This last Sunday, being the first Sunday of August was celebrated as Friendship day. Friends wished each other on Facebook or in person, exchanged gifts and cards while some tied wrist bands in a bid to seal their friendship.
It’s hard to describe a friendship. But undoubtedly, the best friendships are those made without any pretences or judgement. And that’s possibly the reason that long lasting friendships are the ones made during childhood.
A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”- Arabian Proverb
My very first friends were my cousins. Our moms were the only two of 10 siblings to live away from their native town and fortunately in the same city, not too far from each other. So,we practically grew up together and shared our secrets, fears, dreams, ambitions and crushes on boys!
Our most memorable times were when we travelled together by train to our maternal Grandparent’s home for the summer hols. The four of us (my sister, my 2 cousin sisters and I) would clamber up and down the 3-tier berths like monkeys, sing songs, play games and gulp down the food offered by our mothers and co-passengers during the 24 hour journey.
We have been through thick and thin together. They are the ones we reach out to in times of grief and joy to share and support. Like the time my cousin R flew down to be with me when I lost my father. And cousin S cancelled her travel plans to be with my family when I was hospitalised last year.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C. S. Lewis
Then, there were the apartment and school friends. Most of us in the neighbourhood went to the same school. We would walk in hordes to and from school every day, chattering away and helping each other with school bags that would put any weight-lifter to shame!
Though we lost touch with each other after school, we have now reconnected, thanks to Facebook and met for our school reunion after 25 years! We came not only from different parts of the country, but also different parts of the world. The chasm in time just melted away as we chatted, laughed, danced and regaled each other with tales of our days spent together.
True friendship is a rare and beautiful thing in life!