I had my first brush with Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi while editing an interview of him done by one of my ex-colleagues. He stayed there in my mind though briefly. On July 18, 2012 I received Siddharth’s novel ‘The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay’ as a birthday gift. I had lost my aunt to cancer on my birthday. After days of wallowing in pain and loss, I picked up the novel to read. To put my restlessness to rest. Siddharth’s words touched the chord of my soul and in his words, I found solace. Siddharth and me are now friends on Facebook. After my mom’s death, he wrote to me, “One day you will be larger than your grief. Till that happens, be kind to yourself.” It was comforting to read these beautiful lines.
Siddharth is brilliant, I feel. In understanding life. In giving a healing touch through his words. There are times in life when you must let people go if they wish to go away. I hope sometime in life, I will look back and smile at the gift of some people’s absence in my life. I don’t know when will this hurt of parting will end. But I know the process of parting began when emotions cease to be what they are. May be it was waiting to happen, to die a death. To decay in unceremonious glory. Till I become larger than my hurt, I choose to take shelter in the world of words. Here goes Siddharth in his own words on people going away from your life. Thank you, SDS.
We give credit for the presence of people in our lives. But we seldom thank people for their absence. Increasingly, I find myself thanking people I have had to let go, or who let go of me, because their absence returned me to an abundance of myself: to imagination, to the pursuit of truth and beauty, to a silence in which I could hear myself again. We are defined not only by the company we keep but also the company we avoid. Today, I give each one these people thanks for taking leave: everywhere we look we will find only gifts of absence.
Siddharth’s Facebook status update on the New Year… (2013)
“Let it all end, let this year, let all the small things in it end, let all the small people in it leave. They are not worth the time of your heart, the strength of your nostalgia, the shade of your language. Don’t you see? You were made for the white might of ocean, you were made to meet night with daring, you were made for tall, unventured mountains. You were made to rejoice in yourself – not for small things like happy endings or dinners in low-lit restaurants or fancy hotel suites. You were, in fact, made for the ending itself: in it are all the innumerable beginnings you were never brave enough to see.
“You were made for the beginning, to always begin, to never stop beginning. You are boundless, infinite, and those who limit you, who give your love boundary or affront, let them end, too. You were made to know what was ahead of you, what is yet to come, the superb possibilities of fate. Every time something ends, it frees you. Be free of all ending, of this year, this time. That is my blessing for you, for myself, for all the shining hours ahead of the both of us.”