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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Jean-Georges Cornelius (1880-1963). Bois.

Consolation Oil on wood Musée eucharistique du Hiéron, Paray Le Monial

Isn’t it a pleasure

To offer succor?

Oh yes, we are so genuine,

Touched to the heart

Feeling, we say, the same pain and sorrow

Though sometimes I wonder if we really do.

Be it death or a lesser misfortune

We condole, condemn the flippancy of fate

That dealt our kith or kin this cruelest blow.

Yet, I wonder, is it regret or relief

That predominates our minds

Regret for them and secretly, guiltily,

Relief that we have been spared for now?

My friend says – ‘Take it easy! Be cool!

Heavens won’t come falling down!’

I take a deep breath; try to loosen my facial muscles

Taut like strings of a tennis racket.

How easy to comfort others

How easy to say ‘I understand’

How easy to say ‘ I am with you’

When really

We are eons away from each other!

******** Balachandran V Trivandrum, 19-05-2010


  1. I read somewhere that sympathising is ‘nothing but secretly expressing one’s relief that one’s been spared’. Is it possible to say ‘Take it easy! Be cool! Heavens won’t come falling down!’ to someone we really care about? Most often, ‘I understand’ is something that people use quite loosely. At the max, one can ‘know’ what the other is through but ‘knowing is not experiencing’. Is all well?

  2. Arun, like we have somewhere earlier, in most occasions a touch, a gripping of the shoulder or even a look would suffice. Thanks; yes, I see light at the end of the tunnel - yet to reach there, though.

  3. Why should I bother to succor you when your solace or otherwise does not breach my happiness?


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