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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

‘What is a Friend?’

Among the treasures I hauled away from Bangalore, a tiny gem shines brightly. It is a little book, ‘What is a Friend?’, just 62 pages, about crown octavo size. It is a collection of quotes, edited by Louise Bachelder and published by The Peter Pauper Press, New York. The year is 1971 and wow, it is a first edition! Cost? Rs.30/- !

I would like to share with you the first quotation, by Mr Anonymous!

What is a friend? I’ll tell you. It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can go naked with him. He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you really are.

When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.

He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you. With him you breathe freely – you can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities, and in opening them up to him they are dissolved on the white ocean of his loyalty.

He understands. – You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him – through and underneath it all he sees, knows and loves you.

Those who are gender-conscious may read He as She.

There are many more quotes. Of famous and not-so-famous people. Reading each and reflecting on each, I spend this holiday. It is pleasantly warm outside. P is at the sewing machine, Sancho lies at my feet, asleep. I feel content and at peace at times like these. I think of all my friends and feel so proud that they should consider me as one. I cannot count my blessings; they are showered over me as friends.

****** Balachandran, Trivandrum, 21.09.2010


  1. Lovely! I am sure you are a great friend

  2. As I always say, times have changed,and so have values. Every thing is adulterated,even relationships. Over a period of time, I have grown suspicious about superfluous friendships. Friendships have become a matter of convenience.People make friendships for some kind of personal benefits. I don't know if you would agree,still.
    My list of friends has not changed over the last ten years,though I act friendly with many people.

  3. beautiful. mind if i borrow it? its worth sharing... perhaps its a testimonial to my personality but i probably have only two friends like that...

  4. @Sujata: And you too, I'm sure! :)

    @Doc: of course, there is only one kind of friendship. all the rest are mere acquaintances. Friendships are not made, doc, they are born, in one instant. Oh, I could tell you some stories about that! :)

    @K: I will lend it to you. I have lost your address (Sorry!). And, K, there is another book, Oxford Book of Friendship, that you should get. Its a big one; I wouldn't mind sending it to you, but you should try and get one, for keeps. One can read and read, and glow glow glow...

  5. B, i meant 'borrow' the thought :) thanks for the offer tho!

  6. @K: Oops, I was careless! Nevertheless, the offer stands! :)


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