“A warmth was spreading through Harry that had nothing to do with the sunlight; a tight obstruction in his chest seemed to be dissolving. He knew that Ron and Hermione were more shocked than they were letting on, but the mere fact that they were still there on either side of him, speaking bracing words of comfort, not shrinking from him as though he were contaminated or dangerous, was worth more than he could ever tell them.” - From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
So today happens to be Friendship day; that fantastic day where we celebrate and cry out from our rooftops about how we love our friends. Is that the reason I write this post today? No. It just happens to be a happy coincidence that I somehow wanted to pour out my thoughts on friendship, which I realize even more today for certain reasons and found this the best way to let it all out.
Now am not much of a philosophical writer and neither is this post concerning long sermons on what exactly friendship is. As I have always mentioned, you go through various phases in your life and learn from them. I too am going through one of those phases and have felt and realized the importance of friends and the effect they have in my life more than ever before.
The dearest friend I have always tells me, “Dosti dunia ki sabse hasin chiz hoti hai.” That is probably the purest thing you all will ever hear but to actually feel it, realize it and inculcate in yourselves is what makes the world of a difference to our lives. I have always valued friendship and believed in investing in it with all my heart. Funnily enough my friends have been very kind to me and have sometimes put me in a pedestal I feel embarrassed to be in. Today, at this juncture, when I look back at my whole 26 years of existence, I see a massive montage of memories with friends who made all the difference in my life. Starting from the first best friend I made when I had still not crossed double figures to this day where I am luckily surrounded by the most beautiful and loving friends one can have, making my life sweet, cute, simple and normal in varied ways. I want to thank each and every one of you all. We actually never truly realize the real meaning friends hold in our lives. All of them, in some ways or the other have had effects on me that made me the person I am today.
It is impossible of course to mention all the friends that I have made and the precious moments I have shared with them. But I still am grateful to all of you from the bottom of my heart. Many of you probably will never read this, but I still go ahead. I start with my first best friend whom I met in the early days of my schooling and who was a very cool and laid back kind of person. He used to live near my house and we used to study in the same school. It was cool being with him; strolling around on bandh days, playing holi and sharing sweets on Dilwali. We bonded pretty strongly and I never thought we would ever separate, but as we grew up things changed. He made new friends and so did I. But in spite that we used to respect each other a lot even when we wouldn’t talk; I could sense that in the way we would smile across at each other from the milling corridors of our school. I know that wherever he is, he will always remember and respect me for the beautiful period we shared. Then of course there are so many other friends from school, whom you fought with, played with, laughed with and lived with. A selected few have stuck with me all along, right from the time we shared our lunch boxes in the 3rd standard till the date when I was struck by tragedy and needed someone to hug and let it all out. It didn’t matter that we were from different castes; that was something we rarely discuss. That, in fact is the beauty of our friendship as we enjoy visiting pandals together on Durga Puja and share hugs and sevai on Eid. All we know is to enjoy our friendship, and try and be there for each other. I thank that particular friend of mine for coming in my life and showing me this beautiful colour of friendship. There of course are many more, with some I never discuss emotional stuff and just be cool and forget some issues plaguing me. Right from the school time, where we would discuss movies, argue on whose favourite actor is better, share lady issues, exchange music and many more. I cherish all of those moments and hope that we remain friends for life. I can of course keep writing on all my school friends, but then again it is seemingly impossible to mention all of them and the impact they have had. So to each and every one of you, here goes a massive thank you for coming into my life, because I can't express this to you all directly.
I would like to briefly discuss friendship with the opposite sex here. This is something that is probably the most confused of all friendships that can ever be, but we hardly realize the importance of it and generally waste it away with disconcerted emotions. I have been lucky enough to have the most precious of female friends in my life, some of whom are already married, but the impact they have had in my life is immense. There are certain emotions and feelings that you can only discuss with the opposite sex. I believe that true friendship with the opposite sex is essential, as it makes you respectful towards them, makes you understand their varied emotions and most importantly celebrate life’s greatest treasure in its purest form. The day we all understand this, we would have learnt a great lesson in life.
Lastly, there are those very rare few who go beyond friendship and attach with you in a peculiar kind of a way which alters your life course and make you realize emotions you never had, makes you understand the true meaning of love. Yes, love is something we ponder a lot over but hardly understand the definition it holds in our lives. I consider myself lucky that I have some special persons like those at this point in my life, people from whom I have learnt a lot, who have motivated and inspired me without even realizing it and are standing by me through and through. Surely, I must have done something good in life.
The lines from Harry Potter which I have mentioned at the beginning of this post probably signify a lot on what friendship is all about. In fact, Harry Potter (the books), to me is probably the best example of true friendship that can ever be. People who can see through its magical world would know that Ron and Hermione and their friendship for Harry is the real hero from the Potter books. They chose to stick to Harry at all times, evading all of their fears and dangers and making things easier for him in ways he could never imagine. That is what friendship is all about isn’t it? Going beyond your apprehensions, your egos and just being there for your friend when they need you the most.
In the end that is the most important thing which you will take with yourself in life; the bonds of friendship you make. When I look back at my existence in my concluding days I hope I would have created a canvas of friendship so huge that it would sustain me to breathe my last in peace. I again thank all of my friends without whom I would really be nothing.
There really is no life without friends, I realize this today more than ever. As there are times when you are scared, depressed, worried, and everything seems dark, but out of nowhere comes a hand on your shoulders and says “Don’t worry”. You realize then that the knot in your chest is slowly dissolving and your soul feels relaxed and cathartic like never before. That is the moment you can say it out aloud, “I am not worried...I have you.”