Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

tErE mEre sapnE ab Ek rang hain

April 30, 2014

One of my favourite melodious songs, from the movie


made based on

novel by R K Narayanan

This song seems a happy one…. but there’s an underlying current of sadness in it…as “Rosie” is already moving on from the relationship that “Raju” has fought the world and given up a lot for. No matter that R K Narayanan hated this picturization of his novel. It is a haunting movie, with wonderful songs, showing the fleeting nature of love…especially in “forbidden” relationships.

ondrA, vEyrA? (together, or apart?) A tamil (tamizh) poem

October 4, 2013

orukkAl, nIyum nAnum
nam iruvarin uravu
needitthu nilaikkAthO?

bhoogOLam. iru kaigaLAl samayathai shuzhattrum gadigAram.
DinathaaL. Nam iruvarin kadamaigaL…
Ivai ellAm nam ethirigaL:
Ivvulagin pazhakka vazhakkangaL kooda.

ivaigaLai thANdi nam
Oruvarukku oruvar kidaitthOm.
AnAl…ivai iniyum vettri adainthu
nammai pirikkalAm:
“nAm” endru illAmal
“nee”yum, “nAn”umAi, thani pAthaigaLil
thanimayil, thaniyAga pOyi vidalAm.

Perhaps, you and I…us…
I wonder…are we not going to last?
Geography, the two-handed clock that swirls Time around, the calendar,
The duties that we cannot shrug off,
All these are our enemies:
Even the values of the conventional world.

Miraculously, we found each other
In spite of all these;
But they may yet turn victorious
And see us pulled apart:
To be “us”, no more,
But “you” and “I”…
Going our separate ways
Solitary…and lonely.

The pitfalls of a relationship unrecognized by, perhaps unknown to, the world, are described here. This could also be docketed in the “You and I” series!

Tu…aur mein (You and I)

October 3, 2013

galtiyon se juda tu bhi nahin, mein bhi nahin.
donon insaan hain, khuda tu bhi nahin, mein bhi nahin.

tu mujhe, aur mein tujhe, ilzaam detey hain..magar
apney andar jhaankta tu bhi nahin, mein bhi nahin.

galat fehmiyon ne kar di dono mein peydaa dooriyaan..
varna…fitrat ka bura tu bhi nahin, mein bhi nahin.

Neither you nor I are free from faults.
We are both human: neither of us is divine.

You blame me, and I blame you…but
Neither you nor I introspect.

Misunderstandings have created distances between us…
Else, neither you, nor I, are bad by nature.

How beautifully this captures the essence of miscommunication that spoils friendships….


October 26, 2012

Back from a great trip to JLR Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi, Karnataka…but more about that later. A series of misunderstandings , and a song that my friend Pavitra Jayaraman sent me, set me musing on relationships, and how proper communication is vital…

Here’s the original:

And, though I do not like remixes usually, this one is an extremely melodious capella:

The lyrics, with a rough translation:

Uravugal thodar kathai unarvugal siru kathai

Relationships are serial stories; feelings are short stories

Oru kathai yendrum mudiyalam

A story may end any day

Mudivilum ondru thodaralaam

One might continue at the end of another

Iniyellam sugame

All will be fine now

Un nenjile baaram unakagave naanum

Your heart is heavy….for you, I too

Sumai thaangiyaai thaanguven

Will bear your load like a sumaithaangi (roadside load-bearing stones)

Un kangalin oorum yedarkagavo eeram

Why the moisture at the corners of your eyes?

Kaneerai naan maatruven

I will change those tears

Vedanai theeralam verum pani vilagalam

Pain may cease…the mist might clear

Venmegame puthu azhagile naanum inayalaam

Oh,white cloud….I might meld, too, in the new beauty

Vaazhvenbatho geetham valarkindratho naanam is a song… grows

Naal ondrilum aanandam

Happiness, any day

Nee kandatho thunbam ini vaazhvellam inbam

What you’ve seen is suffering…now, all of life will be blissful

Suga raagame aarambam

A new melody of comfort begins

Nathiyile puthu punal kadalile kalanthadu

The new reeds in the river have mixed with the sea

Nam sondamo indru inaindathu inbam piranthathu

The relationship between us…it has united, today…bliss has been born

Beginnings and endings

July 16, 2012

Dawn approaches.
But there is dusk in my heart.
More than three decades later,
We are moving apart.

No…perhaps we moved
Away from each other
Long ago…we are not spouses:
Just Father, and Mother.

When the bonds of a marriage
Dissolve, and break…
Acceptance and maturity
Are wise ways to take.

I’d like to disprove the general rule
That we can no longer be friends.
We can care for, and like each other
Even when our marriage ends.

Dawn colours the sky.
It lights my heart, too.
I may not know what we face..
At least, despair’s not in view.

Promiscuity…what does it mean?

September 2, 2011

For my review of the play, “Amrita”, directed by the noted film-maker, M S Sathyu,

click here

Watching this play, and doing the reading required before and after watching, I fell to musing. Today, I’d say Amrita Pritam was a woman not bound by “middle-class morality”. But by that standard of middle-class morality, a not-too-pleasant adverb would have been used to describe her: promiscuous.

What IS promiscuity? is the question that now makes me think. To my mind….promiscuity is the rapid changing of sexual, and possibly emotional, partners. In fact, I think emotional promiscuity must be even more usettling for the partners in a relationship, than sexual promiscuity…the “one-night stand” is a well-documented feature of sexual relations between human beings…but an emotional relationship is usually invested with the notion of at least some length of time…so a partner who quickly changes hes affections can be a difficult person to deal with.

Even by this reckoning, I don’t find Amrita Pritam promiscuous. Her relationships…with her husband, that did not work within the marital framework, with her lover, Sahir Ludhianvi, and later, her long-standing partnership with Imroze….speak of a deep involvement of the mind and heart, not a passing romantic whim. Friendship, and literary efforts, seem to have been the backbone of her two extra-marital relationships.

However…in Indian society, a woman who leaves her husband, has an affair with another man, and then lives with a third…would certainly be branded promiscuous, and attract the censure and disgust of the average “middle-class” person. And yet…so often, I find these same members of the middle-class being very forgiving towards those with the creative temperament, who lead unconventional lives…”When Saraswathi bestows the creative urge on a man or woman,” said a very staid old aunt of mine, “She also bestows some ‘quirks’.” Quirks, presumably, meaning a disregard of the social conventions! Several movie actors have had a succession of wives and “consorts”, and they were not less the objects of public adulation for all that fact, there is often a sneaking admiration for the Lotharios of the film world!

So…my conclusion is, if I, as a Tambram housewife, take a succession of lovers, it will be promiscuity…but if I am a film star or a celebrity…then a lot of “moral lapses” are overlooked by the Mango Public (Aam Janta)! Double standards are alive and well and kicking over the icons of conformity….


Moving out…moving on….

March 12, 2011

When, in a relationship or a business partnership, is it a good time to move out? The answer, I think, is never…is there ever a good time to announce that you are done with something that was good, but isn’t (at least, to you) any more? No time is a good time. Such an announcement is always greeted with surprise, dismay, anger or even emotional (or organizational) blackmail (or sops in the form of increased pay or perks)….but I have yet to see many instances of the party of the other part taking a breakup on any kind in a good and mature spirit, accepting that yes, indeed, the time has come to move on.

This…is because one party to the relationship (business or personal),is always invested more in the relationship than the other; and that party has either not seen the rift coming, or not wanted to see it…the latter being far more the case. The change is resisted, in the hope of maintaining the status quo….not realizing that the status quo, now, is a position where one of the two people wants out! So an untenable peace prevails for some time, until it slowly sinks in that one party is, indeed, serious about moving on, and the “divorce” finally happens.

In personal relationships (it can’t, obviously, be done with professional ones), some people handle this by just cutting and running….which, I feel, is the most dreadful way of doing things. It may spare the party of the first part a lot of grief…but to the second person, the burden of grief is much greater. Being left suddenly, often with no clue what has happened, and why….no person of sensibility of sense could do this to another person…but…they often do! All the good times that two people have had, are left stranded on the rocks of the abrupt way of parting, and no good feelings are possible.

Timing a “moving out” announcement, and managing the process of disengagement, is a very tricky task, indeed, and calls for a lot of maturity on the part of the announcer. If handled with tact and consistent diplomacy, the parting can be very amicable and the relationship is not completely broken off, but continues on different lines.

But most often, this just does not happen. The shock of the resignation (from the job or the relationship!), the feelings that are aroused by the thought of the parting…all serve to vitiate the parting, and make it a difficult time for both people. If official partings can become so emotional (when KM resigned from one job, he called his boss to give him his decision, and the next morning, the boss’ angry wife called him up to say that the boss had not slept a wink the entire night…why did he upset him like that? she asked.)…I can just imagine how difficult it must be, for example, when a married son and his wife want to move out of the parental a culture like ours, it would be viewed as nothing short of insulting the parents. Wanting a different level of relationship is equated to wanting no relationship at all. Recriminations follow, pressure is applied…and it’s all one can do not to back down from one’s decision…and sometimes, indeed, one does succumb.

But, in my opinion, nothing is really gained by backing down. A decision to move on, whether professionally or personally, must be taken in a considered and rational way (not in the heat of emotion, job stress or other pressures) and once taken, should be adhered to. I remember reading a wonderful dOhA (couplet) by either Kabir or Rahim…to the effect that a broken string may be repaired, but the knot is now there for ever….so too, with such decisions. Once one has taken the decision to carry on….one must take the consequences of that decision, and go ahead with it, no matter what the storms may be, that one has to face.

The End…

May 11, 2009

Someone sent me a terse email, with just these few words: “we are NOT friends”. No background, no CLUE what happened so suddenly. No explanations, nothing….nothing…

It’s happened a few times with others in the past, but GOD it hurts. MUST not let it hurt…of course I can get over these things.

I must understand that MY being close to someone is not the same as THEIR being close to me. Imagine, I am still unable to learn this simple fact.

“dOst dOst nA rahA…pyAr pyAr nA rahA…zindagi, hamEin thErA aitbAr nA rahA….”

Well, there are friends and family around, and the wound may stop bleeding soon.

Affection, Love, Commitment,Loneliness…..

April 7, 2009

It’s all very well to say, profoundly, “alone I came into this world and alone I will go” (even the first part of that sentence would be untrue if one was a twin or a triplet…)but…we do need people. No man is an island (except the Isle of Man.)We thrive, and grow, and shape ourselves only by our interactions with others…the people whom we like, love, hate, tolerate…

The process by which some bonds are much deeper than others is a mysterious one. Yes, one’s family is always much closer to one’s heart than anyone else, but *why* should it be so? There is really no “right” answer to that, it is just so…and it’s a stronger rule for having the odd exception…I have certainly seen brothers and sisters who are barely on speaking terms with each other.

The bond of mutual trust, loyalty, and affection that grows between two people who share what is euphemistically called a “relationship” always amazes me, though. Here are two people who have spent their formative years in very different circumstances; but yet, once they have met, a bond grows that is more important to them than all the others they have. A and B become the people who matter most to each other; and they present a united front to, and often against, the world. The room where I sit with my spouse at the end of the day is OUR space, inviolate; no matter that he is reading something and I am typing this. This is us, and everyone else is one level further away. So too do all “couples” feel…and whatever the arguments and disagreements they have, this feeling of oneness is what defines a relationship.

But sometimes, that relationship doesn’t develop at all. Is the human being who is not in such a relationship somehow incomplete? The debate rages about this. Many people (including myself) are of the opinion that the feeling of completeness or incompleteness depends upon the person, and hes need for having someone else in hes life.

For many such people, close friendships take over the space of The Relationship; such people thrive upon their closeness to some of their friends, and lead happy, full lives.

And yet, sometimes loneliness pull apart the veil and looks through the eyes of “single” people; they want the ties of love that, for that brief moment, at least, they feel that they lack.

What is even more complicated to me, is when loving relationships break down. The breaking up of relationship is as difficult to understand as the building up of it was. Why do two people, who have been so comfortable with each other, begin to feel discomfort? It’s as tough to understand as the sudden yellowing and withering of a leaf upon the branch of a tree. No, the analogy is not correct, because there are many relationships that do not wither at all. Some…just do.

Human relationships are mysterious complex entities, but none more mysterious and impossible to analyse or grasp than the relationship between two adults that makes each one say of the other, “That’s the Special One”. The bonds of parenthood, which alone (in my opinion) cause stronger ties of affection, can be explained by genetics; but the bond between two people often defies all rational logic.

Is one, then, lucky to have such a relationship even if it is to break later and cause unutterable pain? Or is the one who has never had the experience either of such joy, or such pain, the luckier, because life has been far more even-tenured?

These thoughts have been churning in my mind because three couples I know are in various stages of breaking up, much as I feel miserable about what is happening, I realize that I must accept things as they are. One of them is a gay relationship, and the breakup has even more ramifications than usual.

One young heterosexual couple, who were initially very worried about how their parents would accept their relationship, have just sent me the invitation to their wedding.

Four…yes, four….single women have talked to me in the recent past; one is very content with her present life, and is glad that she did not go through with the marriage (she broke off the engagement amidst huge consternation in her family); another envies me the approaching grandchild, though she, too, appears content with her life the way it is; one is dealing with loss and the bereavement of her loved one, and does not feel that any other relationship could even begin to happen; and the fourth has confided that she loves another woman, but there is neither any reciprocation that she is aware of, nor will the society she lives in sanction such a relationship. She has, therefore, avoided getting married as she says that will be unfair to both herself and her spouse; she has opted to live a fairly difficult life, being just an aunt living with her sister’s family.

Musing on all this, the only conclusion I can come to is….that if one is in a steady, caring relationship, whether within the marital framework or not, whether a different-sex relationship or not…one must be thankful for the affection that one gives, and receives.

In an argument…

January 5, 2009

When two people argue, how much one person takes offence seems to be a function of how insecure that person is about the relationship between them.

And when two people argue, it is necessary, always, to get both sides of the story, very carefully, and reconstruct the story of What Actually Happened as opposed to What Happened According To A (or according to B..sometimes the stories don’t even tally!)…. It is equally important not to take sides, though sometimes both your friends will say you are taking the other side! If both complain, you know you are being fair. 🙂

Friendships are not worth dropping for any but very dire situations. Even if my diamond necklace fell into some mud on the road, I would pick it up, clean it carefully, and wear it again.

Sometimes my friends get together with other friends whom I have introduced…and then they proceed to exclude me, not with any particular intention, but they have conversations and discussions, plans and meetings, neither ever thinks of mentioning to me….that’s happened to me at least once; recently, when I found it happening again, I talked about it to both people and asked that I not be excluded…. I was once told, “the other person whom you introduced is ten years younger than you, so that person is a better friend than you.”

I have had, a few times in my life, friends dropping me altogether, too. It has never, really, stopped hurting. I do wish they had talked and not just walked…out of my life and my friendship with them. But I guess, not all friendships break up in fireworks and angry words…some just…wither away.

I think one of the saddest things I know is the shell of a close friendship, where you say hi to each other, but there is nothing really left, and you can feel the void where the affection was….you wonder what happened, where it went…and there are no answers, only the hurt that you feel.

This also happens when you disagree with something someone says, and the instant response is, “this is it, we are not friends any more.” Sigh! How would I be a good friend if I only said what the other person wanted to hear? I need to tell the person what I think and feel about it.

Oh well, nuff filo sofee; what do SAP Programmers have for breakfast? Or just plain ordinary saps? (Well, you are not one, dear reader, and neither am I, but all that unwashed public out there….)

This one is especially for prashanthks and vidya_m_82….!