Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The fable of Mallan & Mathevan

An interesting discussion came up at home the other day.

Incidentally I will be traveling to Cochin on the 2 nd of January for a get- together of our 1980 Graduation class alumni. The discussion was prompted when I informed about my travel and the get- together. This in fact will be the second time we meet after the grand reunion the alumni had with family after 26 years, in 2007.
Aravind began the discussion with expression of some envy that I always found myself much lucky in having friends and being able to reminisce with them. He and Radhu also mentioned the reunion of the 1975 Model High School X Class, I attended in 2005 in Thiruvananthapuram .The children suggested that it will be great fun and pleasure when old friends meet after a long period. I differed and expressed my disagreement with their thinking  though not in entirety.

There was quite a bit of exhilaration during the run up to both the reunion. But I was quite on target in anticipating that it will be fleeting, and it turned out to be so. The school batch got together after 30 years and the college folks after 26. There was curiosity and some excitement because one was to meet persons after long long time; and the curiosity was,it was difficult to anticipate individual appearances and positions in life.
I told Aravi and Radhu that bosom friendships are always a few and they stand the test and ravages of time and incidences. And that as they are also aware, I have, may be one or two close knit friends from my school days and the other few whom I gathered later in life are friends in all sense of the word. I opined that the word “friend” must not be defiled by loosely using it as a noun, a verb and as an adjective as well.

Just to mention an anecdote in this context, a few months ago I was in a business dinner and there were also present a couple of “friends “of mine (who in fact became related to me some years ago). And there these alumni meetings came up. One of the two “friends”(sic) of mine mentioned about my wide circle of friends. I interjected that I do not have a circle of friends but a few whose relationship I will take with me to Timbuktu.. . I mentioned  the old allegory from the Malayalam text book of standard II. The story of Mallan & Mathevan. And I said when many are like Mallan who scamper up to the safety of the tree in the forest when confronted by a huge bear leaving his friend Mathevan in the lurch and certain mortal  danger, the choice of friends will be limited to those whom one can call bosom friends and no number of getting-together of school and college mates can help much in altering the equation.

Am certain I conveyed my point to them, there.


Balachandran V said...

Why do they call it 'circle' of friends? why can't it be square or triangle?
Friendship is a matter of varying degree of intimacy, affection. And very volatile, mercurial, fickle too. But then, really good friendships stand the test of time. You like the other person with all his warts! I was reminded of my own reunion with primary school classmates who last saw each other nearly 44 years ago! There is a post in my blog about that reunion. All of them may not be close friends, but each was remembered with great affection and regard. After that reunion a few months ago, a few of us still keep in touch, by email or phone.

Sometime ago, I wrote a poem, 'Library of Love'. I wrote that like my books, i keep friends where I can see them, but not use them!

Like many other things, such reunions too, as you said, is a momentary pleasure. Let it be, then. What is pleasure if it is not momentary, so that one can always yearn for more and more and the pleasure is actually in the yearning, not in gaining pleasure! :D

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