Monthly Archives: December 2014

Friendship is not beans!

Some friends are too petty for their own good.

You keep malice because a friend didn’t pick or return your calls. You go cold because a friend forgot to use your picture as Profile picture or Dp, on your birthday. I, for instance, forget my own birthday regularly, (I’m now better, with Facebook). You are not happy with a friend because she didn’t show ‘enough’ excitement when ‘it’ happened for you. And so forth…

Please, grow up!
Accept that these things will happen here and there. Accept that they do not define your relationship as friends. If you think they do, it is not friendship; you’re just looking for people to use. It is good to have friends that never miss to pick or return your calls, and friends who mark all the key dates on your calendar, and so on. You may be blessed with a few such friends, but, and don’t get me wrong, these things don’t define friendship. Any (prospective) business associate can do those: keep dates, pick calls, return calls, etc.

Friendship is beyond sheer functionality and utility. Functionality and utility are vital, no doubt, but they are the superstructure, not the foundation, not the bottom-line of friendship. Friendship is in part a deliberate commitment to a person, a commitment sometimes triggered by chemistry or reasoned decision. More, friendship is a chemistry forged and sometimes forced upon our inner beings by forces (of attraction) that are hard to define. It is something like the ‘me’ in me, liking the ‘you’ in you.

Friendship is a connection, first at that inner, deeper level. It then finds expression at the functional level and is envigorated by the externalities of talk, and care, and laughter, and affirmations and gifts and quarrels and sundry such realities. But these externalities do not DEFINE it. They adorn it; yes, they consummate it. But they do not define friendship. Of course, some relationships evolve out of the functionality they offer, maybe due to shared location or vocation or other practical factors. The friends and/or people I happen to call more often are not necessarily my closest friends. It is not as simple as that. Friendship is a bond that is.

If we are friends at the level where it matters most, even if we have been (unavoidably) out of touch for 2 years, we will ‘fit’ — once we meet again. We may be awake till 3 or 4am, updating. It wouldn’t seem odd. Updates will flow from both ends until we are both up to date; then we will go on together from there. A true friend is not the sort of person you want to hold a grudge against for any pronounced length of time, if at all. You kind of adore him. A friend is a burden bearer. A friend sees you as a project that he has to make happen. And he knows you see him as such a project too. That’s why a friend doesn’t dump you because you erred. C’mon!

With a friend, you usually will be generous in forgiving, just as you enjoy lavish forgiveness. When issues come up, they are discussed. You may shout at each other and argue, but you’ll do it as friends. Once you’re done shouting, nobody may win. Occasionally, nobody may say a heartfelt sorry. Sorry was not the the main goal anyway. Understanding was. Many times however, one person will see enough to say sorry. Or both parties may apologize for different roles played in the drama. But there is, through all the squabbles, a protected, hallowed  ‘Friends zone’ that the disagreement is not allowed to invade, to ruin. That’s what it means when we say ‘nothing can come between us’.

A friend always enjoys the benefit of the doubt. You make excuses for her. Your first line of reasoning, when she misbehaves usually runs like: “there must be some cogent reason that I don’t yet see, to explain this behaviour. Or, in any case, she may have been mistaken. I know she didn’t set out to offend me”. Your first take is not to assume the worst. That’s not how it works, if it is about a friend. And when you confirm that she was plain silly, you’d forgive, quite naturally, in advance, even before the apologies come.

To paraphrase C.S Lewis — if I remember well enough — a friend will ‘see through your enchantments without being disenchanted’. A friend will know you, but will hold you. A friend will see you, but won’t spill you. You will try to be your best, but a friend will see your flaws. Yet, she won’t floor you. Beautiful as we are, we are imperfect beings too. That’s why we need that relationship that is not defined first by performance and regular appraisals.

I am grateful.

I have friends… A number of them. Not every one my age is so privileged.

I am a friend too.

Are you?