Fault Lines in the heart

This is not an article as much as it's a question - Why is it, emotions that we grow up thinking we will encounter from our foes, we land up receiving from our friends in grown up life? and in Friends, I include our co workers, team members, peers, acquaintances, neighbours, lovers, husbands, wives and even relatives, parents, siblings, children....and myself.

Envy, jealousy, anger, hatred, deception, lies, manipulation and other such emotions are not what you associate with a friend when you are kid playing in the park, having family dinners, attending school, sharing your first cigarette or your first love. Those festivals you celebrate, those events you attend, that game you watch, a shirt you buy....not in any one of those moments, the thought comes to your mind that even remotely suggests that one day these same people, you included will be faced with dangerous fault lines that would threaten to break everyone's heart.

And yet, this is exactly what happens. Was it always like this? Ofcourse we all know about Brutus but there was a time, not so far away, when I saw a friend of my father's from a small town visit us in our posh south Delhi residence. He was a man of modest means and a friend from my father's very early working days as a medical rep, stationed in a small dusty town in North India.

However, that day, as I saw them meet, hug and talk, I did not witness an ounce of any of these emotions that I am talking of. This was 1984. I was only a teen with my head firmly in the clouds but even I could perceive the love that night. It was true as was the respect, admiration, concern and support. The emotions that we do grow up thinking we will encounter from our friends.

Over the years, I saw that love grow and quite effortlessly. Yet, as I started growing up, I found myself often in the middle of these invisible cross roads, where I had to choose between facing the ire of a friend or taking him out from my life altogether. There just was never another option. Not that these friends or I did not try. God knows we did but it was never meant to be.

And yet, I grew up believing exactly that. I believed that there will always be an option. We will always rise above any fault lines that may develop between us. We, our relationship, felt invincible. Indestructible even. But when the axe struck....it all crumbled like a stack of cookies, we once shared from the same kitchen.

Ofcourse, today they tell me that it is also possible that the very reality I perceived as a kid of how it should be with friends was not a reality at all but just my perception of a reality. A perception, fantasy even. It seems logical but I don't want to believe that.

I don't want to believe that because I can't. I can't because, all the wisdom, maturity, practicality and hardness that we acquire as we grow up, does not make us capable enough to comprehend and accept that. No matter how many times it happens, between who and how badly. One still finds it unbelievable. I do. I do not believe that it was a skewed perception; I believe it was a reality. Maybe a reality that we cannot see anymore but a reality nevertheless.

Like I said, this is not an article, it is a question, I need an answer to.

Today, as I stand staring at what I feel may turn out to be the biggest turning point of my adult life, it is important for me to know my foes from my friends. So, do help me by sharing your thoughts or if you do have an answer for me.....


  1. Jyothi Muthusami3:05 PM

    You're right about the relationships shared in early years - they remain the same under all the trappings of age and maturity. And it is possible to recreate that time, those emotions. But one thing is our enhanced sense of ego as we grow. Also the entry of other people in our lives, which changes the equation of a relationship, which then has to be reset. Jealousy, possessiveness, feelings (real or imagined) of having been insulted... If we're unable to accept the changed scenario we suffer. Of course, it's up to us to decide whether the relationship is worth the effort. Some just aren't, in which case you cut your losses and move on. Sometimes people really do change for the worse, in which case cynicism is a good armour.

  2. JM, that's a damn good analysis.

  3. I think we miss the point when we try to define 'friendship'....and words of Gibran in the 'Prophet' which I am taking the liberty to quote, may be defines it the best as it should be.....but may be then again it may seem too utopian!!!
    ~ "Your friend is your needs answered.
    He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
    And he is your board and your fireside.
    For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
    When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."
    And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
    For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
    When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
    For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
    And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
    For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
    And let your best be for your friend.
    If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
    For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
    Seek him always with hours to live.
    For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
    And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
    For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
    Khalil Gibran ~

  4. Sharmila, Thank you for sharing the extract.

  5. parul burman5:18 PM

    relationships, i always believed are more importnt than anything. I dont like breaking any kind of relationship. i always believe that if there is a will, there is a way and there is nothing which cannot be resolved or forgiven, provided both parties take a step forward together to make that relationship again and maybe even stronger than before. But the fact is, in today's world, more than 50% of us now have started believing in casual relationships. They think that if one goes, they will find someone else. what they fail to understand is that this way, they shall keep losing people who were once close to their heart. Even among friends, they dont mind loosing old friends as new one shall come along. But i still believe tht old is gold. Once who is close to my heart, always remains close to my heart even if we go our seperate ways. I do my best to resolve misunderstandings, but if the other person is not willing, then I have to let go. But I will still love them and always

  6. parul burman5:30 PM

    and because now people have started believing that there are options available in life, they dont try enough to maintain any relationship and give up too soon. Hence, we receive even those bad emotions from our friends as now, many of us dont care enough .......

  7. Parul, Thanks for sharing ur views. I think a lot of this pain is also a result of multi level lives we lead today. maybe there are too many relationships to maintain or endure. People from Work, home, neighbors, social network, school, college, professional college, old colleagues, golf buddies, distant relatives, spouses friends, business contacts....list is ever growing and endless.

    On the other hand, our capacity to love is reducing because of the violent world we live in. So there is a demand supply issue with emotions.

  8. parul burman8:11 PM

    yes, i agree there are lots of relationships to maintain at one time and sometimes we are unable to balance all of them. So there shall be moments of strains. and yes, violence is another issue. Kids now a days play video games and their fav game is one with more violence, which unknowlingly becomes part of them. But still Amit, even if there is a strain in a relationship, the ones which are very dear to you, you would do anything to preserve them. Depends upon person to person as well. Some take life too casually and some too seriously. The main thing is to balance. but sometimes balance is not possible and have to let go few relationships. But if there is a will, any relationship can be mended even after years. A heart which knows to love, even if becomes dormant for a while always will have the power to love again and only love can bring back the love and mend relationships. so we should never give up on love. love those who love you. stay with those who love and care about you. and those who want to go out of your life, if there is nothing you can do to stop that, then let them go.


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