What is a friend?

First of all, let me wish you all a very Happy Friendship Day! I know it's a bit late, but still. We don't often thank or appreciate our friends, it's rather a violation code to thank a friend, but let's take some time and thank them on this day.    

Name one person that you know is friendless. Can't think of anyone?? Knew it. Let's get to know why it is like that!

Friends! How important this term is in our lives! Can we live without friends? Technically, yes. Food, water, and shelter are the things that we can’t live without. Can we be happy without friends? Yes, we have parents, relatives, ice cream, chocolates, malls, and Netflix. So many reasons to be happy! But can we be happy, when all we can see is darkness, without a friend? The answer is, no. A friend is the only person that can make you smile through your sadness. Hell, a friend will make you laugh even when your whole world is on fire, making a joke about your world that’s on fire!

Sure, life is livable without a friend, but ‘livable’ is not what we seek from life. 

I’ve had many friends growing up. I still talk to some of them, some of them I’ve lost contact with, purposely or without meaning to. There are arguments, misunderstandings, then there are different paths that life offers us. I had great friends growing up, but then the life offered us different paths and we took those and grew in different directions. And when we came back together after years, it was hard to overlook the differences that had now become our personalities. But we were friends, sure we don’t talk every day like we used to, but I know those are the ones I can rely on. And I know it’s the same with us all.  

There are different types of friends. There are friends you learn to ride tricycles with, then there are school friends and that’s a whole different level of bonding. Then comes the college phase and you learn a new level of friendship. You get roommates and experience things from backstabbing to a more mature bonding. Then comes the job and again a different level of friendship, from politics to lending each other the whole salary. Then comes a different job or job transfer and again new friends. But don’t tell me that in all this messed up transition phase, if you meet an old friend who wasn’t really a close friend or was more of a rival, your heart doesn’t feel happy. You do feel happy even when you had differences in the past. Well, that’s what friendship is. 

Bitterness toward a friend is only in the present, but memories of the friendship

are always the sweetest.     

Friends impact our lives in many ways, in both good and bad ways. Good friends bring out the good in you, and bad, bring out the bad. And it’s my personal opinion that we should experience both. After all, if you don’t know the bad in you, how will you make it to good? 

There was a group in my college that flunked two years continuously. Four of them, back to back, two years. It was a chill group. They use to bunk, go out to roam or to movies, came late, did good partying. They had fun, and none of them cared about flunking because they all were together and none of them was serious. See, that’s bringing out the bad things. Flunking is not bad, but not taking time, money, and studies seriously, and not understanding the limits of a bad company is. Then one member from that group underwent a sudden transformation and passed one semester. My friends and I believed that the person got some good ass whooping from the parents (the final solution that works on every problem). And suddenly, every one of them passed the semester! 

That day I realized that as much as good friends contribute to the process of getting you a degree, they contribute to the process of not getting you a degree as well. Because good friends provide you assignments, notes, motivation to study the subject you hate and sometimes, copies too!

Now, friends can’t always be people you meet outside, sometimes they can be your parents, siblings, cousins, relatives. Lol. No, but it is true. The only thing is, you can’t smoke a joint with your patents, discuss this deep, mysterious universe and be chill about it. But they can be your friends if you try and share things. Some of us share a great deal with them, some don’t. The amount of shared things doesn’t decide the depth of friendship, but the level of understanding does. Understand your parents, get to know their problems (bummer: you’re not the only one in the family with problems), once in a while do things with them that they love. That’s enough. Give your time. You get what you give. You give understanding, you get understanding.    

Sure, blood is thicker than water but do you know that blood contains 90% water?

Blood is family, and water is friendship.  

In our generation, we’ve grown away from each other and toward social media. Several years ago, I remember I used to call my relatives on every occasion, and we used to talk, for hours. Now we text. For five minutes. I'm working on that, I call as much as possible now. But it’s really important to make changes in us as future parents. Someday, our kids will be out there, facing problems and that day they should feel comfortable sharing their concerns with us (in person and not through texts) no matter how complicated. Why shouldn’t start now, why shouldn’t start with your children if you’re a parent, or your parents if you're the child. Lots of our problems can be solved if we become friends first and everything after.   

Unlike all other relations, friendship is the only relation that we get to choose. We choose our friends. They could be our family or people outside the family. It’s the relationship that we can have with a person we’ve never seen, we’ve never met, with a person that’s sitting thousands of miles away. It’s truly a magical relation that connects us with our friends with magical threads. And on this day, if you're feeling that some of those threads are withering away then stop for a moment and try to rekindle that magic again. I know you must’ve wished many people today, through texts and gif’s, I suggest you call them. Hear their voice. Ask how they’ve been. Just resurrect that bond once again and surely you'll feel that magic that you might’ve felt years ago in their presence. 

Got any funny memories with friends or advice for the readers on this international friendship day? Share in the comments!

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Saee Motling

Contributing Writer