December 27, 2015

[Reflections] An Ode to Philia

Who is a friend? Someone who first comes to your mind when you see those hilarious Whatsapp memes? Someone whose face flits by when you are feeling down in the dumps? That one person who has been there for a long time? One of those many people who were there at different points in time? Someone who lives only in your memory? Someone you are living with, everyday? Someone you play a badminton game with? Someone you have long arguments with? Someone you laugh with? Someone on whose shoulders you cry on? Someone you felt an instant connection with? Someone you lost over the years? You’re right! There is no single answer, rule, logic or formula to have or be a friend. Even when nothing much is happening in the here and now, a friend still inspires that inexpressible feeling that makes you feel you’re alright.

Meeting and making a friend is as miraculous as being born, as falling in love! How did you happen to be at a place and time and with a certain attitude and mood to attract such a person into your life? What are the odds of something like that happening? Perhaps even the smallest, most irrelevant decision at some point in life could have made you meet or lose someone. It’s hard to imagine who we’ll be without that friend who was maybe there only briefly. What we know not, we cannot miss. What we know, we cannot bear to miss!

At one point in life, we couldn’t imagine a day passing without meeting a certain person. With that same person, months and even years now pass without a single word. When life seems to squeeze us from all directions, sometimes we decide reaching out to friends is more than we can handle. One lives life like a modern Robinson Crusoe, self-marooned in a concrete jungle. Yet, even when everything is going well, there seems to hang an air of desolation. An emptiness yearning for the echo of friendship!

Some friends are lost to distance and some to time. Some bridges have broken down beyond repair and the chasm seems too wide to cross. Perhaps, all you can do is to send a silent wish: ‘Our lives have got in between us. But I wish you well for the good you once did.’ Some other bridges are still hanging in there… by a few strands. You know that because those luscious once-upon-a-time memories are getting vague like an uncared-for painting with color fading, contours mingling and just a blur of the old glory remaining in your mind.  

As one finds many such bridges giving way, winds of loneliness swirl through the gaps and the mind seems to torment in a thunderous voice, ‘You are all one. You will always be alone’. You cannot reign over your mind if you fight it as if it were a devil in disguise. But if you can see that it’s a little child, a little you, throwing a tantrum, crying for a real friend, then you have hope. Go on, write that letter, make that call and you will know, how that act can change you around. To see dreams like yours hidden within one; To feel the joy of togetherness in another’s family; To bask in the affection of a long-forgotten voice; To hold one’s hand in listening to an ordeal faced; To celebrate the miracle of being blessed in trying circumstances. Feel yourself become so very light and rejoice in your capacity to love beyond your flesh and blood and watch it ripple outward to all of humanity.  


  1. This one line.."make that call and you will know" pushed me to call my friend.. we had a long conversation catching up all that we missed sharing. Felt so good and realized, everything has changed, yet nothing has changed!! I completely agree with you! :) Of all, "What we know not, we cannot miss. What we know, we cannot bear to miss!" is what I liked more! Here is to more of such happy reconnects! :)

  2. Yeh exactly true... We had a conference call with our friends and we felt really relaxing :-)