Will you do friendship with me?

Will you do friendship with me?

Will you do friendship with me?

Any relationship on earth is hell without rapport. We can do it the hard way — with daggers in the back and dirty politics; or the pleasurable way — with team spirit and goodwill. Spiritually speaking, friendship be the food of love.

Close friends, good friends, old friends, new friends, best friends, fair-weather friends, BFFs, childhood friends, school friends, only friends, just friends, friends for life... From the most intimate tie to the most casual of acquaintances, or even with a downright stranger, extending a hand, metaphorically speaking, can only minimise damage and maximise returns.

In the spirit of what goes around coming around, it is wise to set aside your naturally suspicious nature and invest in a little camaraderie. You never know when you will strike gold. A true friend is money in the bank.

It is a matter of chemistry. Just like one cannot fall in love with all and sundry, one cannot send friend requests to whomsoever it may concern. While legendary love affairs talk of eyes meeting and lightning striking and some speak bashfully of love just growing on them when they weren’t looking, friends too have such romantic tales to tell of how they began. Either they hated each other on sight, or were best pals with some minor character in the story of their life before, wham, magic!

Agreed, friendship fables are somewhat inferior to tales of true love, but they make up in warmth and the feel-good factor what they sometimes lack in high drama. And while chances of being star-crossed friends are somewhat dim, friends do fall in love all the time.

But comparisons to grand passion are exactly what exonerate and exalt true friendships. Imagine playing the lead in your own soap opera, with all its ups and all its downs, and no one to go and report it to. No one to call you a drama queen and put you in your place. Can anyone live from tension point to tension point with no let-up in the melodrama department? The love of your life is all very good, but without ‘a like of your life’ in place, the love of your life is too much to take.

Friends let you be. Low expectations, a lack of judging and loads of putting your feet up. As you make your way through litres and litres of beverages together, you come to terms with the world around you. No mountain is too high, no woe too personal, no secret too yuk. In fact, friendships thrive on secrets; the darker the secret, the deeper the bond.

There is an inherent rota system that goes on, which means today’s best friend was yesterday’s ‘I know her from college’ and tomorrow’s old friend. At any given point in time, Mother Nature rounds up a formidable line-up in the primary, secondary and tertiary rings of friendships around us. And one does need all kinds of friends.

One to hang out with, one to have heart to hearts with, one to shop with, one to argue with, one to feel superior to, one to feel inferior to... You can’t be too rich or too thin they say — well, you can’t have too many friends either.

Old pals Vs. new pals  

As one ages, one tends to cling to the familiar. It is as if being adventurous in intimate arenas is now out of the question. Plus, a shared past, a joint history does tend to take away the need for footnotes and frequent explanations.

But there is a cosmic cycle at play; we meet people on a need to know basis. Looking back, it is often uncanny how the one person we bump into turns out to be the right person at that point – to talk to, to relate to, to share with, to learn from.

And some people mysteriously disappear from our life, just like that, one fine day, without a word. No ill-will, not even a minor spat, but there is just no getting beyond ‘we need to catch up one of these days’. Signifying that particular friendship has reached its expiry date. People come and people go all the time, and the beauty of human interactions is such that one rarely notices this to-ing and fro-ing, busy as we are moving on to the new and the newer.

Being an ageist, as in other areas of life, can blight the joy of companionship too. So, beware of looking through future friends just because you do not know them yet.

Yin to yang
Friends are, by definition, an open, easy circle of acceptance. Friends do not judge, they are not shocked, and they have your back. Through friends you travel to other lives, other worlds, and pitch in where needed.

The basis of friendships is give and take; from ancient times man has been insecure about going it alone. Any impending danger unites two or more people, even if the union is based on nothing more substantial than a cowering or an urge to exploit. For instance, all nations will come together today in case Martians land. Trust is a matter of convenience too; at the back of our heads always is the larger picture, of allies and aliens. Friends are the family we choose.

Let your heart guide, which means making mistakes and latching on to the wrong types once in a while. But life is long and such heartbreaks too many. Better to have liked and lost than never to have liked at all. Befriend the friendless or the life and soul of the party; buddies pop up anywhere.

We let our hair down when we meet up with our own friends and we let our guards down when we meet other people who are friends. Like pressing your nose up against a glass window and looking in, it is a charmed circle. The little jokes, the bonhomie, the shared escapades... Really good friends make an insider of any outsider. You envy them — not for money or looks — but the sheer comfort level. It makes you want some special some-ones of your own.

In the digital age, friendships are getting more fragile. Live friends are an endangered species. The kind of pals we make in cyber space, we are aware, can up and away on a click. Of course, internet has also opened up whole chat-rooms with millions and millions of potential pals. In the real world or virtual, a little hand-holding can never go amiss. The question — ‘will you do friendship with me?’ — is now a global one, with language options.

Here’s wishing you have someone, e-pal or flesh and blood, to wish this Friendship Day.