I believe the number seven is very special. For some reason it sets the threshold and the maximum. Somehow I feel, no matter how sociable, it comes down to five or a max stretch of seven. Of course, you can have many family members and friends. Many of whose functions and invitations, you'll never care to attend. And within the subset you keep in touch with. There is a preferred lot, an elite bit. And from amongst the ones you care about so much, there are a few, you know a lot about and really clutch. I believe that innermost circle cannot extend beyond five or seven. You're kidding yourself if you've counted eleven. That number gets trimmed down each decade or every few years. Some people shuffle up and down the priority list while some others reappear. That list is never stagnant; it is continuously being evaluated. Unlike a performance appraisal, it lacks structure and is unregulated. It's not even necessary that everybody has five or seven. For some folks, even to have one trustworthy companion would feel like heaven. Most of us are familiar with terms such as acquaintance, casual friend, close friend, intimate inner circle. It's like having a complex chart with circles and subsets in our subconscious mind, but accessible. And then some people occupy an entire category of their own. Like the most dialed number on a teenager's telephone. Or the one whose DP change you notice before anyone else. The ones for whom your hardened heart just melts. It does not have to be romantic, a mother's heart is always frantic. My mum dislikes reading, but not a single post, known to be skipping. Each and every one of them. Yes, at a later time again to view new comments. Because I fall in that category. Of one that can never be erased from memory. Some categories can never be erased. No matter what happens, some people can never be replaced. Etched in life's incidents and memories. They tag along irrespective of the bends and journeys. If your child no longer wants to stay in touch, it may give you palpitations and breathlessness, that much. But, you'll probably eventually respect their decision. With a few diversions, you'll learn to give them freedom. But a category in itself can never be dissolved. Unless you dilute your senses in too much alcohol. That's the thing about those lone residents of an entire category. Irrespective of the paths of life, they'll live forever in your treasuries. Be very careful when you create such a folder or category. At least with friends you can choose, unlike family. A person who falls into a lone category. Will always be your weakness and liability. The sole owner of an entire category, has the power to control you and create misery. There are irrational things and boundaries you'll cross. Be happily willing to push yourself despite the loss. Besides, there is only so much time in a day. And only a few you can give your attention and pray. Everyone is busy with their own life. But, somehow time is made for the categories you prioritize. If you fall into an irreplaceable or exclusive category, don't abuse your powers; stay in there gracefully. If you are considering creating such a category, welcome to your time on earth in purgatory!
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