Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How to Build a Friendship. -Another Imaginary Letter to an Imaginary Woman Friend

Hii X,
… what’s new at your end? Same as usual? Good Morning once again.

So here I am enjoying my moment writing to you and enjoying in the thought of what you will think when you read this stupid mail from me. I know you will never reply back in reciprocal length and depth but still it is fun to try to understand what may go on in your mind when you read all this, which of course is not in fun but I really mean every word of it. Most probably you read my mails every day and get more and more and convinced that I am an idiot, but harmless nevertheless. Maybe you are good to me because you are too kind to make me sad by rejecting me. Some people are too kind and don’t feel like turning down other people for the simple fact that they just don’t have the heart to do so. I know you have a kind heart too, so I say this. After all it is not so easy to know a person fully. Isn’t it so?

In fact you have read that hen laying golden eggs story? The man killed the hen in the hope he will get MANY golden eggs !! My case with you also is somewhat similar. You are replying to my mails from time to time and are also talking to me everyday when I meet you. So whatever little bit I am getting from you as friendship I should be happy that man that got ONE golden egg everyday.. but NO!! I want to get all the golden eggs and here I am egging you with my same old plea be my friend be my friend ..-- be my friend.. Shit!! What a mad chap I am !! We are already friends! What is the doubt about that!! What more do I want from you!! I am sure you are crying now out of desperation..… thinking what have you done to deserve all these people around you who seem bent upon making you lose your sanity..!! Hmmm let me see if I can explain what mad thoughts go on inside my mind…sighhhh…I have read somewhere that the conversartion among people at office who are colleagues 99% of the time or maybe 100% time revolves around office gossip and office politics. Therefore concluded in that essay that this is the reason why friendships don’t flourish so much among office colleagues. After all to become good friends you have to share more than mere office gossip, like we do too most of the times. But the silver lining is that we do discuss some 5% of other things too, I know that.

I am enjoying this DESOLATE PLACE in my own way. I always enjoy wherever I am. Because for me -- enjoyment is a state of the mind… I look at life as a moment in eternity… when I am at home I have my family…THAT is a moment in eternity… when I am at office I have my colleagues , now THAT also is another moment in eternity ….the moments are all distinct, .here for now, and gone tomorrow, and a new moment will come… when I am at office the same happens….. when I am alone.. the same happens..

So what is common??………….. Me!! Silly!!! Since I am the SCF ("Same Common Factor"- Something like a HCF in Maths ) in every situation it is me who has to adjust isn’t it so. And I only have to adjust my reactions to the different signals that come in to me from different persons. Like when I am with you I always get good signals which make me feel comfortable and peaceful near you. That is why we need not even talk and you can very well go on working on your pc and I can sit for hours in front of you thinking of other things in my mind and yet not feel uneasy or make you feel uneasy. That is the positive nature of signals that flow from you to me. And who is responsible? You. Because you are a good person through and through. It is always the other person who is responsible for making one comfortable around him or her.

When I am with you too… it is me who has to adjust (like I have to check myself to see that I do what you like and avoid doing what you don’t like……....That is how I see any situation.. and since I believe Life is too short.. I believe in soaking in every moment of my life… whether it is at home or with you or here at this MOST DESOLATE PLACE! .. What about you? Would you like to tell me about yourself? What do you feel about such things? What do you think of life? Tell me if you are feel free enough with me today.

Don’t worry if you are not ready.. It takes time to believe, time to believe the other person and his intentions. But you do share a lot of your outer thoughts and personal problems with me already. I always promise that they will always be with me only and never let out to anyone else. Even if we have quarrels, which you say sometimes, which I will never have, as I keep telling you. The probability of my getting angry with you is zero now as I have accepted you as a good person and my friend too, of which I have very, very few in my life. Even here in my hotel room when I am thinking of you I am getting only GOOD feelings about you!! How can I , in such a case, ever get angry with you. Sad maybe yes, but never angry. Sad because one day you and I may be too far away from each other to maintain even this small friendship which we share between us today by virtue of being in the same office floor and sad because you will probably never keep in touch by mails or otherwise if we are far away as all said and done whatever I may be feeling about you is certainly not what you may be feeling about me. But sadness does not make a person spill out the other’s secrets. That’s why I keep saying that all your information is safe with me forever. I will always look at you as a friend of mine even if that is not reciprocated by you. Ah yes what I can give to you in return for this friendship, which I feel towards you is something which only time can tell. I don’t know myself as I am not really habituated in nourishing a good friendship for the simple reason that I don’t know how to because I don’t have many friends.

I have a real life story to tell you but I will not. But that story has a moral in it. It is about Faith being greater than anything else in life. From Faith comes every other relationship, be it love or be it friendship or be it companionship. The problem is that in a short span of your life you have met so many people like X, Y and now Z ONLY ...… gosh, I don’t blame you if you cannot have faith in men!! There are really so many such men around us that women are really not safe. Of course for the other type of women too it is therefore very easy to take advantage and shine in their lives taking help of such opportunities. Do you ever stop to think why so many men around you want something from you all the time? Some want to “talk” to you on sat evening after office (vc), Some want to sit beside you (ms). Some want to listen to you (me). Why do you think all have the same reasons? The reasons will be different depending on what they see in you. You will have to understand that aspect. That’s all is needed.

Since it is difficult to understand the other person, why don’t you have faith in yourself rather and then see what happens? Give enough rope to people and then pull it tight to strangle them if you see signs of negativity. Generally speaking, you should have just enough Faith to make you believe that it is YOU who have something great inside that makes people want to be your friend? Something in your character that makes people like me want to be near you some times? Something that is beyond your simple womanhood, which you never ever exhibit, rather something more strong like intelligence and charisma and friendliness and strength of character which you constantly emanate from your persona? The warmness of your nature and the kindness that is inside you which makes you more beautiful than any other women? Why don’t you have faith in yourself that this is the reason why some men like me want to be your friend? What is it that, at my age and with my nature whereby I can tell a woman to get out from my room, if she says I am after her like a cheap guy on the road, with my roughness and rude nature, I find inside you to that makes me softer and calmer whenever I am in your presence? It is YOU and your charisma. I really wonder nobody has ever told you this!!! Men like me don’t take advantage of women like you when they become friendly. Men like me have never therefore had girl friends or women friends and the likes as we never can hurt a person. We are not flamboyant we feel through our minds and thus we may get hurt but never hurt the woman we are friends with. And believe me we don’t go by what we see, we go by what we feel inside the other person. I can never be a friend with people who are shallow. We are different. I say ‘WE’ because I do believe I am not unique and there are many men whom you have met or will meet who will see you as a person and not a woman and will not misconstrue freeness and frankness and friendliness as an invitation to danger!! I know this is the reason you never reciprocate my long detailed mails and you will not reciprocate this either, besides the probable reason that while I may see something attractive in you, you may not be seeing, which is VERY NATURAL. But the fact that you do continue to reply to me shows that you don’t disbelieve me either. (Thank God!!). So that’s why I get the courage to say all this to you, because I feel that you will not reject me outright. There is some small liking for me inside you, and that goes beyond your simple need to have a “sounding board”, right? Some small traces of friendliness, which you feel towards me. Well, I wish it is so, I may be wrong still.

And then what is friendship? The definition of friendship changes as we age, develop responsibilities and mature. When we are children, friendship is a game. We play games with our friends and fight and we don’t go beyond that. At this age it is therefore easy to be friends with anybody. Like a boy arrives at a new locality. The other boys call him up and welcome him to join them in cricket and that’s the beginning of a friendship, which has no belonging as such but the only link is the game that play every evening. When we are in our youth, we start sharing some life with the other, sply if we are in a hostel together or bunk classes together or see films together or study together. This is the time when one develops that real best friend or special friend. At this age some maturity has creeped in and some definite will of our own, due to which we make friends with less number of people as we are now learning that we cannot adjust with everybody. The mental link that develops at this age is through common interests. Here also the signs of Love appear if the liking goes beyond a reasonable state. I am not talking of love here so I will not discuss this further. Now at an older age, the family status also matters. Here you will find that the individuals are completely grown up people and so just doing common activities will not sustain friendship. Here you will rarely find that a bachelor man is very welcome in a married family. Not because of the risks involved as much as the different ways of entertainment the two groups follow. Then bachelor will be more likely to go on binges, movies, outside food, staying out late etc. But the family, sply as it grows older and gets more responsibilities in terms of children growing older etc, will have other occupation and will not find time to go out anytime they want to or stay out late etc. So this mismatch is what prevents different types to become friends. This mismatch even prevents a single woman to become friends with a married man or vice versa, as the single woman thinks she is being looked at as if she is available for a binge or “something on the side” (this word was the exact word used by a man to his net friend. I know as that lady told me herself and how she got hurt at that revelation and how she kicked him out) and in the case of a single man with a married woman too the single man thinks the married woman is coming to him for something on the side. These things happen as we don’t see relationships normally in our society. The wife will not like the husband to develop friendship with other women, single or married nor the husband will like his wife to develop friendship with another man. We have to live with that. But is it worth it in this short life? That we cannot do what our hearts and minds want, as long as it not something negative, meaning it hurts people and relationships. I think we can.

I will explain now. What is the common factor in all the above definitions of friendship that drives the relationships? It is the shared interest. Or the common ways of life or common likes and dislikes that two friends share between themselves. Like once you had a good time with your friends in office. Right? Can you think of any other factor? Yes. There is something else that drives friendship and if this clicks then the friendship can be everlasting pure/ platonic and irrespective of age or status of life. This comes from the mind. When two minds click it generates a friendship, which is blind. Blind to the looks, blind to the sex. That is why there are so many incidences of rich friendship thriving over the net , where we don’t even see each other so neither know what the other person looks like or even whether he or she is really a he or a she. They thrive solely because their minds have clicked and whatever they speak to each other and when they listen to each other the good feelings flow and so they remain friends. So what I am saying is that to answer your question to vc that day “why a man and a woman cannot become friends without the creeping of sexual intonations in India or the world” is because we don’t know how to become blind and trust your inner senses, our MIND. If we know how to become friends via the MIND we can overcome this obstacle. What does two person do in such a “mind friendship”, as I call it? One thing you have already done with me and do most times, using me as a sounding board. Yes a very good word you used!! Two friends whose minds have clicked, do share a lot of thoughts about their lives, past-present-future & thoughts about their day to day decisions with one another. It is always nice to have someone whom you can fall upon and talk to. It is required by all people, irrespective of how big their families are. One friend is required by all person with whom they can share even their family troubles, not that the friend can give good advice, but it sometimes happens that just by talking with that person you feel relaxed even if you may or may not get the solution, which most of the times comes from one’s within only. Such mind friends share mostly mental time together and so do not need to meet physically, can talk on phone, by emails or even face to face sitting anywhere, not necessarily at a coffee shop or any particular day and time like sat evening after office hours. They can do this even during office hours and in the passage or the staircase. Such mind friends don’t go out together to have fun together but go out together to share quality time and just to feel good and fun etc are just secondary outcomes. They may even go to the sabji market, for that matter, is what I am trying to say. Other than mind friends will rather go to the movies or drives or TGIF, if you get me what I am trying to say. Real mental friends can go out anywhere with each other as they don’t need the PLACE to support their time together, they have themselves to take care of that, unknowingly. Getting me? I am sure you have got what I mean by the definition of mind friendship. You don’t even have to TALK when you are with your mind friend. Do look back on your life and try to recall, did you ever have a friend like this? You may have had ..or maybe this situation happened to you momentarily when you felt comfortable with someone. That was it!! Of course all said and done, when a man and a woman becomes mind friends you cannot deny the chemical attractions, that is God’s gift to mankind. I am, though not talking about that.,
And to end this discourse on “friendship” I want to say this that in you I have seen a mind that is capable of this relationship. Now it is ANOTHER question with whose mind it can click. It need not be mine!!!!! Certainly it cannot click with everyone. And when you find such a person you will see that you will too have no problems in sharing your thoughts with him or her (not that it has to be a HIM, can be anyone) and you will not require to follow the established path of expressing friendship.

What I am saying is that I have always been asking you to be my friend (and “for life”—which phrase I will explain later today or later) …. I know you have never really reciprocated in a very OPEN manner.. No woman does that!! Nor DO I recommend such openness!! Because for a Woman in India such OPENNESS only attracts trouble. Now in situations of doubt how does one know what is right? Or what is not? okay? I say……. I say it is your inner faith which should guide you, your own intuition that is based on your faith in yourself and your ability to TALK the TRUTH and Listen to the TRUTH.

It is like this, If I know I cannot do no wrong, I can rest assured that I can resist if the other person wants to do wrong. If I know myself I should be able to know the other person too. If I am comfortable with myself and have faith that I don’t give out an image of what I am not, then why should I think that the other person would think me different? Yes there are fools who don’t see the signals and misconstrues but then I also have to have faith in myself that I can handle that . Isn’t it like that with you too?

Bye & take care [I think today I have really put my foot in my mouth, but I really like you very much and what more can I say about you than this? That should tell you something about you. And so when I say I want to be near you most of the times and I keep thinking of you or missing you I say all that with purity in my heart like a friend. Of course it would be untruthful of me if I also don’t say that I miss your watery eyes, they always seem to bring to me thoughts of the deep sea. You know what a sea signifies? Depth and mystery, You never know what is under those tons of water. So too when I look into those eyes of yours I get lost in the depth behind them. They are beautiful in that sense. Now don’t get red with either shyness or anger. Both are not good for health, the former for you and the latter for me !!!]



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