Mar 18, 2011

A Kaleidoscope of Friends

As we wrap up with the getting-to-know series, it only felt fitting to hear again from Mr. Balachandran V  whom we had started the series with. This way we make a complete circle you see... Special thanks to all of you for making the series a huge hit! It is not the idea, but the participation that excelled. So hats off to you!  Here's Balan Sir...
When I was a little boy in the ‘60s, one of my never-ending fascinations was with the kaleidoscopes that we had at home. They were invariably bought from Kanyakumari; there were cylindrical tubes, there were triangular shaped ones; some were a foot long, some, half a foot. I would spend hours peering through the kaleidoscope, rotating it or shaking it, as it produced infinite bejeweled patterns; each would be different from another. I was mesmerized, awed by them; and finally my curiosity getting the better of my aesthetic pleasure, I would tear them open hoping to see the millions of glass pieces in it – deflating my excitement, it would reveal a few pieces of broken bangles and rolls of old Tamil newspapers. The outer wrappers in brilliant red and yellow and green would swirl around me in sorrowful miniature whirlwinds.

Reading through NRIGirl’s (Hephzibah) series of interviews, which included mine, I was reminded of the kaleidoscopes of my boyhood. Such varieties of people, such different backgrounds, such different cultures, such different personalities! Like that little boy, I eagerly pounced upon the offer of interview and then blushed to find me sitting at the dining table all by myself! And then, Hephzibah slowly started rotating the kaleidoscope; I look at the wonderful people she has brought together, all the while marveling not only at the individuals whom she introduced, but at herself, the inventor of the Blog Kaleidoscope!

But first, let me do what many others have done and let me sheepishly admit –I didn’t. Thank you, Hephzibah, for honouring me with the request to sum up the series of blogger interviews. Thank you for your questions, thank you for giving me a space in your blog, thank you for bringing many, known and new friends to me!

As now I sit before my PC, wondering what to write, I am suddenly taken away to the memories of my bloglife. My first post was not on one thing – it was several – articles and poems, some which had seen the light of print and some which craved to be read. Comments came trickling in – frustrating was the fact that many people read my blog, some followed but only a few deigned to comment! Like a teenage girl craving for attention, I was silently screaming – ‘Read me, read me, say its good, its great, beautiful, superb, fantastic – at least – interesting’. As the excitement of discovering a new channel to let out my thoughts subsided, I chided myself for this craving for recognition. It is only natural, I realized; there is nothing to be ashamed about it, but take it easy, will ya, I told myself.

In the course of more than 3 years of blogging I have met several new friends – some have stayed on, faithful, some left abruptly even without a goodbye. I feel sad about those who have fallen silent, but then realize that the freedom to be in touch or not, the freedom to be a friend or not, is what makes friendships whether real or virtual, worthwhile. That is the spirit of friendship; freedom to be.

Those who have followed Hepzibah’s posts for sometime would recall her idea to scan up letters and post it in the blog. I was keeled over by its innovativeness – not the scanning up, but her idea to bring in love and warmth and life into this mundane thing called human relationship. She has yet again shown her capacity of great love through this series of interviews.

I read the interviews once again. Coumarane from Paris, Jyothi from Dubai and the rest of them. What strings them all together is the yearning to announce their existence and the eagerness to meet new friends. Executives, housewives, doctors, professors, businessmen – what a colourful extravaganza! In a few minutes the reader is shuttled around the globe in a supersonic jet! We have mouth-watering chocolate cookies from Mangala, fashion ideas from Emily, creative film maker Tomz, talented photographer Raji, loving mom Mrs. Livingston, a doctor who is true to his profession, Dr Antony – each of them is unique and special in their own way, yet we all share many common characteristics – like love for others, of having no regrets in what we have written, appreciation and admiration of how others lead their lives, despite the different circumstances.
This series of interviews once again underlines the truth that in spite of whatever differences we may have – in opinion, belief, morals – just like the billions of our fellow men and women across the globe, there runs the same blood in all of us. It reminds us that in whichever far flung corners of the world we may live in, we share the same air, water and land. It behooves us to love each other, to help each other and to protect this fragile planet to which we all belong.

In this moment of joyous reflection of our brief time together, my heart bleeds for our Japanese brethren. Earthquakes and Tsunamis might be natural catastrophes, but the bigger catastrophe of the exploding nuclear reactors is man-made. Radiation is spreading the slow mist of death and suffering across the geographical borders. Many such reactors – symbols of human greed for more – and more wait in the wings to dance the cosmic death dance. In these moments of togetherness, let us bow before Mother Nature and pray and act for its well-being.

~ Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 19-03-2011



Bala sir, i agree with you here that the series of interviews was indeed very interesting and was very helpful for someone like me who is very new here in Blog world... i came to know about so many of people here who write so well in their own style.... it was really a good idea of her to introduce few Bloggers here.

@NRIGirl: as you wrap up this series here, so once again i extend my sincere thanx to you for including me into it.... i feel honored to be into the club , thanx a lot.

dr.antony said...

Do I need to say anything more about Balan?

He is a great person,with a greater heart.One can easily see him inside out through what he writes.He has exemplary language skills, coupled with a willingnessd to love and share.

Thanks to Hepzibah for bringing many of us together.

Bikramjit said...

:) Thank you NRIGIRL for we all met each other and know more a bout each other across the globe

Everyone knowing each other and thanks as Sir said here making us all EXIST telling about our existance

Thank you and THANK YOU SO VERY much Sir for writing such a lovely article ...


NRIGirl said...

One of the most beautiful posts I have ever read Balan Sir! Seems like I can't have enough of it. Just finished round ten of reading it!! And sure ten more will be a breeze.

If little girls were expected to behave just like little boys, then I must admit I have been excited by kaleidoscopes and once secretly broke my sister's (not mine, I am smart, am I not) to look for the treasure inside only to be disappointed as you have described. But to see those mere broken pieces forming such pretty patterns once within the constraints of the tube, is just amazing and seems magical.

Oh! When we were in 8th grade there was a simple do-it-yourself project explained in our Science book for making a kaliedoscope. I was after our teacher to convince her we should do it, she never got to it :(

You have such talents to take us into the scene, Balan Sir; refreshing our memories by your writing. That alone sets you as a great role model to fellow bloggers.

It was a pleasure connecting with you and everyone else. Many sincere thanks!

Tomz said...

Great...NRI Girl, you have chosen the rightest person to wrap up the interview series..

I feel really honored to be a part of such a great talented intelligentsia..

sm said...

yes it was a good idea.
yes friend has a option to choose or not to choose

Y L said...

dear Balan sir, thanks for being the first in the dining table and after the sumptuous meal proposing the vote of thanks.
I had experienced the friendship of the Japanese govt/people for six months and it was really commendable. They are so much loving and very sincere in helping those who are in need.
Thinking of writing my experiences there.
I too feel much for them

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