Hari Shanker R

Hari Shanker R

A Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

Friendship in these days of degenerating decency…

Friends.

They’re the best things all of us have ever had. We talk about/to/with them 24×7. We have oodles of fun, we enjoy each and every moment spent in their company. We do fight, but eventually we make up. They’re there for us through thick and thin. They’re with us, holding our arms, lifting us up from the deepest of pits, dancing with us when we’re on the groove. Throughout life, we meet a few people whom, at some point in time, we’d feel are our soulmates. Things would be so perfect – we’d even think alike, we’d pre empt each other and we would enjoy the other person’s presence and company!

.

That’s ideal friendship for you.

They keyword here is “ideal”, ’cause, such things happen only in fairytales. 😐

At the outset, you might relate to a lot of the ‘ideal friendship’ snippets I’ve written here, but come to think of it; how do you even know whether your friend is sincere enough? As long as you can’t conclusively “read minds” it’s hard to even make out whether your ‘friend’ is being true/honest/loyal to you. Which again brings the question, who’s your ideal friend? Β The person whom you’ve loads of fun with? The person with whom you converse for hours on end? The person whom you miss when he/she’s out of station?

Duh!!

It’s high time you realize, that most of these people, for whom you’d rather die for, are actually MAKING USE OF YOU! It’s essentially a give-or-take exercise. A ‘human barter system’ of sorts. Friendship is an excuse for exchanging favours – and the scales tip towards the person who gets more than he gives. He’s in the advantageous side of the friendship while his counterpart, stands only to lose out in the long run. I’m talking about this from personal experience. I’m a person, who’d die for friends – if someone close to me asks for a favour, I’d put all my tasks on hold, skip priorities and burn the midnight oil just to make sure that the other person gets his much-needed photostat or gets his/her PC repaired. I’ve this huge ‘pride’ which prevents me from asking for favours when I’m in a quandary – yet, I’ve had problems during which, I’d ask for favours. Only to be let down and demoralized. In the end, I stand alone Β – I’m all unto myself, all agog.

It’s worse for people, who attempt at bringing forth relationships, going the ‘friendship’ way. Yeah, the classic ‘hitting-on’ algorithm:

Meet girl/guy –> Talk to her –> Talk more –> Talk EVEN more –> Become ‘friends’ –> Good friends –> Best friends –> “Wiping tears off” BEST friends –> Bestest Friends –> Propose –> post-reject-best-friends —> Propose again —> In a relationship!!

Look at it in a different angle, and you’ll realize that this ruins the sanctity of what was once a sacred relationship. Such has become the case that the most platonic relationships between people of the opposite sexes get distorted with the love angle due to peer pressure. As in, when other ‘couples’ get born out of friendship, you’d get the urge to ask your best female friend out. People pass snide comments when you meet your friend at a public place. You’re accused of ‘going out’! 😐 I’m not saying that hitching a girl/guy the ‘friendship’ way is bad, perhaps it’s still the best way to get your girl. Yet, thanks to a gargantuan populace adopting this technique, things have been blown out of proportion. And if/when things get bad, your ‘friend’ suddenly calls it quits, cause he/she feels that you’re hitting on – which is mostly the case. (Personal experience, again!! 😐 )

Now, don’t get me wrong. Β This ain’t a cynical rant by a random maverick a$$hole who’s socially incompatible.

My intention was not to diss the institution of friendship and paint it in a bad light so as to dump it altogether. Friendship still exists, albeit screwed. It’s still the best form of human relationship ever, if you ask me. πŸ™‚ It might not be as perfect as what it was, but that’s the case with everything these days. It’s bloody Kalyug, dammit! And despite everything, most of us cling on to our friends, like babies snuggling up to their mothers. We forgive and forget. We trust, even when we’re being cheated upon. We ignore all we’ve been through, thanks to the God-given merit of forgetfulness. And to top it all, we do have those wonderous moments of fun, which aren’t exactly few and far in between. Many (if not most) of our buddies do stand by us in times of need and lift us up from the pits of shit to sunshine and rain, only to grow up once again! Β (imagery courtesy: ‘Shawshank redemption’ and ‘Three Idiots’:P ) Misunderstandings would happen, many ‘friends’ would fail to accede to your expectations; don’t let it hurt your ego and start throwing tantrums. Accepting them as they are, silently ‘move on’; don’t exactly ‘dump them’ or treat them the way they treated you. Just put the past behind you. That’s all!

And, ‘ideal’ friends do exist. But the problem is, we fail to notice them. It takes a keen eye and a sound mind to get that done, though. Most of us stick with people who give us a nice time, but they wouldn’t be the ones who’d be the right buddies, realistically speaking. I’d strongly recommend you to do a reality check – analyze each and every single buddy of yours. Who’s ‘been there’? Who’s pointed you to the right path? Find that person(s), and be closer to them. It would also make them happier, hence setting forth a relationship that would indeed last a lifetime.

Take it from someone who’s blessed with some of the best buddies ever (one of whom, inspired me to write this post). πŸ™‚

P.S.

The title off the post might seem odd, but check this video out, and you’d (laughingly) get the connection. Knowledge of Malayalam is highly recommended to enjoy the vid, btw.

7 Comments

  1. Akhil Sasidharan

    And, you had to write this!

    "It’s high time you realize, that most of these people, for whom you’d rather die for, are actually MAKING USE OF YOU!"

    My pat-on-the-back for each intelligent person who realize this soon enough and my sympathies for those who arrive at it late.

    Pinne ellarem angu adachu aakshepikkan pattilla. There're a LOT of selfless people in the world, and in college. Go for them! Let the others be, when you release that they can't taken seriously into your friends fold.

    Take out all the God-related text, I can connect as well.

    As for the algorithm, I'd rewrite it as:

    Meet girl/guy –> Talk –> Talk more –> Talk EVEN more –> Become ‘friends’ –> Good friends –> Best friends –> “Wiping tears off” BEST friends –> Bestest Friends –> Get out of their way –> Break their heart, after you've made sure it's there in the right place.

  2. ariyathe

    I saw the title and knew it was going to be a great post!! =]

    But blahhh I'm at a point right now where I'm past the forgive-and-forget stage and totally lost my faith in "ideal" friends of sorts. Because as you said, I've been there for others and no one's been there for me.

    Anyway I think it's a bad idea to go out with a good friend because most likely, the relationship will not work out (practically speaking, let's ignore the fairytale romance for a sec) and the person will lose both the relationship and a good friendship. Two birds with one stone- but those are the nice kind of birds.

    So I'd add to that algorithm. In a relationship–>break up–>no friend and no relationship

    …in all optimism=]

  3. DD Flynn

    Your post came to me through a google alert. I lost my daughter (20 yrs old) at the hands of her "friends", 4 yrs, 5 mos ago. Her name was Christi Michelle Nowak. http://www.friendsdontletfriendsdie.com is a site worth sharing. There are very true and very tragic stories under "Our Children". Kids, at the hands of their friends were shot and burned, buried alive while seizing, beaten and robbed by "friends" while seizing, painted and photographed while ODing. The site makes you re-think what a true friend is, in their most dire time of need.

  4. lekshmi

    Have gone through the same friendship dilemma of being dumped,cheated on,friendless and lonely..had even lost faith on the very idea of friendship…but along comes someone who is just the ideal match ,and lo!life's all hunky dory again.Life will prove to you that friendship is real and priceless,and though 'ideal' mates are rare ,they do exist….

  5. Sajad

    We got lots in common, bro. The pulling up things for friends, the pride not to ask people for help, and the getting disappointed when you expect stuff from your friends.

    Aah, well, but I'm now one of the others. The guys who use people, and get on with it. Saves me from depression. I suggest you do the same. Cruel world. No space for nice guys like you, and me. πŸ˜‰

  6. Anup

    "…And despite everything, most of us cling on to our friends, like babies snuggling up to their mothers. We forgive and forget. We trust, even when we’re being cheated upon."

    Man great post dude… you spoke out many of the things which indeed i too have in my mind. The one quoted above being one of my personal experiences..

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