Thursday, May 11, 2006


It's a small park with tall trees shading it all over. A few morning joggers walk around leisurely. At a distance, on another bench an old rag picker is lost in a deep sleep. There's still ten minutes before i can get up from here and rush towards my office.

A friend has had a mighty fall. I know him from the past 20 years and knew that something like this would happen. At one time when i was going through a low phase, he was on a high and i'd wonder how would it feel to be in his place. Now things seem to have turned topsy turvy. I shudder to think what i'd have done or gone through if i were he. Hope he comes out of the bitterness as quickly as possible, corrects his mistakes and makes a new start.

What alarms me all the more is the fact that i'd had actually wished for it, if not emphatically, at least in some remote corner within. As i think of him, a number of lessons become evident. That you can't sleep through life and expect things to be the same. That you have to pay the price of false pride and arrogance. That you can't impress people for too long with your show of bravado. That those around you somehow see through all your masks and give you the respect or lack of it that is due to your real self.

When the green goblin says to spiderman:'People love a hero, but they also love to see him fall', he's speaking for most of us, if not everyone. My friend is no hero, but a small part of me is enjoying his downfall. That troubles me.

I'm in close proximity with nature today.

Early morning, i leave my house 10 minutes earlier, stop at a park on the way and sit under the shade of a few trees, on a stone bench. The cool breeze...I seem to like this place all the more because just a few feet away the traffic rushes past yet this place is so serene and calm. It's like an ideal i've set for myself-- be in the centre of activity yet be centered and peaceful. I do nothing for a while, then pick up a favourite book.

It's mid-day. I've to rush to another place, 10 kms away. The sun's scorching above, the dust and heat off the road is all the more oppressive because you've come out of the comfort of an aircooled room.

Evening--the skies have opened up. The friend on the pillion pleads you to stop somewhere until the rains stop but you just ignore him. The drizzle is steady but soon it becomes a downpour. You are shivering up to your bones but still this is enjoyable. You are reminded of childhood days when you'd walk back home from school in the downpour. Water makes you become crazy again.

Nearing midnight. The rains have just stopped. This weather is so enchanting, i have no words to describe how it is or what it makes me feel like. Many memories rush through, some clear but many unspoken and subtle.

Who doesn't enjoy becoming the agony aunt? I've unwittingly become one on numerous occasions. May be it's a part of a social obligation--you share your woes with others and at times you become the one with whom others empty themselves.

Yet there are occasions when you restrain yourself from offering free advice and unintentionally act patronizing. Maybe you don't know what to say---you know that it's better to shut up. It happened here. Nothing earth shattering but still for the person going through the subtle confusion and despair, it's a mountain to climb.

My best wishes are with Jen........


  1. Many years ago when I supervised social services in a country south of Louisville, I would often spend my lunch time at a nature preserve that was a ten minute drive along the interstate highway from my office. The place had two major sections: a pure wilderness untouched by human hands except for the hiking trails and a highly groomed arboretum that contained some of the most beautiful trees and plants that I have ever encountered. I could get myself lost in either; when the time came for me to drive back to my office, I sometimes felt as if I were trading a moment in heaven for a day in hell.

    I agree: the Green Goblin articulated what many people feel in the same manner that Robinson’s poem, Richard Corey, does:

    And he was rich—yes, richer than a king,
    And admirably schooled in every grace: 10
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, 15
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.

    Thanks for the link to Jen. I visited and left some “wisdom,” which may or may not be wise.

  2. Nick....I remember reading this poem a long time back. Thanks for reminding it.
    Yes, nature makes us forget ourselves. We can only carry back that serenity into our busy lives---how we wish, we could be as serene and calm as the plants are.

    Read your wisdom on Jen's blog. Only someone with experience can speak with authority---if others attempt, it'll be a kind of eyewash.

  3. I so agree about unsolicited advice.That one is a tricky one..I think.