Sunday, 11 August 2013

Why are friends special?

Shahrukh Khan has given India a lot of regrettable things that you can waste your money on, like Ra.One and KKR. But one of his contributions to Indian Culture that he doesn't take credit or financial benefit out of is Friendship Day. *KKHH Theme plays in background* Last week we celebrated friendship day with much enthusiasm, zeal and tagged pictures on Facebook. It was obviously hated with the same zeal on Twitter because they can never agree with Facebook on any issue except for stupidity of Rahul Gandhi. But this is not about him. This is about friends.

Friends have often been termed as ‘Relatives that we choose’, which confuses me about their role in my life because I think we have already established the fact that relatives are meant to be hated. So is it the availability of choice that makes friends so much more special than relatives? But what choices do we really have when making friends? Most people end up being friends with their neighbours, next person on the school bench, wing mates in college hostel and fellow cubicle mates at office. At most, you will go around and explore your class or your office floor for friends. How large really is our world, where we select/settle for our friends. Are our friends a result of choice or just convenience? The choice pool is worse for love marriages/affairs where we hardly interact with eligible partners in our lives, settle for someone and convince ourselves that they are our soul mates. But let’s leave love for some other day. So having established that most of our friends are just matter of convenience, picked out of very limited choices, what makes them special? Is it the lack of guarantee that comes with them? With family and relatives, we know they’ll be there, always. And probably that makes them less desirable. That gives them a sense of an impending burden on us. On the other hand, it is much easier to drift away from your friends and an equal probable chance of them drifting away from us. Is it then a sense of achievement of having maintained a voluntary relationship for a long period of time?

Having been alive for a relatively longer period now, I have noticed that everyone is hate-able and enough interactions with them will give you logically strong reasons to loathe their company. Is it true for friends too? Yes, hell it is. Your friends are someone’s relatives too after all. Your ‘two peas in a pod’ is someone else’s ‘I can’t stand the fucking asshole’. The fact is that you’ll lose a lot of friends. Most will never bother to tell you the reason for drifting apart because friendship doesn't need a spelt out ‘break up’. You will just stop talking for months and the one who contacts first after that will gain the right to say ‘Bahut busy ho gaya tu. Dosto ke liye time hi nahi hai’. Usually such calls end with a ‘Yaar ek kaam tha..’ I think we romanticize friendship a bit too much. They are just people in your life you can safely make fun of without getting punched in the face. On other occasions they will serve as able company to reduce beer cost by ordering that tower instead of draught glasses. They will also tell you that it is pronounced draft and not draught but you can ignore. Then at times they’ll provide you with an alibi at home when you have to spend time with your boyfriend/girlfriend. They will hook you up with green stuff and recommend the must watch TV series. They will support you when you call them looking for advice when in fact you are only looking for someone’s backing for your already taken bad decision. They serve many purposes. Friendship is pretty much a very selfish relationship at a subconscious level. It starts with people having some common interest. It could be studying together, playing together, watching some sports or the more common 'bitching about others'. While we don't explicitly consider all these benefits, budding of friendship usually depends on such benefits that we derive from our friends. It is indeed a very beneficial relationship to engage in. It is this inherent selfish nature that, I believe, makes friends and friendship special.