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Spice of life | Friendship never off trend, can’t be taken for granted

ByParul Sharma
Jan 09, 2024 10:40 PM IST

Our friends await our call, our hugs, our words, our presence and most importantly, our time. Never leave them alone to suffer. Own them before it’s too late. It’s better to say sorry than never

I have few friends and believe in maintaining a small circle. For me, the circle is perfect and complete and rarely do I attempt to enlarge it. But you may get bamboozled on seeing the long list of friends on my Fakebook, sorry Facebook, account though that’s mere eyewash.

Friends are special and priceless. They are our treasure and we must value them, take care of them, talk to them, meet them, and ask them about their wellbeing.

Recently, I received a call from a friend who I consider close. The call came after perhaps six months. All these months, I couldn’t take the time out to talk to him. As his number flashed on the phone screen, I began thinking what I’d say after such a long gap. Where should I begin the conversation from? The thought made me uneasy. Anyhow, I answered and immediately started rattling off excuses for not contacting him in months.

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Later, I realised how foolish I had acted. It was not about making a call, but a far more serious question of being concerned about a friend.

My heart sank when I heard the words that followed. I felt insensitive and self-centred as he shared that he was battling cancer all these months. He had been through radiation and chemo therapies and his health had deteriorated while fighting for his life. My ears were not ready to believe what they were hearing. I felt guilty of leaving my friend to suffer alone, the worst form of suffering.

The call lasted for around two hours. I couldn’t sleep a wink that night. I recalled and revisited every moment and memory of times we had spent together. Are friends for name alone? Aren’t they for the sake of life? If my friend doesn’t call, should I do the same and carry on with life’s routine? If he is busy, should I also be busy? Should I suppose he must have made new friends and doesn’t need me? Is it that we don’t remember friends till we feel the need for them? We have simply tuned ourselves to living with assumptions and perceptions. Whatever may be the reason; there is certainly something wrong.

Friends are special and priceless. They are our treasure and we must value them, take care of them, talk to them, meet them, and ask them about their wellbeing. We don’t even know what our presence means to them and how much our absence hurts them. Don’t create a vacuum that becomes difficult if not impossible to fill. Our friends await our call, our hugs, our words, our presence and most importantly, our time. Never leave them alone to suffer. Own them before it’s too late. It’s better to say sorry and bridge the communication gap than never.

In this fast-paced life, we have only slowed down our pace of maintaining relationships. We overlook emotions and feelings and take to shifting the blame on others. With changing times, we should change for the good. Remember, we are never too busy and never too late for our friends. parulsharma3089@gmail.com

The writer is a Jalandhar-based freelance contributor

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