Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ignominy of being forgotten...

For the last few days, I have been thinking of Ravi. He was one of the children in the story Games At Twilight (a story that we read in English in Class 10th). I was not able to fully understand the depth of his emotional turmoil at that time, but all of sudden, I am constantly reminded me of him. Ravi and his friends were playing a game of hide and seek, and he hid himself in a place where nobody could every get hold of him. He had hoped that he would win the game. Instead his friends had completely forgot about him as if he did not even exist. The story ends as,
And the arc of thin arms trembled in the twilight, and the heads were bowed so sadly, and their feet tramped to that melancholy refrain so mournfully, so helplessly, that Ravi could not bear it. He would not follow them, he would not be included in this funereal game. He had wanted victory and triumph - not a funeral. But he had been forgotten, left out, and he would not join them now. The ignominy of being forgotten - how could he face it? He felt his heart go heavy and ache inside him unbearably. He lay down full length on the damp grass, crushing his face into it, no longer crying, silenced by a terrible sense of his insignificance. 

Insignificance - perhaps the one thing that scares me too. One year back I had come to the US, taking so many risks, thinking that maybe things will work out for me and I will be happy, at least for myself. But slowly and slowly, I am coming to terms with the realization that maybe I was asking too much. True happiness would be something that will always remain elusive as it is not an object. Happiness is a process, a state, which I cannot identify with. In addition to that, the behavior of some people and my inability to stand for myself makes me feel small and insignificant. Every time I start building some confidence in myself, it backfires. Where did I go wrong? Is it really karma? I have been having some really weird morning dreams as well. Typically, I do not remember them but of late, I remember them clearly and they have been repeating. All of them feature the people I wronged in some way by saying something which I shouldn't have and importantly, by not saying when I should have. Maybe that is why I have to face the consequences of my inaction. Maybe that is why some people have stopped talking to me. Maybe that is why I have to struggle so much to get the things. Maybe I will remain an under-confident person all my life. Will things get better soon? Will I end up as Ravi? I do not want to. I won't lose hope - the one thing that I always depend on.

And as I am haunted by the spectacle of self-introspection, Siddharth Dhanvant wrote some thing so beautiful that I cannot get it out of my head.

We give credit for the presence of people in our lives. But we seldom thank people for their absence. Increasingly, I find myself thanking people I have had to let go, or who let go of me, because their absence returned me to an abundance of myself: to imagination, to the pursuit of truth and beauty, to a silence in which I could hear myself again. We are defined not only by the company we keep but also the company we avoid. Today, I give each one these people thanks for taking leave: everywhere we look we will find only gifts of absence.

But the problem is our inability to let go. A few weeks ago,  he wrote this,

How easily we are mistaken as proprietary or insecure when we see our friends stray into each others lives – secretly, we resent such intimacy. Then we repent the burden of the introduction. And slowly we lose trust in the friend. This is possibly because we conduct our friendships with the secret voltage and high color of a love affair: this leaves anyone else who enters the parenthesis of this friendship a threat, or an outsider (even if they are a familiar).

I suspect another known entering a private friendship holds the threat of diffusing an intimacy built over years. They can scatter, with their unnecessary insight or observation or analysis, the knowledge two people held as true to themselves. This is the blinding light of the outsider: it reveals more than what needs to be seen, or it reveals erroneously. And so. Things are lost. Things will never be the same again. Come away.

Insecurity of losing the intimacy of friendship. The power of words.

Vivek Tejuja writes really beautiful tweets. It is as if he is speaking my mind and I want to say the same words to someone.

I can go on re-reading these. It gives me mental peace that I am not the only one who feels like this.

Things will get better no?


  1. Hi Pankaj...Unusual post; however, you will be surprised to know that I was talking about something similar with Deepali.

    I told her that if I left everything like 'Rancho' in 3 Idiots, I'm sure (or at-least hope) that atleast 2 of my friends (whose names I won't disclose) will definitely search and find me; I'm hoping maybe I can add 1-2 more names to the list but not sure.

    Now I think, what I will feel if those two don't make the effort. Its frightening to think and hence I won't have the courage to undertake an experiment like this.

    Your thoughts.


  2. Dipankar,
    I understand the feeling of being unimportant and only the people who truly care for us would find us. But I still feel if we are away from people, eventually people learn to live without us. Out of sight is out of mind. But I have been thinking more in terms of being right there at the moment and still people do not care to find us as if we do not just exist. I know it doesn't make sense because my mind is cluttered with random thoughts.

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