Last month also had chance to interact with someone which has been eye opener on friendship front. A very close friend of mine (pls note a friend so I become an actor of this post involving friendship though strictly under oath as someone who could express) who in past had claimed to have treasured people/relations more than materialistic approach. He has been in past very militant about same and this fact remained as fountainhead of something which he used to boast and cherish. But life as usual plays cynic and leveller. In fact it’s the same people/relations above material debate which had put the protagonist of post in the hardest corner of his life, ended one of the best chapters of his life recently. Please note this is not a forum to point fingers or glorify/defame anybody. But it is an open forum to voice certain eternal and omnipresent truths of life. Taking a certain individual namely ‘A’ from equation, I think another say ‘B’ can appreciate the feelings. That’s the genesis of this post. Here is what he told me at a great location amidst rains over cup of steamed tea and onion pakodas.
"I had arrived in life after being relegated to dirty travails of self doubt and belief. And those who inflicted the pain were own. I could have revolted, fought, exposed the guilty but decided to take whole blame on myself for lack of ability as shouted publicly by miscreants. Moved on, did some very hard work and regained same over short period of time. Success attracts lot of people around and opens up lot of avenues for you to express (some opened by hard cash). I felt had got great set of lifelong relations to replace older ones. I had a great time. But somehow past catches on you. Again i was outcast in society of those born with silver spoons. My ways clashed with some and simple recognition in form of interpersonal respect which was lost. The values and nuances for which I stood for very ridiculed and simple issues were blown out of proportion to again take me to place where I started: self doubt and belief. Amidst all this some friends stood by who shared similar situations in past in life and also some friends who shared same cultural upbringing and things are fine now" said the narrator.
Last year I went to a Himalayan trek. I was in touch with 18-22 yrs age group. After 4 pm we had nothing to do but to play games and chat. These people also opened out. As Galib would say 'aur bhi gum hain zamaney mein', 60-70 % of conversation revolved around opposite sex as natural with that age group. But other 20% discussion revolved around friendship bonds which these kids valued more than relationship.
This took me back to kgp days when we used to feel same way. We felt we would build on that throughout. But some very lucky some were not. Distance always play role. Thanks to web 2.0 now most are in touch and warmth still exist but i would not claim those bonds mean anything more than trying to take clock back by certain number of years.
I have never worked in any organization so am not authority on those bonds but have heard that such friendships are stronger than school, college ones as issues close to heart, work, money, kids are some things which tick on these bonds. I have also heard business partners turn out better friends but money acts as spoiler most of times.
I have developed some good friends at health club but those interactions are designed at making sports/ exercise more fun. Also interest groups like trekking, drama, work but they revolve around topic as per my limited experience. Parents of your child's friends also act as good thread but competition between kids as perceived by parents acts like dampener.
have seen very good groups across neighbourhood but one has to be lucky to match wavelength, age and income group.
Maybe all this can be termed as mid life crisis wherein existential crisis is reflected as to find best formula to build friendship and relation. But as said by my friend who initiated the topic.
'Though interestingly friendship comes with no preconditions, prejudices and plans, It happens. But it’s important to identify, respect, value of common thread which binds. People tend to create expectations, calculation, bank upon these friendship bonds, take people for granted, try to score brownie points shielding it with sense of humor ( while endangering basis of friendship unknowingly or they care least). It’s really important to respect your friend for what he exists. That’s definition of friendship" . Seems like words of wisdom from someone who has seen it all.
That took me on a track as to identify those who value and respect for what I stand by and vice versa how much do I respect my friends for what they stand by. Do i have good friends or am I good friend of others?
Just to argue with a popular ad for mobile company: Kya Har Ek friend jaroori hota Hain?
Author runs a blog http://nayakgiri.blogspot.com