What is friendship? Well, friendship is too vast a concept or a relationship for a clear-cut definition. In fact, it always remains better-off undefined, and even unfathomable. For practical purposes though, friendships are based on mutual likes, mutual respect, mutual love and a whole limitless world of mutuality. Some friends are made instantly, on the first exchange of mutual likes or in line with that saying ‘love at first sight’ being replaced with ‘friendship at first sight’, while some others take time to bloom into a perfect relationship. It is not necessary to have everything in common to be friends: friends can have diametrically opposite interests or even ideologies or passions or professions and yet be the best of friends. Mind you, like marriages friends are not made in heaven, they are technically ‘made in planet earth’ only.
Although friendships mostly develop and bloom amid school/college/university classmates, children in a neighborhood, friends’ friends, peers and office colleagues it can happen anytime with anyone at any stage of life. It is also totally free of the age factor, a 15-year-old can be the best of pals with a 60 or more-year-old. It is also free of all language, ethnicity, region, religion or culture barriers. Contrary to patriarchal beliefs it is also free of the gender factor, a boy can have an equally limitless friendship with a girl and vice versa. Therefore, if a true friendship is the basis between boys and girls then the terms of ‘girlfriends’ or ‘boyfriends’ are misnomers.
Again, contrary to the general belief that members of the family cannot be friends, friendship can bloom even between grandchildren and grandparents; children and parents; between siblings and in-laws; and with anyone, everyone. Friendship can in fact add a refreshing dimension to such relationships. Therefore, people need not hesitate to send friend requests to their family and kin too on the social media. With the world becoming a closed and small place digitally there can also be friends irrespective of the huge geographical distances, the instant communication facility being the bonding factor. It’s basically the bond that drives the friendship vehicle seamlessly around, both in reality and in virtual reality. However, a mere ‘friend’ on the social media does not necessarily signify friendship.
Friendship provides the truest form of a liberal democracy: you can talk, debate or dispute anything under the sun with friends; a friend will never undermine you for your weaknesses or limitations; friends do have the right to quarrel bitterly between themselves too and yet remain friends; selfish motives never penetrate a friendship bond and if it does then it’s not friendship; and absolutely nothing of the kind of competitiveness or rivalry ever figures in a friendship. People often confuse between business relationships and friendships for such reasons; however, it is possible to chisel out friendship here too, if the ‘business’ part is dealt and dispensed with diligently.
The beauty of friendship is that it is not at all necessary to do any maintenance work for keeping it up which means you need not visit your friends or call your friends or write/message to your friends at regular intervals to show that you are still friends. You can be in the same city or thousands of miles apart and you can be out of touch for months, years or even decades, and yet you can reunite anytime anywhere basking in the undiminished glory of your friendship as if nothing had happened. Therefore, the observance of ‘Friendship Day’ once or more in a year is not at all necessary to rekindle your friendships or to justify it by sending inspiring messages or by shedding abundant tears of remembrance. But of course, such occasions make you ponder, to introspect and even to write something about it, call it an ode or notes as you may prefer.
Friendship is selfless, limitless; friendship is forever. Perhaps the best ever gift of God bestowed on humankind. Celebrate friendship every moment of your life, and be proud you have them by your side, always.
Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional specialized in the creative field with over two decades of experience in journalistic writing, media co-ordination, film script writing, film dubbing, film & video making, management of international film festivals and editing of books & journals. Proficient in providing professional services in these related fields. Was an officer of Indian Information Service and superannuated from the post of Director, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November, 2019. Published his first solo book ‘Laugh and Let Laugh’ in 2017.
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