By Hema Ravi
As soon as I read the news the other day, I called up the celebrity family-friend to congratulate him on his obtaining the ‘Padmashri’ for his lifetime achievements. A long-awaited, well-deserved recognition for the talented artist whose sketches of Madurai are unparalleled; who, despite losing his eye-sight has not lost his art.
I apologized for the irregular communication and long silence from my end, to which he quipped, “Earlier, we had about a hundred friends. But, today, we have over a thousand friends, hence, it is extremely difficult to find time for all……”
Sad, but true, I said to myself. Our priorities have changed, our friendships change as we explore newer horizons, often, most people are acquaintances, secondly, relationships are maintained on a need-only basis. Even the what’s app messages shared are most often irrelevant forwards that we feel are important for others than for ourselves.
My thoughts also raced to a recent event that occurred in the family-the demise of my uncle within a week of his bosom friend’s passing away. The said friend was a regular ‘athithi’ at my uncle’s place at tea-time, who partook of ‘tiffin’ and ‘kaapi’ every evening for over three decades, such was the bonhomie between them. At his friend’s funeral, Uncle remarked, “I’ll join you soon!’ and he kept his word.
He left his mortal coil within ten days of the friend’s demise.
About the Author: Hema Ravi is a freelance trainer for IELTS and Communicative English. Her poetic publications include haiku, tanka, free verse and metrical verses. Her write ups have been published in the Hindu, New Indian Express, Femina, Woman’s Era, and several online and print journals; a few haiku and form poems have been prize winners. She has contributed to the ‘Destine Literare’ (Canada). Besides, she is the author of ‘Everyday English,’ ‘Write Right Handwriting Series1,2,3,’ co-author of Sing Along Indian Rhymes’ and ‘Everyday Hindi.’ Her “Everyday English with Hema,” a series of English lessons are broadcast by the Kalpakkam Community Radio. She is the Secretary of the Chennai Poets’ Circle.