I was in school when I chanced upon this quote on friendship
‘Friendship peculiar boon of heaven. The noble mind’s delight and pride, To men and angles, only given. To all the lower world denied!’
That was the time when the idea of friendship fascinated me. It was the time when friends and friendships meant something more than a mere social commitment. It probably wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that at that point in my life, I was infatuated by this belief of friendship; the idea of rapport where I wouldn’t be judged. I must admit it was enticing! But now that I think about it, I realize that it was also the time when I had tremendous faith in the existence of fairies and elves! So, I probably should have known better than to get carried away by this apparent boon from heaven!
Friends, some say are those flowers in our bouquet of acquaintances that we pick ourselves. They are neither forced upon us nor are we bound by any social diktats to adhere to a specific bunch. It is all up to us, the friends we choose and the bonds we make. Well, up to that part I certainly agree. But how much of a good job do we really do in selecting friends? Is the idea of true friendship a reality or just blatant optimism? My experiences far outweigh the latter but then it’s just me!
Friendship like any other relationship, I hear, is a two-way street. Lucky are those who have a bunch of friends they can call their own. Lucky are those who are blessed with the gift of true companionship. But I’m quite sure there are also those few unfortunate individuals whose rosy notions about friendship have been shattered time and again; leaving them scarred and bitter. Am I one of those? Well, I am certainly scarred, a lot bitter but also better off not harbouring this fallacy of true friendship.
There are those that claim to be your friends and then there are those that are actually your friends. I have been fortunate to have had both; more of those that claimed to be friends or even soul sisters. But what remains now is just a profound void that I am not quite sure that I want to be filled.
I have had friends who chose to abandon me when I chanced to do well in a certain bend of life. I have had friends who chose to dump me when the accolades, however small, were for me and not for them. I have had friends who chose to banish me from their circles when I fell in love, for apparently, I was wrong to listen to my heart. I have had friends who chose to see the anger in me instead of the hurt and emotional turmoil when I lived through the better part of a year nursing a burn injury. I have had friends who chose to turn their backs towards me when I stood up for myself. I have had friends who chose to accept my good qualities and not my imperfections. I have had friends who chose to detest me when I raised my temper but failed to remember the times when they had done the same while I had remained quiet, always by their side. I have had friends whom I had truly loved but they chose instead to move away. I have had friends I had tried to reconnect with but they seemed far too distant to take those few steps towards me. I have had friends to whom I had gone time and again after a fight, took the first step to mend fences but when I wished for them to make that first move they chose never to come back. I have had friends who chose to carry misunderstandings in their hearts rather than love. I have had friends who chose to take sides (not mine!) rather than listen to my end of the story.
Do I miss them? Of course, I do. It would be wrong to say I don’t. But what’s done apparently can’t be undone. What is lost is evidently lost forever. Perhaps someday I’d get a few of them back. Perhaps someday I’d laugh over this post of mine with them by my side. I envy those lucky enough to have even a handful of true friends. I too have a couple of very good friends but then I could have had so many more; so many more! I guess friendship is a boon that the invisible power above chose to shower meagerly on me.
Stories in those starry nights,
How we shared each other’s sorry plights!
Smiles and sobs all halved alright,
Those innocent little fights,
All things shared, black or white,
We were once friends so tight!
I know not who went wrong or right,
But may you, my friend, keep burning bright!
I had written this post 6 years back and to be completely honest with you, my thoughts on friendship haven’t changed much. I’m sceptical about this concept of friendship. People only talk to you when they want to be heard. I am yet to find people who will actually listen to you and your mundane life. Friendship to me seems to be a one-way street where my role often is to be the listener. And this point in time, I really don’t want to invest my time listening to someone who doesn’t reciprocate. My problem is I actually get worried when someone pretending to be my friend is feeling bad about something. However, I have often found that it’s just a way of gaining sympathy. And I don’t want to waste my limited time on such relationships anymore. But I pretend to listen and to care. Unless I get the same amount of involvement from the other side, I really don’t like making any from mine. You could say once bitten twice shy. I don’t mind being alone. I don’t mind eating lunch alone or spending my day alone. I certainly don’t need someone to be put up this farce which friendship really is these days. I guess friendship just isn’t the thing for me.
What about you? Do you believe in friendships because I don’t believe in them anymore?