Sunday, April 26, 2009


Recently I have realised something. As most of you know, I have shifted from my parents’ place to my own about 18 months back. Here I live a very new kind of life. Since I have shifted, and since my responsibilities in the workplace have increased manifolds, I have very little time left for my relatives and friends.

Here let me make an interjection. I have several categories of friends. All of whom are very very dear to me. My (earlier) locality friends are the first category since I have been friends with them for the last 30 years (I am 34 years old, you do the math). The next category would be my school friends. With them I have stuck through thick and thin – literally since some of them are now either far too overweight or too sickly. One of them died of an obscene disease, obscene because the disease took hold of his little finger one fine day, and in 36 hours he was dead. Complete paralysis. It was a rare disease. One in a million sort of statistics. It seems my friend was one in a million. My next group of friends belongs to College. Thankfully I am in touch with 95% of them. I am not so fortunate with my University friends though. I am in touch, but not of the constant type. Then I have so many friends from my first job – and here I shift away from my age bracket. As I do as far as my present job friends are concerned. Of course, age is no factor as far as my internet friends are concerned. Right now, the person who is one of my closest friends, from my current locality, is 52 years old. I also have the occupational advantage of making new friends every year. A few of the students who cross over to life remain in touch, some become good friends over time.

You see I have been extremely blessed as far as friendship is concerned. Without friends I probably would be in a mental asylum. Let’s not harp on the reasons for that…

Another interjection: all Bangali, and most Indian, people have two names, one formal, the other familiar or ‘pet’. Being a typical Bangali boy (from what age can one call one's self a man? I guess I should ask Bob Dylan) I also have two names. This is where the realisation part comes in. Apart from the first category, none of my friends call me by my familiar name. I have been called by my formal name so much in the recent years – my parents call me ‘babu’, my wife also calls me by my formal name in the rare cases she is not upset with me (the other names are not fit for public domain) – so my familiar name is slowly getting lost.

It is like a part of me is slowly getting lost. Only in cases when I meet my relatives or my first friends that I remember the name of my childhood, of my innocence, of a time when there were no worries, no hassles, when all I wanted was to grow up. Does growing up mean leaving all that behind?
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