Gurugramwale: The nature of their friendship

Two labourers analyse their bonding
Rishipal and Mangal are labourers in a Gurugram market.(HT Photo)
Rishipal and Mangal are labourers in a Gurugram market.(HT Photo)
Published on Jul 18, 2019 03:28 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Gurugram | By Mayank Austen Soofi

They say it’s difficult to strike a good friendship. Especially between colleagues (You just have to eavesdrop on the lunchtime gossip in your office canteen for proof of this).

But Rishipal and Mangal vehemently deny having such a sinister shade to their dosti (friendship).

“We are very good buddies,” says one. The other nods in quiet agreement.

Both men are in their 20s and are labourers in a Gurugram bazaar. Though they claim to be good friends, they first met each other only a week ago after landing a common assignment. “Seven days are enough to understand a man’s character,” says Rishipal. Turning to Mangal, he says, “Just look at his face... he looks so happy, just looking at him fills one’s heart with happiness.”

Mangal breaks into a glowing smile and returns the compliment declaring that “Rishipal has a very nice mind... he speaks slowly and carefully, and very kindly, and there is nothing evil about him.”

Both men are married with families, and hail from villages in Rajasthan.

But surely they must have had their share of disappointing friendships. Rishipal has been in the Millennium City for more than two years and Mangal arrived five years ago. The two men shake their head.

Mangal says, “We are not city types... we are from villages, our homes are just two miles away from each other... so we know each other’s heart.”

Lighting a beedi, Rishipal thoughtfully says, “Also remember that we are good friends but not deep friends. We can never be close enough to really hurt each other. We are poor labourers who will go back to our villages after some years when our body starts to break down.”

Mangal nods and offers no additional argument.

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