The End of a Long Friendship

He knows me since my childhood. I was introduced to him by my mother when I was very young; my mom asked me only to share my distress or happiness to him and he will take care of you always. He will not give you any reply when you speak to him; he will just listen, smile or keep a face with a benign expression. My family went into great trouble when I was 6 years old and no school for me as my family was moving from one place to another like nomads. I yearned to go to school and asked him when I would go to school. He never replied. I was put in school in the fourth standard directly. Because of the mysterious circumstances in my family and everyone was in some way against each other and I was more a source of irritation or luggage. I was too timid to ask for anything as I hardly understood the situation. He never cared. But, he made me a bit important once I joined the school. He allowed me to be a comparatively bright boy. Luckily, after this, my studies were not interrupted and notwithstanding the financial and emotional crises in the family I completed my engineering. He tried a bit to pull me down during my last year but luckily, he himself changed his mind and I came unscathed.

But, he made my job hunt tough. I was not very communicative and never a genius in my subject. I was lanky and silly faced and none who interviewed me neither liked nor sympathetic towards me. Well, why should they?

After some testing situations, he made me study further. I completed my post graduation. I landed on a job also immediately; but, a useless one. Soon I had to leave as the company went bankrupt. Again, he made me go for job hunt. This time he was very considerate. I entered into a research organization and after three years of temporary position, with several hurdles from silly to serious ones, somehow, I landed on the job. But, after that it was a sort of smooth sailing for me. I continued to trust him and thereafter he pushed me into better positions and assignments. I was happy with him and never failed to thank him for every act he did for me.

In the course of time I never thought of having a family of my own like every human being. I thought my siblings, mom and aunt are my family and I need to support them till their last. Further, he too made me realize that I am no ‘normal person’ but a sort of abnormal human as per the norms of this world. After my job and its smooth sailing, I stopped asking him any favor except a few that also for others. He obliged most of the times to my recommendations.

He has made me draw, paint since I was young. He inspired me to learn and enjoy music. He made me love books. He introduced me to the great happiness of having good friends. He induced me to learn music but he himself aborted it quickly. He made me write; that gave me a lot of satisfaction. He made me feel that had my dad been alive he would have been proud of my language skills.

Well, he helped me to complete my career in the area of study I have chosen in a gracious manner. But, yeah, he never gave me a ‘normal’ life. He betrayed me and put me alongside with contempt, I should say. My personal life has nothing to boast in any form; I could never own a home of ample space, beauty and aesthetics I always dreamt. Whenever I tried to make an effort for that he had the knack of scuttling it quickly. Nor could I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I have no extended relationships. I am alone and I am isolated.

Now I am in the evening of my life. In retrospect, I wondered have I ever demanded anything extraordinary from him in my life. None; in fact, what all I sought were just basic. Even in them, not all are extended to me.

While mentally thanking him for giving me at least ‘this’ life I had the time to muse about many of my peers who also enjoyed all the professional benefits given to me but without any efforts or achievements. Some of them are absolute duffers with no knowledge of even simple English or showed sincerity to work. For example, one colleague had spent  more than 3 decades without any tangible output except shifting to five different divisions and had been on long leave for more than one and half years. But, for him every interview and promotion was just a cakewalk while it was a tough bargain for me. The other who was a filtered idiot and till last he was unabashedly saying ‘I does not know’, ‘You does not know’ and got away with it. His handwriting is worse than that of the scribbling of a toddler and it is just difficult for him to write one sentence without error. These are just a couple of examples. There were many and there are still. But, I know he was ‘very kind’ and ‘supportive’ to them, showering them with greater benefits than he offered to me.

When I compare these cases, I felt that he had not done anything special for me while I was all along respecting him, celebrating him and giving him due credit even for any small favor he extended to me. The fact was that at every step I had to struggle to get even my genuine due. In the later days, he turned deaf even to some of my very honest requests not for me, but for persons who were close to me.

I started wondering.

There are friends and acquaintances that come and go in our long life. Do we always need them? No. Some walk along with us and many part ways during the journey at some point. We don’t even hear from them who had once been very close, near and dear to us. We also actually do not care much.

So, why should I hang on to him alone who has no qualms about betraying me on many instances in spite of my sincerity to him? As I mentioned some come and make their presence felt, be there for some time and then vanish in thin air. Let me put it this way; you consider one person as a close friend to you for some years. You like, love and respect him so much. He reciprocates your qualities sometimes and remains indifferent at times. You maintain your love and respect unconditionally. So, even then you keep posting to him about your welfare and what not. Suppose he doesn’t care or respond at all? You also try many times but to no avail.

What will you do? Should you keep on hanging on to him?

You also should try to be indifferent and keep quiet. It is inevitable. The camaraderie is over. Every relationship seems to have an expiry date. No more hearings or favors. Just let that friend be anywhere; let him be happy. It looks like he doesn't miss you because he has many things to celebrate. Try to forget him and move on.

That friend who you thought walking with you all along no longer exists if you start analyzing the favors and the many hindrances you met. So isn’t it better to keep you away from him and not to disturb or trouble him anymore. In fact, that is ‘the best’ way, according to me.

I read a quote recently; "Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy."

I am doing that only now. He does not need me anymore and so do I. So we have reached the end of a long friendship and parted ways.

That friend’s name is God.



More by :  G Swaminathan

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Views: 3486      Comments: 2

Comment Thank you Mr. Rao,

I was, in fact, skeptical about this confession as it is something, highly personal and how an outsider could view it. But, with your open mind and objectivity you have expressed yourself with, in my view, a very strong supportive statement. I am extremely grateful to you for this and also following and adding your comments on my essays. Thanks again.

G Swaminathan
20-Apr-2019 21:02 PM

Comment @Swaminathan: Thanks for sharing your spiritual journey for every one to read and relate with their own inner thoughts. Apparently, Mother Theresa developed doubts in her late life about the being of God and wrote to her confessor that she no longer gets a response to her prayers.

P. Rao
20-Apr-2019 15:33 PM