I’ve lost some friends
I truly cherished,
For whom I’m greatly sorrowed
These friends aren’t humans who have perished.
They’re books that humans borrowed.
This little poetry, I could not recollect the name of the poet, was published in Reader’s Digest years ago. I had written it down from my habit of collecting quotes and poetry. With time, my habits changed and the sources of happiness were many in the offing. And the collection of quoted wisdom was lost in the familiar surroundings of my home.
Abandoned to the point of being burnt, recently, the oldest of the diaries was recovered from the amassed fortune of old and out-of-print publications. It has a cover print of Mughal miniature painting, the precise reason for making it a precious book.
The years rolled backwards. I glanced through the pages of quotes/poems. From Bhagavad Gita to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s words and H.W. Longfellow to W.B Yeats, there were many known, anonymous and translations.
Some philosophical and some practicality, yet they all spoke the same language – Language of Life. I felt, as if, I was having a secret communication: the words that weaved a way of life to humble living and deep thinking. The book appeared to be life personified.
Old and yellowing pages, delicate to touch, made it difficult for me to leaf through the pages. My emotions reined my thoughts. Ironically, the page that turned without much fuss was to the poem “Dearly Beloved”.
The diary was my dearly beloved possession long time ago, not “borrowed” or shared. Yet, I lost her in transition for reasons I cannot recollect. However, the fading handwritten words promised a reunion, and held a lifetime teaching… (A Malayalam translation quoted on the facing page of “Dearly Beloved”)
“As the sand drifts away below our feet when we stand on the seashore, the days roll on, never to come back.”