“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Friday, April 3, 2009


Dictionaries are books of revelation.

You never knew what words really meant

You took them for granted

You assumed

You had always thought so

You thought that’s what people meant

Until told otherwise by the dictionary.

Shall we look up the word, ‘friend’?

The word, in my hitherto life I have used

So wantonly.

I assumed it meant what I thought I felt

For certain individuals I liked more than others.

Certain individuals who were in my thoughts

More often than not.

Those for whom I felt affection

Those for whom I ached

For whom I would relegate my personal priorities

From whom I wanted respect, love and care

To whom I could say anything (mostly) I wanted

With whom I could be what I wanted ( I thought) to be.

Memories of camaraderie, of shared moments of life

Your happiness mine

Your sorrows mine -

Yet, dismaying – I realise I, have to be there

Separable from you -

Always, there are you and I...

Disheartening - that I, am there

In everything I think of you...

The I with you, my friend, you see

Is the friend that you want me to be

Not me, not me, not me in my entirety.

The bottom line, my friend,

Is never to take each other for granted,

Though, in moments rare, be grateful -

Nothing more, but be grateful

That we are there in our times of need

Or even, just that we are there...

Somewhere reachable

Just like the dictionaries

When you grope for the meaning

Not of words, but of life...

*************** Balachandran, Trivandrum 03.03.2009


  1. Words are only symbols, not the real. You will find the following lines from Krishamurty's Notebook interesting, Balan. My bog is inspired by these lines:

    "To be free of the word and not give too much importance to it;
    to see that the word is not the thing and the thing is never the word;
    not to get caught in the overtones of the word
    and yet use words with care and understanding;
    to be sensitive to words and not be weighed down by them;
    to break through the verbal barrier and to consider the fact;
    to avoid the poison of words and to feel the beauty of them;
    to put away all identification with words and examine them,
    for words are a trap and a snare.
    They are the symbols and not the real.
    The screen of words acts as a shelter for the lazy,
    the thoughtless and the deceiving mind.
    Slavery to words is the beginning of inaction, which may appear to be action,
    and a mind caught in symbols cannot go far.
    Every word, thought, shapes the mind and without understanding every thought,
    mind becomes a slave to words and sorrow begins.
    Conclusions and explanations do not end sorrow."
    ---J. Krishnamurti. (From 'Krishnamuti's Notebook').

  2. Thats a lot of words, friend! Words, like this computer, is just another tool for communication, for identifying and segregating elements in the mental as well as physical environments. JK, like Richard Bach, should end his conversations with 'Everything I have said may be wrong'. When he says words are a snare and a trap, one cannot but shrug; for JK is as fallible as yours truly!
    As a professional, you would know that once the word is written, the writer should sit back and look at it objectively. Words, are just symbols; yes, symbols through which we try to convey ourselves... because that is one of the fundamental acts of life - communication - without which life would wither away in no time...

  3. My point in the poem is that though the concept of friendship is the one that I value most, even that is not devoid of my self. Friend does not exist by him/herself but only in relation to my self. The enquiry is to find something untainted by the self.

    Naaaah! I am just kidding! I am just having a good time writing all these so 'profound' stuff! :D

  4. This poem is a beautiful one, Balan, especially the angle of taking things beyond the dictionary meaning to search for a meaning of life itself. You look at it in a sentimental way, while JK is so detached. That is the difference. Change track a bit and your poem is about something very sublime. Sentiment distorts. We are being a bit too philosophical, but we are serious people and it is well worth it, is it not?

  5. sentiment does not distort; it makes things human. To say JK is detached is the understatment of the century. Look at his thoughts about words - he qualifies them as poison, trap, snare, something for the lazy - i don't. I see it as it is, and accepts it. I stand back and comment - i have been reading JK for 32 years, Venu, he has been my friend for a long time. He would agree with me, because like him, I walk alone along the path i discover for myself...

    To qualify anything means setting up one's own standards; standards divide and distort. I accept my nature as it is, and in a strange way, am quite comfortable with it. And U accept the rest of the humanity too, with all its warts...

  6. As someone who occassionally reads poems, I feel that good poems are precious slices of personal perception. Each slice stands by its own beauty. Unlike logic, all slices together need not assemble themselves into a greater whole. A fine poem is a fine poem even if its thought goes against everything that the world feels or thinks.

  7. Now thats a fine comment, though you don't say anything about this poem, :)


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