Shelf-Life

When I was a kid, I did not care much about who my best friend was and whether or not anyone wanted to be friends with me. I was an only child and I did not know any better. Just like I enjoyed my own company, I competed with me most times. Therefore, I did not recognize the sting that comes with never-lasting affiliations until I was 15 years old.

Junior college (10+2) exposed me to myriad of teenage meanness that I did not even untangle meticulously preceding that time. One day while I was walking towards the bus, I realized that the group of friends who I usually hang out with had started sidestepping. I would move closer and they would move farther as if I didn’t shower for weeks. They would jeer at me for no reason and even upon persuasion would not tell me what happened. It was not bullying but it was untainted nonchalance.

With every passing day, the awkwardness grew and there came a time that the so-called friends had stopped talking to me for good. I believe I was strong enough not to have any self-doubt, unlike kids of this era who continuously succumb to their inner demons. And I believe, I had an unblemished conscious that undeniably knew that I was on the veracious flank of a beautiful life. Hence, the unexpectedness of those relationships did not matter as much. To this day, I do not know what may have happened.

As I always mention, poetry-writing came to my rescue. It is that intrinsic method of words that regaled the inviolability of my life, time and again. And I was blessed with some rock-solid relationships that watched over me against any inhumaneness. Like my parents and some incredible friendships, no matter how bad a turn events took, ensued by me.

Studying to be an Apothecary helped me put a perspective to such relationships. I am always able to relate the science with real life and it gives me real pleasure when it all seems to make seamless sense. It was somewhere in the middle of that course, I attained the ‘nirvana’ that every relationship has a shelf-life. It is nothing but technicalities of life that engulf us from seeing a better picture.

Relationships with parents and few treasured ones for example are like jar of honey. It never goes bad and does not have a shelf-life. Shelf-life means the “length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption, or saleable”. Which means the efficacy of those relationships never loses potency. Unless one day the jar breaks – but that is a quintessence of life and beyond. The same cannot be said about others. Some are valued as long as their ‘expiration date’ is not past due. Once it is past due, the potency starts dwindling by some calculated percentage. Devoted fondness keeps coming down and ultimately disappears.

These days, I do not look at each relationship via any augmenting lens as they diminish, become volatile or disappear but cherish the ‘effectiveness’ they’ve served – no matter how long or how short the duration may have been. I have begun to appreciate the indiscriminate detachments, not as disintegrations but how they mark completeness. It is a lesson learned to hold my chin up, forget what’s not effective, appreciate what remains and look forward to what’s coming. It is the harmony of thought about shelf-life associated with each mortal connection that is more important than driving oneself crazy of trying to postulate why something transpired.

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