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Of faithful friends and fulfilling friendships

Never ask ‘who is my real friend?’ Instead, question yourself: ‘Am I a real friend to somebody?’ When friendship is nurtured with the nectar of loyalty, laughter and liveliness, one flies on wings.

punjab Updated: Jul 29, 2018 12:38 IST
Ritu Kamra Kumar
Ritu Kamra Kumar
Hindustan Times
friends,friendship day,social media
The grin on one’s face comes from the lighthouse of friendship that is the irreplaceable component of a happy life.(istock/Getty Images)

Some of my postgraduate students posted a meme about college life on social media: “We fretted the first day here and are equally upset on the last day. Though we always wanted a life after college yet we are now sad that it is ending and we friends are taking different roads.”

As most of us have similar feelings about these blissful bonds of togetherness, reading the meme set me thinking about my friendships and what these ties were worth. I remembered the three of us: Sunita, Sumita and I, sitting in the college staff-room, a giggle here and a guffaw there, all cares forgotten.

Life with friends is never dull. They find innovative ways to make the mundane interesting. Often, one goes through spells of utter madness with them, be it laughing at overdressed kitty party ladies or dreadfully done up faces caked with makeup. With each passing day, we cross new thresholds to dive headlong into new spheres hitherto unexplored, falling prey to crazy stomach hurting laughter. The best part is, friends know how to handle you without pushing all the wrong buttons. However grim the situation, they are like Linus’s security blanket in the comic strip Peanuts, giving you instant comfort.

I have indulged in plenty of fun with my flamboyant friends. American toast at the café, excursions, movies followed by dinner, window shopping, the sartorial elegance, quiet companionship, truly partaking a lesson for life singing gleefully with Shakespeare: “Words are easy, like the wind; faithful friends hard to find”. With friends the ordinary becomes extraordinary as we discover deep within ourselves soul qualities of peace, piety and poise, an underlying love that does not change under any circumstance. No longer required to play societal roles, you are at ease.

Never ask ‘who is my real friend?’ Instead, question yourself: ‘Am I a real friend to somebody?’ When friendship is nurtured with the nectar of loyalty, laughter and liveliness, one flies on wings. Jane Austen’s words echo in my mind, “There is nothing I wouldn’t do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature”. This kind of friendship holds promise of deep fulfilment.

Old English has multiple connotations of word ‘friend’ such as freondspeding (abundance of friends) and freondleast (want of friends, loneliest). There is no inbuilt mechanism for it in biology. It is non-biological. Hence one rises in friendship. It has spiritual dimensions.

However, today the concept of ‘friend’ and ‘unfriend’ is in vogue. But I do feel lucky to have a group of friends whose positive vibes and passionate vision make me revel in the sea of joy with waves of love overlapping in tides and ebbs of my life. I believe the grin on one’s face comes from the lighthouse of friendship which is the irreplaceable component of a happy, healthy and harmonious life. Having good friends is wonderful bliss, and no other feeling can be more wonderful than this. August 5 is Friendship Day. Will you be with your friends on that day?

The author is associate professor in English, MLN College, Yamunananagar

First Published: Jul 29, 2018 12:38 IST