While meandering through my life story I have always wondered what the relationships are made up of! In our life cycle a person’s relationship starts with the mother and ends up with the almighty. These two relationships are absolutely permanent though I cannot vouch for the second one, personally!! In that sense mother is another form of God. Is relationship a bond or a mental attachment or a physical warmth one feels in presence of another person?
In life, I have been hitting off well with anyone and everyone almost instantly. Recently I met a friend from Elphinstone days, after almost fifty years. While chatting he said that they all used to be surprised by the ease with which I could be friends right across the barriers of sex, background (we had many friends from Metro cities and small towns, from English medium schools and vernacular background). I remember having some close friends as a child, how these relationships developed is a mystery to me but suddenly there were so many good friends. When I started growing into teenage, the natural awkwardness with the female species was there and I did not have many friends who were girls or ladies. But during this phase I remember I was particularly fond of my grandmother but I am sure the feeling was not reciprocated in the same intensity as I was on naughtier side of life (my daughter tells me not much has changed even today!) In school I had a very close friend Abhay, we were both probably similar in nature and also reasonably good at studies. Alas this friendship did not go beyond college days as I moved from Mumbai to Pune, as I hear about him now, life has not treated him well and he has been going thru issues after issues.
This reminds of a statement made by my young friend Bala. Recently we spoke to each other after a bit of a gap (I had gone through health issues). When he came to know about my health issues he said “I will never again make a mistake of not keeping in touch with people assuming that everybody is busy and hence the lack of contact”. This is so appropriate in case of Abhay and me. Let me see if I can make it up.
In the school days we do have very close friends but I feel that we become real friends when we have a bit of maturity. In Elphinstone College and Engineering College I became very close with many and the main adda to cultivate friendship was the canteen and mess and of course playground. We all spent so much time together at the adda, with no worries in this world; probably the only worry in those days was do I the money for next cup of tea! Life was simpler and I am not speaking from nostalgia. Everyone talks of “in our days” but life has become complex for kids going to school and colleges, these days, though it has also become more interesting also. I had friends from such varied background. Prakash used to live on Cumbala hills, there were many who lived in one room tenement but did it really matter, not all! We had Sharad from Malvan, Nayan from Malbar hills, Jayant from Kandewadi and so on but who cared, we were just friends and believe me we still are very close friends barring those who had the urge to meet the almighty. How did these relationships form? What is the DNA of such relationships? What is the chemistry? They talk of chemistry in Bollywood but one should see chemistry between two friends from very disparate background and thought process! Friendship really has no barriers, yes, in some cases it takes a bit of time to break ice and in some cases it is instantaneous. Most important aspect of real relationship is we may not meet for a long time but when we meet, it is as if we had last met only a couple of days back and pick up the conversation from there. I spoke to Sonya after maybe forty years and did we have any hassle in continuation of our dialogue, no way! We just started chatting as if we have been meeting so often, it is unbelievable! To understand this better one must see the whatsapp group that friends form these days (I am talking of people of my age group), it is as if we are back to hostels and sitting outside the mess waiting to join for dinner.
That brings me to my most important, long-lasting un breakable relationship with Jaya my friend, guide, philosopher and my life and wife! We met each other at the engineering college and honestly both of us do not know how the relationship started. It just took the flight to cruising level and hit the auto pilot. What to call such a relationship, love at first sight maybe, teenage infatuation NO! We were both mature enough, but one can say in Munnabhai’s language “Chemical Locha” happened. We are still trying to find out what it is but one thing is for sure end result has been terrific. Now we are doing things which we many a time, found no time to do, like having our morning cuppa at leisure. The morning becomes more enjoyable if we get a chance to talk to our old friends who maybe in US or Australia or Timbaktu! That call during morning cuppa makes tea even sweeter (my doctor is happy, accucheck shows better figures)
Now my friends I am going talk to you about my most hidden secret in life. I have finally fallen for the “Love at First sight” relationship event. My life has become so much a pleasure that I could never have imagined before. I had never thought that this can happen to one at a later stage in life!! But I am happy that this has happened. I am going to share the identity of that person and she is none other than my granddaughter Rhea! What a bundle of joy she is to all of us. This friendship and love is so different. She is all but eight months old but we have our own protocols of talking to each other, just lie down next each other and have jugalbandi of making stupid sounds! Looking at the trees, and sparrows and crows and what not.
Honestly when I started writing this blog so many things came to mind, so many friends I remembered, the movie was on fast forward and backward all the time!! Sudeep, Suhas, Lata, Mangal, Sanjay, Sudhya, Marwadya and …. many many more!! I had a tough time pruning my thoughts so that blog remains a blog and not my life story!! So here is “Three Cheers to Friendships/ Relationships of this world” and do it with a cup of coffee as the “Teachers” advertisement says, “If you want to take one for the road, make it coffee”!!