Best-friends forever? Infinite friends? What is the crux of a healthy friendship? Oh, so many ways to look at this. Some think that spending time is what makes a friendship strong, some say that it’s the conversations that make or break a friendship, while others say acceptance is all that a friendship needs to flourish.
But, I would like to butt in, and give you my two bits. I think friendship is a beautiful thing. It is the one relationship that does not necessarily need to be bogged down by rules, expectations or realities. It is a union of two people that voluntarily decide to meet each other and talk to each other, instead of dealing with more important tasks at hand. It is a rescue, a safety net, it is the one thing you can count on, more often than not, when everything else in our lives goes downhill.
However, to make a friendship last, is a unique method for each kind. No two people are the same, so that makes it obvious that their eccentricities are what each likes in the other. But, one thing is for sure. A friendship is beautiful when people aren’t expected to change themselves for their friends to feel better. Acceptance, a good conversation, zero expectations, only love. I think, in my opinion, this is what friendship needs.
I could be wrong. Hell, I’ve been told too many times and too often: “You give too much of yourself to your friends. Do they ever give back in return?”. Oh, my darling mum. If only I cared enough about what I received in return, I wouldn’t have any friends. Yes, sometimes I offer too much help, I pamper a lot; in the form of help, gifts or simply some yummy food, or too much time doing simply nothing.
What matters to me in this case, is how happy i feel when I am around a certain group of friends. My best friends are two lovely gems; one lives close-by and one is a world away. Yes, in Bombay, south Bombay ends up being a world away for bandra-dwellers. Haha! But yes, both hold so much value in my life. Each adds their own spices. One listens, advises and holds me together. One is always there in times of trouble, to make me laugh and to make me feel lighter when days just bog me down. It doesn’t matter if both aren’t able to do the same things. This is why we have five fingers too; each has its own function, but we need all, to make a hand worthy. Why not think of your friends this way too?
There are days when mom, dad or siblings just won’t do. You need that familiar feeling. One that doesn’t give advice, yell or try to walk a mile in your shoes. They just sit with you, and let you feel all that you want to. And they hold you when you need them to. They don’t give their two bits, they don’t tell you what a humongous idiot you are for feeling what you do. They just sit and listen and wait. They wait for you to open up to them.
Life is a kaleidoscope and your friends tend to be the elements that add colorful memories to it, more often than family does. After all, once we realise that there are no expectations from friendships and only love and smiles, how can life not be colorful? Some lift us up, some call us on our daily bullshit and they refuse to let us disappear when life gets hard. They stick on your face like octopuses; always there with helping hands. They challenge us, they make us laugh and they remind us that even though there are hardships, we are not alone and there is so much to look up and say ‘thank you’ for!
There’s no doubt about it. We all need a set of friends. Our own tribe, that we can count on to be there when you need someone. Like Suzanne Degges-White says, “Having weak social connections is as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes in a day!”.
Week 1, 1st January 2021
Originally published at https://www.roadfolkmag.com on December 31, 2020.