealth, can match the rich feeling of being blessed with wonderful friends throughout life.

Nothing fancy, nothing posh , but just some great old friends, joyfully sharing life with me through all its ups ad downs, with the smooth and the rough , through good times and bad.

They probably laugh at this concept of having and celebrating a Day for us. None of us are perfect, and we rib each other all the time, despite the furrows and wrinkles slowly appearing on the scene.......

Sometimes I think the Master Card fellows stole my idea for their commercial, about calling things Priceless ..

My friends are priceless....

And between you and me, they all probably think I am a good egg, though possibly a bit cracked.


38 comments:

  1. What a wonderful, wonderful, and heartfelt post. I had a lump in my throat as I finished reading it. I don't somehow think you will mind if I link it to a post I am writing on friends. Will post you a link when I finish.

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  2. Her is the link. Do visit and comment.

    http://sandhyaryal.blogspot.com/2010/08/its-good-to-have-friends.html

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  3. Speechless. Moved to tears by the part about S and your sil

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  4. Wow! I absolutely love this post. It truly came from the heart. Wonderful

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  5. Loved this one and how very touching. Friends for ever.......... that's what true friends are.

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  6. What a beautiful, touching post and I love it! You have said all that I feel and in such a wonderful and inspiring way. I'm so happy that blogging brought you -- such a wonderful friend - into my life, Suranga! Thank you! Hope you have a great week!

    Sylvia

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  7. Lovely post as usual. :) I wish I am as 'rich' as you when I am your age too. Looking at how things are right now, seems unlikely. But I will wish for it all the same :)

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  8. Beautiful touching post. Happy Friendship day!

    Very poignant to me at the moment. Real riches are intangible and can't be counted.

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  9. WOW !! Truly loved your post. :)

    Happy Friendship day to you !!! :)

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  10. Hi Suranga, I sit here weeping, having been brought to tears by the beauty of your post ... Thank You.

    Hugs Kate x.

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  11. Hello again, I love your music, especially the first one - I haven't a clue what the song is about... but it's lovely! Oh, and number 11 (Yanni) Beautiful

    Cheers again, Kate x.

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  12. Lovely post ma'am!
    really nice.

    regards

    http://restlesssouldier.blogspot.com

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  13. Early this morning I have tears in my eyes as I read this post. It says it all!!!
    Thank you for touching my life in a special and meaningful way.
    Over the thousands of miles - this early morning - I send you hugs and blessing for your day.

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  14. sandhya Thank you ...

    Arundhati Thank you ....and yes, I am blessed with all these wonderful folks...

    Ritu Thank you ....the heart has its own vocabulary, na ?

    HHG Thank you, ...

    Manju Thank you ....

    Sylvia Thank you, and I agree, blogging is such a great way of meeting wonderful friends...

    G Thank you.... and I know your wishes will come true .... you will be a people-millionaire !

    starry Thank you and Happy friendship day to you too...

    aativas Thank you ...

    UmaS Thank you, and Happy Friendship Day to you too ...

    Kate Thank you, and the first song is something that makes people weep, ...its about a child with some learning disabilities singing to his mother in the face of a father who has been shouting at him ... it is from a wonderful Indian movie called Taare Zameen Par (meaning Stars here on our earth).... do see it if you can ...and yes, I too like Yanni !

    restless Thank you !

    Ernestine Thank you for your wishes and blessings...and may your week be a wonderful one !

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  15. What a lovely tribute, gappa.

    Pearl

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  16. I think you are an awesomely good egg, whether slightly cracked or not!!!!!
    Lovely tribute to friendship.

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  17. Pearl Thank you !

    AD Thank you !

    dipali Thank you. And one does look forward at some point to getting scrambled with all the friends in life :-))

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  18. Wow beatuiful post .. usually i write big long comments but i dont know what to write you seem to have written tso very well and all speechless here ...

    wearing the same clothes for luck.. i have done that because to me I needed more LUCK then everyone else cause hardly studied so it was all bhagwaan bharose ...

    and the Kichadi.. congrats on 10/10 Thats what a person needs in life Pity many of use realise it much later in life ... to be People rich I like the idea

    oops i seem to have writtne long again ..

    happy friendship day always to you tooooooo

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  19. Beautiful, heartfelt post Suranga!! I have a lump in my throat reading that last bit about your SIL being there for you!! Absolutely loved the post!!!
    Best wishes for the contest :)

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  20. Bikramjit Singh Mann Thank you and Happy Friendship Day to you...

    Softypinkngloriousred Thank you...

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  21. lovely post, lovely tribute great.. Billions of Claps...


    Frend - a simple word which synonym most powerful relationship in this world. Converts I to We - strongest bonding made of love and care!

    I wish you a good luck for the contest, "Friends Forever"

    Do stop by Saravana Kumar M - Friends Forever and feed me with your thoughts.

    If you wish to save a heart, then stop by Save a Heart!

    Yours Frendly,
    Saravana Kumar M

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  22. Lovely post.. and what you have said is so true.. friends are no match for millions!

    PS. You write really well :) :) I hope you do win the contest.

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  23. Thank you Ugich! I found your beautiful post brought many happy thoughts of friendship and love .

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  24. Hearty Congratulations...
    Really Nice Post...

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  25. A very beutiful and expressive post. I really enjoy your writings ! Congratulations on the win !

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  26. Congratulations! Lovely and lovingly written.

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  27. Congratulations....

    Enjoyed reading your post :)

    Regards
    Jayashree
    (jaishvats)

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  28. very nice ! refreshing to read your post after a long time ! Its plain wonderful ! ( to surface from underground beaches and walk into your post !!!)

    richness is in people that we know ! the blog world has showered some amazing millions to me ! Unparalleled !

    many Thanks !

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  29. Interesting! I enjoyed reading it.

    Happy friendship day, Suranga Date. :)

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  30. Congrats! I came here first time thro' blogadda "Friends forever " contest and fell in love with your writting! Simply marvolous!

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  31. Someone is special, arbitthoughts,Barbara, Shrikrishna, Ruchira, Wisedonkey, DG,Ramya,jaish_vats,pra Thank you so much..

    kavi Welcome to the millionaires' club :-)))

    Chandriks Shubham Thank you !

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