~”All you need is someone who gets you”
Today is Friendship’s Day.
At the risk of sounding blasé, I’ll admit that the term has lost it’s meaning for me.
When we were young
Do you recall how excited we’d be in school over Friendship Day? We’d spend the last few weeks in July carefully pondering over how many “Friendship bands” we’d need this year, braiding intricate patterns out of colored wool, and putting in special effort for the ones we called our “Best Friends”. The older ones would mill around Archies and Hallmark picking out the perfect band to signify their friendships and maybe pick out a memento or two to go with that greeting card and band. In those days, the more number of bands you had on your wrist, the more popular you were. We’d flaunt the bands all day, maybe eat out with our friends in the evening, and have a completely eventful weekend. Later, we’d carefully put away these bands in a tin box to be stashed behind the clothes in our wardrobe, until next July. (I vaguely recall someone celebrating “Enemies’ Day” the day after – this, when I was quite small. Needless to say, no one wanted a band on their wrist that day).
In those days, Friendship was a term we carelessly threw around, something to denote our popularity and proudly brandished on the first Sunday of August. We cared about what others thought of our friends and everyone wanted to be friends with the popular kids. In our naiveté, we believed that these friends would last all our lives, and we truly believed in the term BFFs.
A little older..
As we entered college, the day became more of a “Lets-go-watch-a-movie” or a “Lets-have-a-house-party” kinda day – simply put, another excuse to chill with friends. The brouhaha was still ongoing, no thanks to Archies, which raked in millions selling promises to starry-eyed youngsters.
It was only when we lost touch with most of these friends after university, that we realized the true meaning of friendship. Those of us who’ve stayed away from home know more about this than others. We realized that good friends are not only hard to come by, but even tougher to hold on to. If you had a nice set of friends, the darkest of days could seem brighter. And we stopped using the term loosely.
It was then that we started segregating people into separate baskets. There were the “Fun-to-chill-with” friends, and then there were the “I-only-wish-you-on-your-birthday” friends and finally, there were friends “I-can-rely-on”. And slowly, we stopped caring about people in the first two baskets.
Over the years, the term Friendship has turned from a tangible band to something more elusive, and definitely more precious.
As we grew older, our number of real friends dwindled to a mere handful you could always rely on. That one 3 AM friend you had in another continent was enough to make you feel better. We stopped judging our popularity by the number of calls we receive on our birthday eve at midnight. We no longer want a birthday bash with 20 odd people. We were happier with the chosen 3 or 4 by our side. And the best part? We no longer cared about what others thought – age, sex, popularity, nationality – nothing mattered. All that matter was how much better life was with that person in it.
And we no longer needed the first Sunday of August to commemorate this fact.
Wishing all my friends a very Happy Friendships Day! Thanks for being there 🙂