I lost a friend


On April 19th, around 8.30pm, I lost a friend.

I lost him. Only to death. But not to life.

For he still lives. With his deeds and thoughts.

His love & compassion to fellow human beings are worth remembering. Every day.

His pursuit of excellence, that rare capability of practical thinking, zest for living to the fullest – are worth pondering. Every day.

A true disciple. Pushing the limits of my thinking.

I can go on and on. And to do justice to a man of short words, I’d just like to put down these five words.

Achen, you will be missed.

(I’d like to dedicate the following poem to Achen. It’s written by Rumi. Translated from the persian by Coleman Barks. We know as much about the beginning and the end, about the infinite complexity of the word, as does an embryo locked in its mother’s womb. These words, making use of that metaphor, calls for our opening up to that whole dimension of existence which escapes our words. While Rumi orders our imagination to think of life before birth, I’d like to interpret it in this particular context as life after death. I’ll listen to that answer. With Achen.)


Little by little, wean yourself.

This is the gist of what I have to say.


From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,

move to an infant drinking milk,

to a child on solid food,

to a searcher after wisdom,

to a hunter of more invisible game.


Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo,

You might say, “The world outside is vast and intricate.

There are wheatfields and mountain passes, and orchards in bloom.

At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight

the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding.”


You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up

in the dark with eyes closed.

Listen to the answer.


~ by rb on April 21, 2013.

One Response to “I lost a friend”

  1. We will miss u Vinu Achen!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: