Faceless Friends!

26 Sep

โ€‹Swamy isn’t really a friending type, umm… someone who befriends anyone and everyone. He certainly is friendly, but that doesn’t mean he’s keen to be a friend of anyone who wants to be one with him. Swamy’s friends circle is so small that it’s almost virtual! ๐Ÿค“

Pic: Since there aren’t any photos of Swamy with childhood friends (you go to a studio for photos, in those days), Swamy Jr’s school phase – spent mostly with playing his Chess opponents – are included. ๐Ÿ˜†

At school he had a bunch of friends (names are still remembered, whereabouts unknown) who are primarily connected through sports. Once a potential sporting career came crashing down with a sports accident (irony playing out – pun intended), that circle became much smaller because now his focus was only on studies. And writing. Writers are loners, because that’s how they get to think. And write.

Pic: Since Swamy’s college photos are sleeping happily somewhere in the loft, he has included what appear like college photos – with him, of course – here. In fact, one of them is from a real college & those in others most certainly have some college connection! ๐Ÿ˜‰

At college his circle of friends was smaller, limited by the daily commute (he was a day scholar, travelling about 90 minutes one-way, by bus, daily). There were hardly anything common other than juvenile fantasies and matinee movies. His short story was already published in a popular weekly and a few poems too got published. But he didn’t pursue that path seriously since there was no one to guide him (nor has he sought any guidance – other than writing an inland letter to Manirathnam, requesting him to take him as an assistant director, for which there was no response, understandably). Intellectually, he was starved for connecting with someone but there were none. Most college mates must be doing very well now – predominantly abroad – but he is probably connected with about 3 of them, that too not on a Nanbenda style but more like an occasional social media ping kind.

Pic: Swamy during his corporate career days, somehow or other trying to Be Joyful & spread the cheer, pretty much all the time – while leading a 550 member captive with 26 million dollars annual revenue or charting the course of learning & development or happily enabling eager learners to explore Life thru experiential learning programs… ๐Ÿ™ƒ

At work, he was always an exception than the norm – much closer to his teams than the bosses, which his close friends (oh yeah, there are still a few left – surprisingly) probably still marvel about (“How the heck did he manage to sustain for so long & be reasonably successful too!” ๐Ÿ˜•). Somehow, he survived 23 loooooooooong years in the corporate battlefront, trying to Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer. One fine day, he bid farewell to that BAUHumbug survival, for good. Only a handful of friends remain in touch through a WhatsApp group that he created (aptly called SwamyPals ๐Ÿค—) & contributes to actively (most of them either humbly remain silent spectators or hardly bother to even check what’s up in the group ๐Ÿ˜‚). A few are connected thru Facebook too!

Pic: Swamy with fellow seekers, some of whom are way advanced adepts, far ahead in the path to Truth. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Suddenly, about a week or two ago, his friend requests on Facebook went thru the roof (quite literally). As of today, he has 808 friends, 164 followers and about a 100 odd friend requests pending for approval. This is truly perplexing though there seems to be a connecting thread (Swamy is considered an exponent of the connecting-the-dots craft), a very strong one. But that still doesn’t explain the sudden spike. He hasn’t changed anything – in terms of content (daily Dhinam Oru Padhigam – 117 & counting, occasional sharing of shareable news items with his perspectives, Sadhguru quotes with a spontaneous tagline, random blog posts, political / sports jibes, few photos, et al), or tone (always pulling the legs, self-deprecating not-so-subtle humour, sharp in-your-face comments & bluntly calling BAUHumbug what it is ๐Ÿ˜), yet the spike isn’t subsiding at all! ๐Ÿค”

Pic: Swamy with members of extended Swamily. ๐Ÿ‘ช

Swamy doesn’t know most (all) of them & they certainly don’t know a damn thing (other than what’s on public media) about him. That’s what’s scary (& hilarious ๐Ÿ˜„) about the present trend of friends who aren’t really friends in the Webster sense of the word but more strangers who seek to be friends – predominantly online & hardly offline – because it’s possible! ๐Ÿ˜ž

Who are our friends, really? If at all there are really any!

Folks from one’s Alma maters? – nope, they’re a thing of the past (as far as Swamy is concerned, who consciously keeps himself away from the past, as much as possible)!  ๐Ÿ˜จ

Members of the Family? – not at all, as that relationship is far more intimate (& intricate)! ๐Ÿ˜

Fellow seekers? – not really, as spirituality is a very lonely pursuit, even when one is among like minded groups! ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Persons of a common interest? – not quite, as the connect is only as strong as the interest, which may change any moment! ๐Ÿ˜’

Complete strangers who suddenly want to be your friend simply because they can thru technology? – nooooooooo way, as you’ve (& probably will never) no idea of where the strange, vague, social connect (visible to the whole world, obviously) is headed! ๐Ÿค”

With the explosion of social media and liberated access to it, anyone can at least seek to be friends with anyone. Just like how Swamy tried to be acquainted with popular movie director Manirathnam, before even email became known (forget being popular). Nothing happened then and nothing much is going to happen now. Except, either party will get to see more mokkai (occasionally worthy, rarely original) content* on their timelines. And sheepishly grin at the increasing count of… Faceless Friends!

*Note: Swamy’s content are 100% ISI certified agmark original content, from his own brain – just like this blog post. Oh btw, if you haven’t checked out his Dhinam Oru Padhigam (A Hymn a day – keeps “i”llness away) yet, please do so before sending a friend request! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

And if you are really keen on knowing more about Swamy (who, by now, may possibly be a Facebook friend of you), kindly set aside some quiet time & explore Who am Swamy!

Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer ๐Ÿ™‚ 

~Swamy 

@PrakashSwamy

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