Archive for September 15th, 2010

This is a rather random post on a thought that’s been plaguing me for a while. Its been hovering at the back of my mind for quite some time now. I know many friends, couples who are like two peas in a pod and some like oil and water. Most of them, at some time or the other, face issues with their spouses, be it arranged or love-marriages (for the record, I’m yet to find a credible argument in favour of one type of marriage over the other). But this post is not about marital problems.

It’s about space.

How does one define space? Not the generic one to do with planets and suns and moons. I’m talking about the space between things, people. The space which is physical and sometimes, virtual. The space which exists between a couple sitting together but thinking conflicting thoughts.

How do you define it? How would one identify it? Is there any way to reduce the space? What if one person does all the bridging and the other adds to the space? What happens then? What if both the parties are unaware that there is a distance between them? Are there people who are comfortable with this space??

There’s a phrase which says that one must give their partner/spouse , some space. We know what this phrase means now (it was an unheard concept, maybe a decade back….and maybe, in some households even in today’s day and age). It has to do with the different areas of interests of the couple and the liberty to pursue one’s field of interest, without interference/rebuke/recriminations from the other. But what if, in giving each other the space, the couple drifts apart? What if they are so distant that by the time they realize and look back, the gap is too wide to bridge? How then, does one figure out when to stop and check the space? How much distance is enough to keep up the right balance? In other words, how much space is ‘just fine’ or ‘just enough’?? Who decides this?? And who agrees??

On the concept of physical space, I remember a statement made by my mother many years back. It was after dad brought our first car. It was a Fiat Premier Padmini. We were all overjoyed at the momentous occasion.There were celebrations and all hailed the new member in the family (we’d named the car, Turby, after the movie, Herbie goes to Monte Carlo 🙂 ). But after a time, mom wasn’t too keen to travel in it. She preferred riding behind dad on our Bajaj Chetak.

Many years later, we sold the scooter. Dad is now driving his fourth car since then. And even today, mom rues the day we bought the first one. Once, in a rare moment of despondency, she confided that the car had brought an un-named distance between her and Dad. That she couldn’t feel the closeness that she felt before, when she was seated behind him on that scooter, a hand flung casually around his waist.

I didn’t pay much attention to what she’d said then. But today, when we zip around the city in our car, I think I can feel what mom had felt. The space, the distance between me and the BF. And frankly, life was much more interesting when we used to zip around town on his bike, with my thumbs tucked into his belt loops and my chin resting on his shoulder 😀 . Yes, those days were definitely better!  Luckily(?), last week our car’s battery died out. We are yet to get it replaced. But I’m in no hurry yet. Its back to hopping on his bike and reliving the old days :).

Anyhow, this post isn’t about cars or bikes. It’s about spaces, and as usual, I took a tangential route to nowhere :).

But coming back to the topic at hand, do you ever feel the distance with your partner/spouse?? There were times when the BF was in USA and I was back here in Pune. But whenever he called, it used to be as if all the distances have melted into that fraction of a second that it takes for his voice to reach me. Physically we were miles apart, but yet, those moments brought us closer than never before. And it befuddles my mind. Which distance is more important? The physical one or the one that exists in our mind. Is it enough the bridge the distance of the mind when one is separated by miles? How do we keep a balance? How do we know how much space is just right to live amicably with each other?

Too many rambling questions here…….answers/experiences/insights are most welcome.

(And Oh, do excuse the severely tacky title…but I really couldn’t think of a decent one 😀 . Pliss to excyoose !! )

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The Bagpiper Man

Received this in the mail today :-


There was once a bagpiper man, who played many gigs.

Recently he was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back country. As the bagpiper man was not familiar with the backwoods, he got lost and, being a typical man, he didn’t stop for directions.

He finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. He  felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. Then he went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. He  didn’t know what else to do, so he started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. 

He played out his heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. He played like he’d never played before for this homeless man. And as he played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They all wept together. When he finished, hte bagpiper man packed up his bagpipes and started for his car. Though his head hung low, his heart was full.

As he opened the door to his car, he heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Apparently, the Bagpiper man’s  still lost…


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