Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Friend Axis

An old friend of mine was recently reading one of my articles and as it turns out, he didn't agree with what I said. Thats not unusual, a lot of people disagree with my posts. What was unusual though - was that - having known me for a long time, he thought, my views were quite contradictory to the person, he knew me as. His comment brought me to a glaring confrontation with the truth - and hence this blog.

In a piece from 2005, I am found complaining about the ever-present change in life. As a response, my friend reminded me of my own roots, in his words .....

"Change is the spice and basic essence of life. Imagine a life without change--wud b so boring and predictable. Moreover, for a guy who once gave me the best Goddamn quote I hav ever heard---Only those who have faith in their convictions dare 2 swim against the tide-------shudnt really b averse 2 change. Cheers!!!!!! "

As I read through the post again, I couldn't agree with my friend more. It is very rare that I have conceded a point without a fight. In this case however, I was happy to make an exception. I found my hesitation with change quite appalling and certainly unworthy of my former self. And it made me wonder just how different I was from my past ??

I have always defined myself based on two indices, first my own opinion of self and second my friends' opinion about me. I believe only close friends can tell truth to your face, since they want the best for you, they always point out your mistakes promptly and you listen to them, knowing that their intention is good. And so, in a way -I find out where I am by finding my distance from the two axes; a self axes and a friends axes.
If I have ever strayed off too far, my friends have always brought me back... But ever since I have moved to the United States, I have found myself so far away from my friends, that often times I am quite lost. And it took only a simple comment for me to discover my second dimension.

I remembered saying the above quote in school days. Back then, we were so naive and impressionable that whatever was taught to us - remained etched in our brains forever. Sitting on a wooden bench, we allowed ourselves to get lost ..... in lessons from Danny Kaye .... who quoting his father, said ....... "Some people need to stay in the same horizons for safety, others need to constantly move ...... test their wings against new winds ..... if you are not happy where you are .... don't settle unless you find what you are looking for"

Filled with boundless enthusiasm and fierce daring, we set high ambitions for ourselves, with only sky as the limit. Most of that was shed as part of growing up and facing life, but a part still remains - a part that screams for justice.

It was with immense sorrow that I realized how let down, my friend must have felt ..... hearing me say things, I would have never said a decade back. And so, a prime reason behind me writing this piece was to make him a promise ...... that given a moment of choice where the right path seems to be against the current, my steps shall not falter - that - as excruciating as it may be - I will make the needed sacrifice on the altar of ambition.

So, why write it as public post instead of a private email? Well - so that the shame of public disgrace in case of defeat - will hold me to my word.

A promise my friend. You can count on that!

- Sanket


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