“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” This line has been used to define a true friend through the ages. But I really think this definition is not good enough these days. I mean I might completely be over thinking this but what if a person is helping you just to ensure your help when he needs you. That’s not friendship, is it? Bribery would be a better analogy. At the risk of sounding clichéd, I’d like to say that friendship is all about being there for someone, helping someone without expecting anything in return, anything at all. But we don’t make friends these days, do we? We make contacts, so that we can get our work done easily. It’s more like symbiosis. You get my work done, and I’ll get yours. And that is perfectly logical actually. I mean what is wrong with making connections. After all we do live in a materialistic world, where connections/contacts are power. Sure sometimes having a ton of money doesn’t hurt, but connections work where even money fails, a very rare event I might add though, money not working that is. And if you are not one of those ridiculously rich people, connections come in handy. In fact if someone approached me right now and asked, “Hey, why do I need this ‘True Friend’ character in my life?” I don’t think I’d be able to give them a satisfactory answer. But what I would tell them is that we live in a very selfish world. No one and I mean no one does anything for anyone without expecting something in return. It’s sad really, the kind of world we live in. Our relationships are a mess, every single one of them. No way of sugarcoating it. And in this so called ‘practical’ world, friendship is the only relationship that can be selfless. I’m not saying that it always is, in fact quite the contrary, it too rarely is. But I do think that it’s the only one which has a shot at being one. And not all friendships are true ones, or even good ones for that matter. But I can safely say that any true friend is a selfless one. Really hard to have a true friendship for selfish means, impossible in fact, I’d like to believe. It’s not like you’re strolling in the market, see someone and say to yourself, “Gee. That’s a potential true friend.” It doesn’t work that way. A true friendship takes time to evolve. And most of the time we don’t even have a clue when someone we hardly know, slowly becomes a true friend.
I might be wrong but I really think we’ve degraded the entire concept of a ‘friend’. These days every second person we meet is a friend. If you remember his face and know his name, he’s on your ‘happy-christmas-happy-new-year’ list. And even the face remembering thing is not a compulsion. All you need is their cell number and that is reason enough for you to call them friends and wish them on every occasion possible. People walk around calling everyone their best friend these days. The term doesn’t have any meaning anymore. Mere acquaintances are lavished with hugs and kisses at the second or at most third meeting. Birthday cards are passed around offices so that everybody can scribble a snippet of sentimentality for a colleague they barely met. So when you call someone your best friend, it generally goes unheard. As I said, the word doesn’t have any meaning anymore
I once read somewhere that being a mother is the highest paid job in the world, since the payment is pure love. Well I’d like to say that a friend, a true one gets paid lavishly as well and in the same form too, true love. As I already discarded the age-old definition of a ‘friend’, I guess I should also give a new one. One which is viable, at least for now. A true friend to me is someone you can be yourself in front of. It’s not news that we behave differently in front of different people. You are person A in front of your parents, person B in front of your teachers and person C when you are with your, well, friends. But no one knows the real you. That’s the person you are when you are completely alone, with no one watching you. Well, apart from the set of eyes above which always watch you. But the ‘always’ part makes it hard to consider them as active watchers. I mean who really would actually like to watch your boring life 24*7, especially if they had the choice not to. Anyways coming back to the point, when you are with a true friend, there is no holding back of thoughts. No filtering them before they come out of your mouth, to suit the listener. I mean with a true friend, I could say something like, “Women empowerment is overrated. I mean in villages and backward areas, totally needed but non-existent. In metropolitan cities hardly needed, but totally exists.” without worrying about him going all philosophical on me. Even if he didn’t agree with me, he wouldn’t judge me based on a politically incorrect remark I made. Instead he’d try his best to understand my opinion. A true friend is someone whom you can insult in public and he won’t hold a grudge. He’ll just insult you in public instead. She is a true friend if you can say to her face, “Seriously? Didn’t you have anything uglier to wear?” He’s a true friend if sitting in his car you can tell him, “Dude, slow down or I’m getting off of this ‘Death Chariot’ of yours.” Without fearing that you’ll sound uncool.
I’m sure it’s a beautiful feeling. Being yourself in front of someone else. Having someone who can read you like an open book, someone who can look beneath the fake smile. I wouldn’t know, but I’m sure it is. Its nice having a true friend is all I can say. I haven’t found mine yet, but I truly hope that you have or soon do.