Trasparent reflections

Friendships - with a tad bit of existentialism and musings!


di Mukilan Suresh

Look around you and behold! All that you possess, right from your clothes to your mobile/computer that you are reading this on now and everything else is a reflection of you. Or at least, this is what you portray your reflection as, to the world.  The very intimate details of a person are intertwined to what they associate with or what they cling onto. This clinging on, is a basic trait in human nature. Ideas, beliefs and materialistic possessions are what guards you and me from going into an existential crisis. 

Everyone has a random stray thought that really questions your own morality and that of the society. But hold on to that unspeakable crooked thought, these thoughts do not actually define you. What defines you, is what thoughts you act upon and which part of this thought you manifest into the world.  To support my idea of why your fleeting thoughts don’t make you, an example in psychology is something called “High place phenomenon”, where people have a flash of thought where they would want to do something drastic or even lethal; but never act upon it. This phenomenon was known for ages (before being scientifically studied in 2012) and it even has a term in French “l’appel du vide”, meaning “the call of the void”. We humans are a mixed meat bag of walking contradictions and anxiety.

So, as an extension of what we have talked about before, what also defines you are your friends. No, I am not talking about the random people you have added on FB or that one person who weirdly likes all your post on Insta. I am talking about people in real life, that you keep as regular company. The people who you do share your curiosities, your dislikes about a person, any other intellectual intimacies or simply the first person that pops up in your mind when you read/hear the word “friend”.  Friends are an extension of you – though everyone is an individual, people who you associate with defines what makes you, “you”. 

Come on! Still skeptical about this?  If you did not have some baseline of behaviour, character or ideologies met with the other person, you would not have been friends with this person. This reflection of you and your friend in this world, has a very complex and intriguing dynamics. Now, look again at you and your friends and tell me what do you see and do you like what the reflection beholds? This very reflection, ponder upon it and either allure in greatness or relinquish in detest of your very own creation, your everlasting friendships.

Here is an ancient poem from Tamil to get your cognition coils lit up and spark:  

Oro, corallo, perle e smeraldi

Sono nati in luoghi assai distanti…

(uno sottoterra, un altro nelle profondità del mare e

un altro ancora nelle foreste, sopra alle montagne…)

Nonostante le grandi distanze tra i loro luoghi di nascita,

Quando si creano dei bei gioielli, essi si ritrovano tutti assieme.

Allo stesso modo, tutti i buoni cercano e trovano i buoni.

(…il luogo di nascita non è importante…)

e anche i cattivi…

(Poesia Tamil del periodo “Sangam”, circa 2700 anni fa—di Kannakanaar)

Although the places of birth of gold, coral, pearl, and emerald are separated far and wide and of different characteristics: (gold deep down the earth-yellowish, others in deeper and shallow sea (coral-red, and pearl-white), another in the high mountains (emerald-green), they all come together while a precious ornament is set. In the same way, good people always find (and join) similar kind—so is also true for the bad ones!

(This poem is in the collection of 400 poems called, “Purananooru” dating back to above 2700 years-written by a poet called KANNAKANAAR, during the glorious Sangam period of Tamils).


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