Friends are like books. Some are thrust on you, some come recommended, some you get to know through other books, sometimes you like what it looks like and take an effort to get to know what is inside. Then there are those rare ones, that seem to be just waiting for the right moment. It is as if you were destined to meet, you would not have heard about it ever, but the moment you lay your eyes on the jacket and read the blurb, you know your life is never going to be the same again. The connection is instant, and you treasure them for life. They inspire you, guide you and talk to you like no other can, the impact is beyond definition.
Solitude, when thrust upon you, transforms itself into loneliness. It was during one such period seven years ago that I turned to blogging. Confined to bed, lest my impatient daughter came out earlier than expected, the boredom was frustrating. Blogging was very new to me, and I could not understand why people would want to share their lives with total strangers. The first two posts were tentative, more like testing the water in an ice cold river with the tip of my toes. When you talk about something that you really love, words flow easily. If the person on the other side share that love, the connect is instant and the conversation turns into pure joy. The third post was straight from the heart, friends who know me well would know my obsession about ducks. Incidentally, wordpress statistics for the past two years say that most people who wandered in here was lured by ducks and ducklings. Anyway, let me not digress. So, imagine my pleasant surprise when someone whom I never knew before came in and started talking about my soul food and the nostalgia of my favorite haunts.
He went missing in the next couple of posts, but by then I was a die hard fan of his blog. The admiration for his writing turned into awe as I learned more about him as a person and a ‘survivor’ as he has named himself in his blog. Reading about people who have survived major accidents and setbacks in life always leave you with a pang in your heart. But as you rush along with life’s strong and powerful currents, they are soon forgotten. This was someone different, he had to face a painful setback just when his dreams were coming true; and he refused to leave my mind. A major factor could have been a selfish pride that someone as awesome as him considered what I wrote worth commenting on.
Books are one of the few obsessions I have sustained since childhood and for me the ultimate anyone can be is being an author and a successful one at that. The fact that my new friend was an accomplished author was an added thrill and there I was, dreaming about getting autographed copies of all his books that I was ready to go out and buy. It lasted till I read the list of his books – all Greek, Latin and even Arabic to the dummy that I was and still is. But then, it is not for nothing that Paulo Coelho said that the whole universe conspires when you really long for something. I jumped and grabbed at his offer to send me an autographed copy of his first non-technical book. The fact that it was about something and someone whom I knew about was the proverbial cherry on the topping.
The friendship grew as we hopped to and from our respective blogs. In true Kerala Nasraani style, we even found common relatives. His posts continued to inspire and awe me, and his sense of humor was inimitable. His comments on my posts were something that I looked forward to eagerly. Even after a couple of long breaks in between, the moment I came back, there he was, with his encouraging words. Common interests were varied, hilarious tales from college, kids and their wise words, reading, life, he even shared recipes, how could I not love him? His writings are thought provoking, the style is simple, down to earth and no nonsense and he talks straight to your heart. You are never left wondering how he would be in real life, his words tell us what his soul is. My only gripe is, off late his posts are few and far in between.
Who is he and why am I writing about him, you ask? Well, I would let Reader’s Digest talk about the who part. As for the why, what I write about here is normally about people, incidents and places that have touched me to the core , changed me for the better, or has left a deep impression on me. When all these come together, how can I not share the joy with you all?
This is to send out a big thank you to someone who barely knew me and has turned out to be a part of my life, who takes the time out to encourage and reach out , and most of all, believe in me and what I am capable of.
Dear Alexis, this is also a salute from my heart to the true survivor that you are , to the inspiration that you are to so many and to that never dying spirit that always strive to look at the bright side of things. If I can be even a quarter of the great human being that you are, I could say that I have lived a good life.
p.s. you can read more about him here