Saturday, August 4, 2012

Stories… Memories… Legendary Lores… Friends!

“. . . the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.”  Mary Shelley

Sharing lunch boxes, books, audio cassettes (yes, we had those in our adolescence and teen days!) and anecdotes about anything and everything: from dreams & ambitions to music & movies, from life’s dilemmas (you know, the ‘teenage’ rebel dramas involving school authority, parents, heart troubles!) to many little joys, and of course, the opposite sex. How much I miss the golden school days! We may not be in touch with most of our school friends today, but isn’t it already ‘romantic’ to realize that you made maximum number of friends only in school! We may not know where most of them are today, but we still remember everyone’s name. One small reunion and the Pandora’s Box of memories always open up. School pals will always enjoy a special cherished place in our hearts.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”   C.S. Lewis

The first day in college and in my case, hostel as well… You search for someone with whom you can identify or connect immediately. You might hang out in a humongous group of batch-mates, but you end up being ‘friends’ with a limited few due to that connection. Those few friends end up being very important part of your life. They give shape to your persona, your life as you gradually step into adulthood. You become ‘philosophers’ with them, trying to decide on a direction of life. For me, they were my family away from home. They are my 4 AM friends till date. Even our parents seek them out if they can’t get through us… “Her phone not reachable”, “Is something bothering her?”, “She is being adamant about that xyz, please talk to her!” and so on.

The same story continues with a very few individuals whom you befriend after you finish academic life… 
They may be from work-sphere, your flatmate or someone introduced to you by some acquaintance. They are the ones who help you relax and rejuvenate after hectic work schedule. They hear out your frustrations, providing the shoulder to cry and let you get into high spirits.  

Thank god for these friends for life, those memories. The late-night or rather, till-dawn talkathon, midnight snacking and odd ice-cream cravings, SOS plea to guys to get those ice-creams, bunking classes to watch already-seen movies while lazing under the cozy blankets, experimenting in kitchen (guess we turned out to be fairly good cooks due to that without mom’s training), that crazy night on the roof during the rains, endless shopping sojourns and of course, the house parties. Given a choice, I will any day prefer those fun house parties where we cook our food ourselves and spend quality time with friends (ending up really high-spirited in every possible way) over the so not memory-worthy parties in posh night clubs. The photographs and memories of those house-parties always bring smiles even in darker times. Oh, the stuffs that happen during college days will create legendary stories for our next generations… our stories are at par with our favourite sitcoms like ‘Friends’. We are very proud of those stories!

“A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face.”  Maya Angelou

Then there are those strangers whom you don’t know personally, may be you have not even met them. But there is always a warm connection with them. You feel happy to bond with them as you feel they understand you in certain way. You don’t even feel the need to talk to them directly. Pen pals (in older times) and a few social-networking pals today can cheer you up when you are feeling down and out. A few message exchanges… you can unburden your thoughts to them without being judged. I feel I am fortunate to have a few such friends who know me without really knowing me. It’s true, life can be stranger than fiction.

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?” asked Piglet.              
“Even longer,” Pooh answered.

I am not trying to classify friends. Truth is, friendship can’t be defined. There are no true friends… There are only ‘friends’… rest are just the people you know, or at least you hope you know. Friends, you don’t need to pretend to know them and you are also sure, they are also not pretending to know you. They simply understand.

So here it goes… Happy Friendship Day!