Thursday, May 22, 2008

My success is not a reflection on your shortcomings...

Last week was a celebratory week as few of my close friends finished their masters’ thesis and/or exam. I am so proud of each one of them for their commendable achievement. In fact, this has been a big week for my posse and me. We did it! Two years of sweat and blood, but we are all Ivy League graduates at the end of the day. All of a sudden, it all seems worth it. Believe me; we are all immensely proud of our achievements. It's not because of where we studied from but how we did it. The incessant juggling: school, work, family, friends, sleep deprivation and yet we managed to keep our sanity intact. My father said something precious over tea the other day: “Managing a full-time job & part-time school is equivalent to working two jobs.” I couldn’t agree with him more. So, here is to all the brave warriors—my friends and classmates - a champagne toast....

At one of the soirees, a friend asked me something that opened my Pandora’s Box. She wanted to know if I had encountered aloofness and apathy from any of my friends when I shared my “Thank God, I am done with my thesis and that too with grace and good grades.” I smiled and replied in the affirmative. The people I hadn’t necessarily expected from, were present with gusto when I accomplished this significant feat; the few people, who I thought would be there, somehow failed to recognize the relevance of the moment. To be candid, at that time it hurt. Not because I thrive on public accolade; but all of a sudden, I had to reevaluate and decipher the meaning of “friendship.” It's from chosen few that you expect unpretentious responses and when they don’t come through, it causes distress—even if momentarily.

For the first time, I wanted to avert my face from the heart-wrenching epiphany I had: some people are your friends ONLY till they are in a “better” position than you —physically, financially, and emotionally. Look at the irony of the situation: “better” is such a self-determined, over-hyped, relative word. These people are like soul mates when life ridicules you, but the minute you attain something they don’t have or view it as “better,” their paltry personalities come crumbling down.

An insight into what my friend encountered: Apparently, few of her friends showered callousness cum ennui when she told them about her graduation. One of them dodged the email by asking about her hair salon. Seriously? The ignoramus’s attitude annihilated my friend. She said, “My acquaintances understood the importance of it; people I call my friends pretended that it all never happened. It’s like my success reminded them of their inadequacies. Maybe I need new friends.”

Sadly but truly, I believe, every milestone in your life makes you revaluate life as you know it. I say this because a big part of our life is shaped by people in it and sometimes these narcissists get squeamish with your coup. I think I have managed to efface the event from my memory; however, viewing life through a pragmatic prism has changed me forever.

The revelation has led to reshuffling in my life. I am glad this incident happened; I am more cognizant of “who” matters. I am not disconcerted or agitated. If anything, I feel pity for all conceited souls. Can you imagine waking up every morning feeling so insecure and picayunish? What an excuse for a life. I shudder as I write.

More until next time.
Xoxo

Copyright © 05.22.2008

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” -- Aristotle

6 comments:

Vizzy said...

good one

Pradeep Srivastava said...

Your obbservations are right on the money! I have been accused of being politically incorrect whenever I have said something similar in public, but truth is truth, albeit, "inconveniet", at times! To me, a true is friend is one who is happy when I am happy and sad when I am sad, but, in real life, very few people behave that way. If sibling rivalry is possible, I am not surprised to learn about the rivalry people have with their friends. Basically, human beings, as our scriptures say, are of three types, Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Only Sattvic people are happy to see others happy and sad to see others sad. Rajasic and Tamasic people are too envious to behave that way.

Anonymous said...

so true man.

M said...

I love it! Kinda made me sad all over again too

Bijay said...

Almost sounds like BUDHA REBORN.But as matter of fact this has been a cruel reality through ages of human civilisation.A good lot of us tend to bestow our benovelance only for miseries since,perhaps,this gives a satisfaction of being bigger than what you are.

A said...

Your blogs are excellent.