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

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It is nearly a year since he died;
I have forgotten the date though.
Nearly twenty years senior to me
Though time isn't really a measure for anything.

Time hardly tells you the strength of the bond -
Why, one's siblings are very often the most distant.
Friendship takes seed - hardly does it need a moment
And it grows like Jack's beans, entwining the hearts into one.

He was a quiet person - a painter, photographer
He drew funny cartoons too, though
Looking at his tall, tired frame and wispy beard
You would take him for a philosopher.

In the early evenings, I would call on him-
Sitting on the verandah we would talk -
About murals and the passing of ways of life.
He would tell me about the old town
About the river, the lakes, the old brahmins
Who owned thousands of acres of paddy fields
The temples, staggering with age
And the murals on their cracked walls
In which women with globular breasts
And wasp-like waists
With their all-knowing eyes
Smiled like Mona Lisa
Demons brandished swords
Goddesses stomped on severed heads
Women flaunted their nudity
Before the lecherous boy-god.

My friend, in between pauses
Would borrow a cigarette from me
And smoke it, religiously.

Every time I see my friend’s name
As I skim through my mobile phone, I pause -
These two numbers I will never call
No one would answer either -
Yet I pause - and brood over these numbers
Unable to bring myself to delete them.

I look at my left thumb, wondering why
It would not move over and select
The delete button - then it does -
The phone asks " Delete?"
And all my thumb has to do is press 'yes' –
************* Balachandran V, Trivandrum 21.07.2009


  1. "Friendship takes seed - hardly does it need a moment
    And it grows like Jack's beans, entwining the hearts into one"

    Its never that way with me. For me , it takes time.

    Oh yes , once somebody ceases to me , we hold on to every little thing that makes us feel they are with us.

    And we think about every little thing they said.

    How much ever i try to philosophise it , Mr B .. death of a loved one is a Cruel, cruel reality.

  2. like keeping the letters to read again and again unable to destroy them,seeing the person through the words,very much living

  3. delicately done... beautiful. you told me this, remember?

  4. Excellent Balan.
    Somewhere you feel the pang.

  5. Like the words of my dad on tape that I refuse to hear; like the pictures of him that I can't face. You have unwound the most delicate painting in such a beautiful frame Balan. Glad to see you post again.

    Friends that magically meet inside a gossamer bond.

  6. To me it also highlighted how much the electronic device 'mobile phone' has come to mean to all of us. How completely we identify with it, how completely we are lost without it. How the final act of severing away a life-time bond, the end of grieving for dear friend, can all come from pushing a button: a sign of our times, perhaps

  7. May be off topic, but I just can’t wonder about the ‘mobile’ one leaves back.
    May be because I acquired one recently, just before a fortnight, after years of
    resistance. Your photograph Sir, and your liking Hemingway…

  8. @all: thanks for coming by and you all appreciating it. The modem at home is broken down and I have to sit in a sweaty internet cafe with unspeakably dusty and dirty PCs to post this.

    The person, my friend, was G.Gopan, brother of the famous film director, G Aravindan. We had met hardly nine or ten times in a span of a little more than a year, but I had come to love and respect this gentle soul so much. I cannot sob or slobber over his loss, but there is this heavy void in my heart whenever I think of Gopan Chettan ( Brother). I miss him, I miss him so badly. It wrenches my heart...

  9. Came over from Sujata's blog and felt the anguish in these lines.
    There are some people in my address book who are no longer alive. I have not been able to cut off these addresses as i feel these are my last link to them.

  10. Very very touching. I actually had tears in eyes....

  11. People live on in our memories, in our love, your friend has come alive today through this blog post.. It is a bit off the topic..but I dont see you on my blog anymore, no comments since long


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