GRIEVING FOR A FRIEND
Well, New Year didn’t bode well for me? I say I think I didn’t celebrate New Year in the manner generally expected or people normally do. Didn’t go for a hike (or a trek, my favorite pastime); didn’t have no eating binge; didn’t visit any temples – as people customarily do on this occasion; didn’t make no phone calls to none – which also is another normal during such occasion; didn’t indulge myself in nothing sort of whatsoever. I say now New year didn’t quite like it.
Well, one of my friends got terminally ill. Very recently. Who you call your friend? There could be a thousand different definitions of a friend. We have heard there was a very intimate friendship between the great king of Punjab Maha Rana Pratap and his steed. Lord Krishna and Arjuna, a legendary archer but otherwise an ordinary man, were also great friends. King Birendra, as hearsay puts it, had a special inclination towards one of his British-built Landrovers. In fictional worlds, too, we can find many of such ‘unusual’ friendships. For instance, in George Lucas’ Star Wars world, Captain Han Solo and his hirsute anthropomorphic sidekick Chewbacca are inseparably close (so in deep amity). Captain Nemo and his own-built Nautilus as mentioned in Jules Verne’s sci-fi are also the epitome of a great friendship.
What do all these speak of? Friendship is feeling, or rather deep feeling, and it doesn’t necessarily entail friends from same species, status, recognition, etc. A sentient being can develop a feeling towards an inanimate object. But for this to happen, that inanimate object must also in some way interact with that being. Here, interaction can include being useful, being helpful in need, in want, apart from merely responding to the other party.
Well, some nine years back, my family, particularly my big brother, presented me with a 2.1 subwoofer system from Creative Lab Inc. At first, I didn’t value it much even though it was a novel addition to my existing audio system. But slowly over time I began to develop kind of a feeling, a connexion towards it. It’s small, of convenient size (convenient enough to accommodate on my table) and I connected it to my computer purely for song and movie purposes. It produced so deep a bass and so crisp a high frequency sound that whoever visited my study couldn’t help but admire it. Not only that, I loved its body, its outlines. Finely designed body, finely assembled parts and equally fine its overall architecture. Yeah, it’s beautiful. It’s muscular, strongly built. It lay astride the computer so whenever I would be using the computer I would be facing it, looking at it, too.
So how this inanimate thing drew me closer? Well, this is the very audio system that whetted my appetite for foreign music especially Black music- rap, hip hop, R & B, etc. I didn’t know before then who 2pac, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Dr. Dre – some of the great names in rap and hip hop scene – etc. were. Even if I knew, I had only a little taste of their music. All those years I kept growing (in musical sense) with it and we happened to develop a very close relationship. Music, movie and it were synonymous (to me) as I seldom listened to music and watched movie on a medium other than this. Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, John Wayne, Spenser Tracy and other great Hollywood actors and their great act came to my acquaintance right through it. Since my childhood, so far I know, I was not outgoing type and so spent most of my time indoor with such different objects as radio, TV, cassette player, magazines, etc. To borrow the words of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, my childhood was, like his own, very sheltered and uneventful. This could be the reason why I developed a sort of affinity (or intimate connexions) with some of the objects and articles at my home.
Yeah I took it to a repairman. My dear thing was forcefully loosened, opened and then checked over. During the process, it incurred a great deal of bruises, snapping and abrasions. I had to put up with all those manhandling of my dear friend! But the repairman was no audio expert. Most of our repair jacks lack expertise on their fields and they fail to make fine distinctions. He couldn’t repair it. Nor others will as I think as I visited a few repair shops to no avail. Maybe it’s gotten old like I myself and needs to rest now (after years of service).
My dear little friend has indeed got me forever indebted. But it pains me to say that I couldn’t get him in his previous health and condition.