International Dog Day: Time to switch your inner animal!

Many years ago, there was a political leader who turned down a top leadership position after listening to his / her inner voice. But who was talking is a mystery that I hope to unravel here. It’s a transcription of my inner voice!

Do you find it tough to be a human being? I mean HUMAN being… not just a human being. Probably. Because inside of each one of us there is an animal and its instincts and natural behavior often overpower our human finesse which is mostly acquired in the schools of life – home, school, at work, and around the world. It’s because of all these acquisitions we are called Social Animals! Basically, we as social animals know what it is to stand and stay upright through our lives but rarely do! Because of our inner animals!

But which animal is a key question.  Is it domesticated or wild? Is it a dog or a cat or an elephant or a giraffe? Or a mouse? that runs away with each keystroke?

If you read the jungle book, you will find that each of the inhabitants of the jungle has their own fish to fry in a manner of speaking and has developed instincts on how to do it over centuries of practice.  Uniquely all the animals in the jungle are in congruence with their inner animals – because they are one and the same. No conflict. Just inflict. No philosophy. They just do it even if they can’t afford the Nike shoes – They must buy four remember?

But humans? their inner animals always try to escape their human cages, especially when it’s dark, and he is alone. No matter how hard the human tries to bolt the cage – he is only able to do it in the sunlight when people are around. Sometimes not even then. The Animal in him is involuntarily rusticated! It comes with practice.

But most, if not all humans, would love their animal to be a dog… Not an aggressive Rottweiler or Doberman, but a gentle pom, or a Lab, which they can let out both in the dark or in the sunlight in the fond surety that they will not be embarrassed, imprisoned, ridiculed, or trolled.

Very often you don’t get a choice when you are born to choose your inner animal. In fact, you don’t have control over most of the important aspects of your life – yet you fight for them as if they were your own! – Your date of birth, your name your religion, your date of death, and its manner. That’s why the International Dog Day celebrated on Aug 26th each year is an important event in every human being’s calendar!  It is a reminder to each of us that a switch of animals is due. some make it. Some cant. Some don’t even try. They remain happy with tigers in them.

But seriously, the day was founded by Animal Welfare Advocate and Pet Lifestyle Expert Collen Paige. …  Its aim is to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of (human) dogs that need to be rescued each year. If a dog lover, one will do it for free and spend a fortune thereafter. If not, well, you may still be able to nurture one inside. Take him for a walk, let him off the leash – he won’t bite if you have treated him right – and get him a chew toy. Nothing compares to it – whether internal or external because they know what love is. in fact, they don’t know any other word, four-letter or otherwise. If they did, they would still be none the wise for their inner animal is always in sync with them. It’s we who have a problem that we want others to solve… and there lies the beginning of social disorganization – something our sociology books go on and on about but without knowing its secret!

A dog’s love transcends breeds, creed, colour, size, or shape and is a joy to behold. Their tongues wag as much as their tails but it’s only to signify their love and longing for human company. And because they love unconditionally, they endear themselves to humans, and humans can understand them as if they were living in a dog’s world – their body language, their bark – from a helpless yelp to a warning growl and a call to play!  You can’t do that with a bird, or a tiger can you? Or a fish. And if you have them in you better make the switch soon by adopting a dog.

Coz your relationship with other animals is commercial – whether it’s for milk eggs or meat. But with a dog – Oh that’s different. It’s symbiotic. He pulls your love strings, even as you pull his play strings. And he’s not bothered about your purse strings. That’s a rarity. It’s a relationship that history says began 14000 years ago. They came hungry to the campsite, and at first, tried to feed, but were outrun, caught and fed. And this bonded them forever. Try feeding a cat and see if it stays with you or in you…

The human dog – the one inside of us – teaches us to love – both, to give and receive. Sometimes we wag our tongue to signify it, sometimes to fry it. This is because we don’t have that basic love instinct. We must cultivate it, even though we consider ourselves superior!  Cultivation is hard especially in times of drought. You’ve got to pump the water!

Have you seen a dog sad? Depressed? yes sure, when you are away, or you ignore him. Once sad and depressed, it will work on you, and you will experience what it is experiencing… you may even despise your inner dog and try to harm it. But don’t. All it takes is a kind word and the dog will wag its tail and you can get back to wagging your tongue!

And they make you jealous because they too are possessive. If you really love someone you will experience it too. But the dog goes one step further. Deep down it hates your act, but it does not stop loving you, even if you pat a better-looking more interactive and intelligent dog! And we must be intelligent enough to realize and learn from that.

They tell us how to find love, give love, grieve with us, all because they understand our human frailties and our language both body and oral. They empathize, never sympathize. They expect us to learn from them, or they will switch hosts and leave us with our demons and tigers.

They even know where to poop – if you train them as your parents trained you and if they don’t then you will have to pick up after them. It’s because you didn’t either love, talk to, or just listen to your inner dog when he yelped, growled, whined, or just barked in frustration….

You could love and nurture your inner animal whichever it is, but I advise you to make the switch, not because the word rhymes with the word you use for a female dog, but in spite of it… It’s just my inner dog’s advice that he has freely given to keep you on a leash until next week!

Disclaimer: This article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Image by Randy Rodriguez

Reality Kings!

Sushil Kumar, who became the first person to win Rs. 5 crores on the popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, revealed in a Facebook post last year that his life fell apart after his overnight success. Incidentally, Kaun Banega Crorepati is gearing up for its 13th season, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.

Sushil Kumar, who found fame after his victory on KBC in 2011, wrote on Facebook last year that he was subsequently cheated by business partners, became an alcoholic, and that his relationship with his wife suffered because of this. But thankfully as the article concludes, his life is back on track. Sushil returned to Mumbai as a teacher, and quit drinking in 2016. He said that he stopped smoking in 2019.

Indian Idol 12 has just concluded, and Big Boss has just begun.

It’s a mountain to climb to win any of the regional or national reality shows – you are richer for the experience in more ways than one as the Indian Idol story reveals, and if you win you are rich in more than just experience.

But it is then perhaps, your lack of experience will come into play unless you learn very fast to deal with the fleeting fame – the next season brings a new hero, and all you will have are a folder full of memories on your laptop or mobile… some time with no space left for anything or anyone else…

And then what do you do with your winnings… and the pinings? If the latter overtakes the former, then it is best to remember Rudyard Kipling…

“If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;”

First, there was only beauty and that was our reality. We could appreciate it, and when they spoke, they were even more beautiful! Even before they told us India’s got talent, we knew everybody’s got talent – now you see it, now you don’t, depending on the circumstances. Today though, somehow you must see it in yourself or in another…. That should be your talent….if nothing else.

Reality shows are everywhere on TV from News from Afghanistan, to singing to General Knowledge, from Comedy to Dancing and of course living with other human beings – it’s really tough in the Big Boss House… just as tough as living in your own house with your spouse. That’s all there is left of the family.

And the reality is…. age is just a number. The younger you are, the better it is, the older you are, well, the more bitter it is… its best you promote your kids for the show!

And then, of course, there is another reality, or is it a fantasy that it is all fair? Naw, there must be a dark horse to balance the odds and spice it up!

Added in of course, like salt and cider to the curry at dinner after the show, is the romance of the challenge, of the triumph over adversity, of perseverance of the diligence of hard work… It’s a fairy tale, that wags your tail…

These shows, that convert Rags to Riches, Ragas to Melodies, Shakes to Grace, and Rain to Rainbows are the in thing nowadays –  for all sections of the population that have been battered by the pandemic – watchers, voters, and aspirants. As they audition, for these shows, it’s life interruptus. Everyone’s focus is on the “grand finale”. Sometimes the grand finale can be your grand beginning, or it can be a grand finito! 

Everybody likes to live somebody else’s reality – it’s our fantasy that we hope will turn into our reality tomorrow. And what’s wrong with that – everyone needs a fairy tale that is their own.

But what is impressive is how the contestants bond and lift each other up as they go along towards the final rounds…language starts as a barrier, but in the end, it’s a carrier…and in some cases becomes a career. Relationships blossom, the Network grows and for some Net worth grows with each show – especially the producer! 

But we must have courage, determination, talent (at least a little bit) and support of the family, community and even our village…

Because in the end, it’s the votes that matter – which makes one wonder why politicians don’t win these shows. Because they don’t audition for them, They are busy with their own reality show – one without an age bar, but plenty of other bars if you are behind them. The challenge is to put others behind them first! It too is a television reality show, that comes every few months and can beat all the Reality shows put together hands down. There is dancing, singing, there is a comedy, and of course tragedy and the challenge of living with others in the same big house in Delhi!  

Even as we strive to reach our grand finale, the reality of our reality comes back to haunt us every minute of every day – when we look into the mirror, when we see the messages from our banks, when we get a hospital bill or any bill for that matter, or just handle the challenges of living with our neighbours. We turn to the Bigg Boss for solutions and hope…..

Life is the best reality show…. a show without end, that provides for multiple winners, multiple seasons, and a chance to renew every generation. It’s a game that sometimes leaves you with fame, sometimes lame. Just love it.. at least until next week, when there’ll be a new shame! 


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Image by imageworld

An Independent Thought…. a few days later

India was celebrating its 75th year of independence from Western Domination across the nation on Sunday, August 15, 2021, but chiefly from the Ramparts of the Red Fort, the iconic seat of power of the erstwhile Mughals who hailed from, or at least had an umbilical connection with Afghanistan, when pics of Afghan and other nationals scrambling to run away from their own freedom fighters came through on television. It seemed that one man’s freedom was another man’s bondage. But that is the reality of Geopolitics – its BDSM at its best. There is no Black or White, and certainly more than fifty shades of Gray.

The coincidence of the return of the Taliban to Kabul and the celebrations of India’s 75th Independence was striking – both forces inimical to each other, in the neighbourhood and with implications far beyond the safety of Indians there… A whole new way of thinking and responding to the situation will have to be thought of…. a new relationship through the popular Zoom perhaps, for the time being till the masks are no longer necessary?

The scenes were tragic without a doubt. Fear was writ large over the face of the Afghan populace and the US was left looking like a sheepdog that couldn’t protect its own sheep as it has done so many times before starting with Vietnam. It had that sheepish look after the wool seemed to have covered its eyes after being repeatedly sheared of its body… But then how do you blame a sheepdog that is used to rounding up sheep on the plains when it has to do so in the mountains with no support at all, not even from its own kind? When enough says enough, it’s more than enough!

What was unique about the Afghan freedom movement though, was the fear of the people being freed – fear of their own freedom fighters – not fear for their freedom fighters which was the case in India. This is something that must find mention in psychology journals.  It’s unusual for a man to fear his own! just as it’s unusual for bread to fear butter, but for the fact that it knows it’s going to be toasted! While it may be unusual, it is not rare; the form it takes mutates like the Covid virus. Sometimes the fear is born out of history, at other times from the fear of loss of what has been…rarely is there joy of what might be..

Although the Taliban’s advance to the capital was expected, the rapidity with which it reached there and the chaos that followed was unexpected to say the least – But it seemed that the freedom the Afghans desired was not to be found in their own freedom struggle, but in western domination – in total contrast to India. Indians believed in their freedom struggle and freedom fighters and expelled the westerners.

They used the terms Independence and Freedom interchangeably – They had the freedom to interpret, and the Independence to decide what was best for them. But both freedom and independence were collective concepts. Collectivity has constraints – the largest number is the prime number! and the smallest ones are dissolvable in themselves! Occasionally they are indivisible….

Naturally, over 75 years, difficulties arose when the concepts of Freedom and Independence had to be applied to individuals, who were waiting for the cascading effect to reach them, like in a waterfall? the provision of choices, the option to choose and the independence to make that choice without influence in any way – well that’s a tough ask for a billion people, who each wanted their own varied choices which were presumptive of both Independence and freedom…

There was the chance that their choices may impinge on another’s causing imagined or real grievous emotional, or physical hurt…and as the good doctor will tell you inflammation in any part of the body will cause pain and dysfunction throughout.

It was then that the concept of Reasonable Restriction came to the fore. It was BD without the SM. But for the greater good. The reasonableness of such restrictions is always debated, and when the debate reaches the tipping point it is restricted by a new restriction! And like in BDSM, some do enjoy being restrained, or even better, watching others restrained!

Can’t have too much of that…. it will be called unreasonable.

So, the concept of Democracy – the choices of a majority extrapolated to all – is a kind of steroid that reduces inflammation and does seem to have worked for the large part, keeping the inflammation under control, though eruptions occurred from time to time, and with it progress – lake beds converted to high rise buildings, Bullets to bullet trains (it’s bulleted), people to statues, and forests to trees! Incomes grew, Incomes flew, and in the scramble for money, many were left behind to rue… But what to do, progress has a price, at least they get their rice…. some would say on TV.

100% happiness or satisfaction is an impossible statistic in a democracy, unlike in a CBSE result, and so one must settle for the percentage one gets… There is a pass mark – 51% and getting there is not easy – like in all exams, hard work, sleight of hand, smart thinking, a bit of copying and allying with the guy in the backbench can get you through. If all fails, one can ask for a revaluation even if the cost is in crores per paper. Theocracies and Autocracies have a different yardstick to measure people’s happiness – it is measured from afar like the Forehead thermometer!

Over the years the concept of power too changed. It was now not mere electricity that connected, but the electricity that burnt, and short-circuited at will. It powered up some, and electrocuted others, till they emerged from the ashes to challenge the status quo! and then the wheel turned over again… It is a wheel that is pushed around by someone or the other, like when we were kids running behind a rolling tyre with a stick! The Formula 1 of yore!

Society too has progressed from multipolar to binary and the gender divide between Aunty nationals and uncle nationalists is growing wider with truly little space or recognition for those in between, the true nation lovers!

Despite all the potholes – and we are well used to them – we are thankful there is at least a road we can follow to some conclusion. We are bound to reach somewhere – bruised and battered along the way maybe – but on the way. While on the road, we can still enjoy a bite of our choice (subject to RR) and stop and rest if the journey takes a toll on us, or just quit… That would be whole a new movement for the history books which are being rewritten from our perspective!

Indeed, we have been asked to remember the horrors of partition by those who have not experienced it as they were born after the event – to remember, so as not to forget, not to forget so as not to repeat… But the fear is, memories may evoke a desire, and so is it not better to part with them forever?

Back to Afghanistan, and the Taliban, which is beginning its second innings, hopefully having learnt from its first – Anything can happen in a test match and the second test between England and India provided a prime example… It was freedom at midnight all over again!

 Jai Hind! 


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Photo from pixabay

LifeonStreets#9: Keeping the Balance

It’s a delicate balance
These pots on a pole
Just a wee little tilt
And they’ll be all askance.
I’ll get it right, of course I must
Coz’ if I lose poise,
Them pots on the pole
Will no longer be whole.
And ‘tis not a pot to imagine me
Squatting on this very road
With a tinny begging bowl!
I’d lose my soul.

pic: Sanjay Sunart

Circumstantial Evidence that can help you win!

Neeraj Chopra, the pride of India, the Media, and the Government, in that order, won Gold at the Olympics with a Javelin Throw of 87.58 Meters, a first for India in Track and Field Events at the Olympics, the pinnacle of all sports in the world barring cricket (Golf included).

He had to work hard for it and pass an exam – without a prior exam pe charcha – where the toughest questions were asked of him and his abilities. He passed with flying colours – literally, as the javelin went flying from his hands much like the magical weapons of the Indian Epics.  But he prepared well – all by himself, overcame many hurdles, and brought home the gold, which was prayed for, and hoped for.  Expectations weighed heavy on him even though the Olympics was held in Tokyo, not Dubai. And, though the customs were on duty, ever vigilant, they did not impose any duty – they were doing their duty with pride as is the custom among the civil services…

India’s medal wins at the Olympics this year was a great seven out a total of thirty-five since 1900.  Kudos to them. The medal-winning spree (7 is not a spree, but when they are scarce, or they power you up to forty-seven out of a hundred countries competing in the Olympics, it is) came from a diverse range of sports – from wrestling to hockey to badminton, track and field, much like the diversity of India.

The tally was India’s highest among all the Olympics it participated in, not because India has tied up with Japan to patrol the South China Sea, but because of the challenging work put in by the athletes and their coaches – incidentally, there was more than one foreign hand in the medal wins.  This time the foreign hand was not blamed, but welcomed and praised even, in phone calls that followed the wins!   But there was no phone call to one hundred of the one hundred and twenty-seven participants from India – the media did not rush to their villages for the roads were potholed and not paved in Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

Strangely enough, If the medal tally had been in the higher range, the struggling phone companies may have benefited immensely from the carrier charges that they would have accumulated; Possibly they may even have wiped out the losses and debt from the AGR dues they have incurred for preparing for just such occasions.  On the contrary, the media houses may have found it difficult to shift their meager resources from debatejeevis to village visits because none of our medal winners come from close to the studios in the city. In the end, it was a fine balance between the two…

Every game is played with winning in mind… and as the hit Swedish Pop Band ABBA said many years ago in song, “the winner takes it all”- the medal, the certificate, the phone call, the glory, and the attention from the media. The rest fall by the wayside invisible and unsung. Sustaining performance and fame (it only follows the former and nothing else) though, is a different ball game.  It needs more hard work and hand-holding and often, the hand that does the hand holding is the other hand…

The glory of winning a medal in India, or actually anything in India is extreme; it creates a desire to win in each one of us – all 1.4 billion of us. The reality is we may never; however, that is what we believe because of our survivor bias, and we must thank the media for this – only the successes are visible. The unsuccessful escape visibility, and therefore the bias is always in favour of success.

This is complemented by the feeling that as the winners, with hard work we will succeed too because many of us also share the circumstances of the winners highlighted by the media after their visit to the villages of the winners – the lack of sporting infrastructure, the poverty, supportive parents, family and in some cases, the community, and the passion and determination of the individual.

Well, it’s nice to believe that destiny is not at play and doesn’t have a say in this saga. But my feeling is that it is destiny that converts the bad to the good and the good to the great and gives you your moment of fame (or not) and then dumps you out of the frame to be replaced by another.  We plan our lives, but executive decisions are taken elsewhere, though the striving keeps us healthy… Do watch the film Mimi on Netflix to figure this one out.

People say it’s a question of Talent being given an Opportunity and Talent grabbing the opportunity to convert itself into a winning horse. But a winning horse has something extra – a desire to win, possibly born out of his / her circumstances.

Is it that these circumstances (see the previous para) are being created/sustained to ensure that this desire to win is born in more than a few? because there is another theory, the pool theory – the greater the pool of potential winners, the more the chance of one of them picking up the top spot…  It may be true if you look at Indian Cricket and recently even at Indian Hockey…

For the pool theory to work, you need a high R Factor (Reproduction Factor) in sport. Currently, the R factor is more talked about in whispers in relation to the Corona Virus, rather than in connection with sports.  Sports is a state subject but often finds itself stateless and on the refugee list… and there’s a reason for this. When the referee says “on your marks” all we think about is the Marks on the report card. And, Get set, Go means you are going to hear more on your marks from your parents or teachers or even peers…

The original R factor came from Education (Before Corona that is). This is evident from the CBSE Board exam results this year – The CBSE results saw a whopping 99.04 and 99.37 pass percentage in the 10th and 12th Boards, with 12% scoring more than 90% marks in the 10th Boards and 6.8% scoring crossing that frontier in the 12th Boards…  Wonderful news, almost akin to winning an Olympic medal for a nation that prides itself on its intellectual capabilities over its sporting ones. It is much more than the gold medal-winning effort of 87.58!

But let’s not judge them. It’s been a difficult year for students across the board – they never got to go to school, meet their mates, or even take exams under the vigilant eyes of an invigilator, while casting eyes about for help from any quarter. They learned however, how to mute themselves and keep themselves as invisible as far as possible. The reduced syllabus meant they knew less than what their seniors knew (the less we know, the less is there to forget though) – but would have to compete with them later in the job market. And they were tested; throughout the year, as were the teachers!

There’s a silver lining, sorry gold lining, for every cloud we see…. and all we need do is find it; and we found it – no board exams. Only Cardboard exams (Calculations).  Maybe it’s a just reward for the difficult year.  Anyway, life has its own board exams and is never bored of giving them.

Indeed, Life is an Olympic sized board game that tests our caliber every minute, not every four years; and we must use every minute that we are not successful, not visible to prepare for success, visibility, a phone call, and a media visit to our homes to chat up our folks.

The lesson is don’t change your circumstances if you want to win… Use them to power up your desire to win….

Folks, it’s time to stop reading and get down to work!


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

LifeonStreets#8: Race for Grace

Race for Grace – Sateesh
When you look at me look at you
I know you see a dramatic face
Wonder, longing and genuine despair
All mixed as one, with no repair.
We are just women, both the same
Nothing old, nothing new
Warming our kids in our arms apace
Like winter leaves do the dew.
What’s the difference?  Is there a trace?
Hardly any, yet it’s seen
In many ways and more than one
For the world is but a race for grace

You’ve Got a Friend (in me); one that makes you smile!

Sunday, August 1, 2021, was celebrated as International Friendship Day 2021 in India. In some parts of the world, it was celebrated on July 30 as mandated by the 65th UN Session in 2011. It was first celebrated in Paraguay in 1958 for a very commercial reason – to augment the sale of friendship cards by Hallmark. That objective is now a dead end as both cards and friends have gone virtual and friendship itself has taken on a new meaning with Artificial intelligence on social media platforms finding new friends for you from around the globe every day.  Open your FB page and you can find your tailor-made suggestions. Artificial Intelligence assumes that you can’t find or make your own and nowadays it might be true. It’s a skill most of us have lost.

I am celebrating it via my column today. Why I’m doing it is something I don’t understand because I might lose the friends I have, when they hear the home truths I must tell – but then again, I might make new ones, and that is a risk worth taking for friendship, don’t you think?

Forgive me for saying this, but Friendship Day was celebrated amid enmity everywhere – between individuals, between communities, between states, and between nations! the friendliest place perhaps was off Earth, – Mars – because there are no people there. A close second of course is the International Space Station – there’s no way out. And perhaps that is why islands of friendship wherever they are, are special and must be celebrated. It is certainly why I took the risk of writing this column on a precious lost commodity….

Friendship, unlike enmity, is difficult to cultivate and sustain because much is expected of a friend. Hand holding when the chips are down, encouragement when the morale is low, guidance when faced with dilemmas, criticism, and disagreement when there is incongruence between expectations (of anybody and everybody, but mainly society) and action, and putting up a stout defence in a battle that is not yours to defend.  That is a true friend. But the truth is hard to come by in this era of Fake News!.

You will find some of these qualities in all your friends, as they will in you, but never all these qualities in one of your friends.  That would be heaven and you won’t need a spouse.

A spouse is not called a spouse for nothing. He/she tries to be the embodiment of all that is needed in a friend, for a while at least. He / She puts her heart and soul into it expecting the same in return and there lies the rub (often with sandpaper).

We all know for a fact, that it always takes two hands to clap unless you are slapping your thigh or table, and over time, often one hand emerges stronger and more expectant than the other, leading to a discordant note in the clap. It gradually becomes the clap of thunder! The weaker hand must put in more effort if it must keep up the tempo… 

With friends like you – who needs enemies? is an oft-repeated maxim to a friend who disagrees with you. But he must, else he is not a friend, is he? You must not suspect him or stifle his dissent as your government does you – for it is the only true mirror on your wall. It’s a talking walking mirror that you can carry along with you to the market, to a date, to war even; except into your family – that would be a prescription for disaster. But most prescriptions cannot be read until too late.  You are lucky if you are a pharmacist! You will read it earlier than most!

If you have a friend that breeds on agreement with you, you are luckier! you automatically become a Superman, Spiderman and Batman rolled into one.  And your mirror will reflect that to your comfort. But at some point, you will grow out of those super clothes – and you might find yourself naked – because you can’t find your own; you discarded them long ago. That was not a good idea. They are best kept folded in the cupboard to be taken out and ironed when needed…

As the saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed. If you can fulfil that need. If you can’t, don’t or don’t want to, then well, it’s a seed, a seed of enmity, for what are friends for if they are not heroes in the night or knights in shining armour during the day? No matter the night is dark and deep, and the sun is bright and hot…when a friend is in need, you can’t be sitting, and smoking weed. You would be labelled a fair-weather friend; but who needs friends in fair weather?

Do friends last forever? The one you met in kindergarten and shared a bench through school and then went your separate ways. The one you met in college and careened around the college campus and beyond through night and day and when college came to an end, you said your goodbyes to without batting an eyelid? And those you met at work or through your other activities in society, what has become of them? And the ones you made after you got married or didn’t – it doesn’t matter – not to friendship! You made them your own and how! You would have made new friends at every milestone in your life, but the ones that last across milestones are the most precious. Precious yes, but the intensity diminishes as does the propensity to meet – except on social media – thank God for His small mercies; without them/it, we would be very very lonely in this world.

Although conversion is frowned upon, there is a FAQ… can an enemy become a friend to enable your ducks stand in a row? Well, I don’t have the answer to that, for I’m not a politician; but certainly, I’ve seen it happen time and again – and there are profound lessons to be learnt from this aspect of human interaction. Nothing is permanent – not friends, not enemies, not life itself. So, what’s the harm in calling a potato a carrot – both are root vegetables after all! 

Finally, one aspect of friendship that is rarely discussed; it is quite rare in its occurrence because of its inherent dangers! the Platonic Friendship. It’s a mountain to climb, and there is no peak and descent – just the plateau. But the breeze is pleasant, and it can be the proverbial breath of fresh air in a polluted environment. But what you need to beware (be-aware) of is contributing to climate change….

In the end, making and keeping friends requires, as Neil Diamond says in his classic hit Sweet Caroline, ‘reaching out, touching me, touching you’ – are you up to it? I did my bit… If you are not, go ahead and rely on AI!

I hope I’ve made more friends than I have lost with this literary celebration of friendship, and I want to leave you emotional (not in splits or tears) with the lyrics of a James Taylor song (lyrics by Carole King) – “You’ve got a friend (in me)” 

“When you're down and troubled

And you need some lovin' care

And nothin', nothin' is goin' right

Close your eyes and think of me

And soon I will be there

To brighten up even your darkest night


You just call out my name

And you know, wherever I am

I'll come runnin'

To see you again

Winter, spring, summer or fall

All you have to do is call

And I'll be there

You've got a friend


If the sky above you

Grows dark and full of clouds

And that old north wind begins to blow

Keep your head together

And call my name out loud

Soon you'll hear me knockin' at your door

You just call out my name

And you know, wherever I am

I'll come runnin', runnin', yeah, yeah

To see you again


Winter, spring, summer or fall

All you have to do is call

And I'll be there, yes, I will

Now, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend

When people can be so cold?

They'll hurt you, yes, and desert you

And take your soul if you let them

Oh, but don't you let them

You just call out my name

And you know, wherever I am

I'll come runnin', runnin', yeah, yeah

To see you again”


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Image by Here and now