Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The hermit pokes his head outside the ashram

"Your summer road trip to visit with me has become an annual tradition" the daughter remarked.

It has.  A wonderful tradition it has indeed become.

Every year I make two trips in particular: one to spend some time with the daughter, and another to spend some time with the parents.  I suppose I am the bridge across the generations.  A link in a chain that goes way back.

The daughter's remark, accidental it might be, reveals a lot about this antisocial hermit--he spends time and precious money to stay connected with his people.  Unlike with my intellectual gobbledygook, here I truly practice what I preach!

Technological tools--phone calls, Skype, emails, Facebook--are all mere proxies that simply cannot compare with the real thing of being together at the same place and time and sharing a meal and stories.  To borrow from a different context,
Because to love or be loved truly is to be able to say, “I have been touched.”
It is easy, far too easy, for most of us to substitute the proxies.  But, then my life is not about my ease--life is more than mere me on this pale blue dot.

I stopped by to break bread with two friends whom I knew almost from when I was fresh off the boat.  One of them wrote in an email after the visit:
Thanks for making the effort to keep in touch with us
People matter.  I am who I am because of the people around me.

"What if next year I am not here, but away in some other place?" the daughter continued.

"I will come see you wherever you are" I replied.

I am sure it was a rhetorical question that she posed,.  I am equally confident that she knew my answer even before I uttered those words.


Ramesh said...

A father who says ""I will come see you wherever you are" is a very special father indeed. I have no doubt the E had tears in her eyes, but would never let you see them.

Yes, there is no substitute for a time together in person. And a pat on the back to you for doing what you do.

Sriram Khé said...


It is an interesting life ...

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