Responses: Ashok, I’ve always felt an affinity for lotuses. That’s why they are incorporated into the design of my website and also the artwork for my album Rise. In fact, the lotus in the Rise booklet is actually from a photo of the tattoo on the back of my neck! It’s one of the most powerful symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing non-attachment, purity, and divinity, as it floats on the surface of muddy water, remaining pristine. It seems to be a state we should all aspire to: our feet rooted in the soil of the earth, while our heads are held high, looking towards the sky.
Prachi, it was interesting to hear your thoughts on polyamory. I think it’s a very challenging thing to have relationships like that, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I know of a few polyamoric families that are very happy together, raising their children together and living under one roof. It’s not something I’d be able to do, though! If I’m with someone I need to feel secure in their love and affection, and the type of person I am, I’d go nuts with jealousy and insecurity were I to share a man with another woman. Having to handle more than one partner also sounds like a nightmare to me, as I find one man challenging enough!
Priya, are you sure of your feelings for this guy? If so, then you need to take the plunge and tell him how you feel. There’s no point being his friend while secretly wishing for more. It may be scary to tell him, but if he feels the same way then how wonderful for both of you! If he doesn’t, well, I won’t lie and say that’s not going to hurt, but aren’t you better off knowing, and then moving on? At that point it’s up to you whether you can honestly just be friends with him or whether that’s not enough for you.
Pranjali, as for your friend, I think people show love in different ways, and sometimes it’s not easy to recognise the things someone does for us, because they’re not the same things we do. You may write your friend cards, but maybe she does things like share her food with you or listen to your troubles, and that to her is showing love? Ambika, thanks for your letter and congratulations on the birth of your son! Karan, my condolences for your loss. In a way you’re lucky to be left with the feelings you have; most people are always looking back wishing they’d done or said things before it was too late, but it seems you were lucky enough to get to do all that.
Ravi, Amitabh, thanks for the tips, I’ll incorporate them in future columns. It’s great to know people are interested to hear more about music and the Indian classical world. Thanks to everyone who wrote!