Friendship is a very pious word and has a history which is replete with instances of sacrifices and self less devotion to each other. Its a concept which has a very deep meaning and a very labyrinthine dimensions. Two important dimensions of this word are Purity of thought and purity of action . In simplification this means that you can’t deceive your friend and you must not even nurture bad thoughts about ignoring a friend. And one another important but hidden dimension of this word is tacit help which you must render to a friend in need. The classic example of this is the friendship of Shri Krishna and Sudama. Krishna helped Sudama so tacitly that Sudama never felt hurt or low in front of Krishna.
But Alas!, lets view the friendship  patterns prevalent today in the society. All of us have different groups of friends around us. Like the Computer Administrator we allot them with different rights and privileges and off course different passwords of our life. We tend to disclose our secrets also in different quantum with different categories of friends. So now lets see these categories of friendship groups.

Job Friends . These are our friends in our work place . Whom we purport to be very close as long as we are in a particular job. We say that we are very close but we share only some secrets related to our work, boss or our peers in the work place. We party together , drink and eat together but seldom share our personal life with them. In today’s fast-pace environment they drift away with our shifting of job/ location . Thereafter its only Hi ! and bye! on a social networking site.

Internet Friends. Now this is very recent phenomenon . Though its roots can be linked with pen-pal ship of yester years. Germinating due to attraction,  common interest or common hobbies seen through a not-authenticated profile and photographs of a person only on The Net. Even without meeting a person you grade him as a friend and start sharing some very shallow information about yourself. Both ( now so called friends) are hiding behind a façade and show to be very emotional about each other. But both want to keep their true identities hidden. Due to fear from parents , spouses or due to fear of revealing their own true identities. This is friendship in its worst ever form. It does not fullfill even a single dimension of the purest word called friendship.

  • Chat friends. Oh , this is another form of shallow friendship which is floating around. Internet Chat Rooms, Mobile chat Rooms enter a chat – room and you have so many friends welcoming you. Exit from there and you are alone. Everybody wants to listen only happy messages. Everybody wanting to listen to romantic , chirping and cool talk. Nobody wants to listen if you start to share your problems.

    Friends in Relations. The fourth category is also friends who purports to be very close are times very dangerous because they are privy to your certain secrets which you would generally would not like to share. Now these friends are watching you very closely and every move of mistake of yours is well dissected in the broader family. So lots of people are vary of them too.

    So what happens when we are in turbulent waters? or in real need? Do we go to friends in social sites, chat rooms or to our True friends. Friends, whom you have never met in person , friends who are reluctant to share their true self with you, friends who only want to chat with you on romantic lines and shallow promises and dreams are what I call as Fair weather Friends. Undoubtedly in times of need our true friends will only come to our rescue. But believe me the younger generation has been so badly enamoured by this concept of virtual friendship that they invest all their time in nurturing this virtual friendship. They seldom read and practice the concept of true friendship. They seldom learn to care and share and help others in the time of need . Before they realise how harmful is the effect of this friendship it will be too late. Sitting inside a room in front of a screen and feeling that you have 500 friends is nothing but a false fallacy . Its time that we coin a new term for this kind of a relationship. May be net-pals would be more appropriate term.

    I feel such a pious word Friendship has been badly been mutilated by the social sites/internet.

Now closing my quip with the last word on fair- weather friends.

Well they were always there in everybody’s life , but the only thing is now-a-days there are rather too many of them floating around . And for such people making and dumping friends is no big deal. When they need you they will beckon you in every possible way . When you no longer mean of any value to them they turn their faces away.

Hence, beware of FW friends and invest in true friendship. True friendship takes time to mature, you have to take pains to mature it properly.

As always I am reminded of a true story.
I visited a friend (a classmate) after 20 years and after exchanging niceties I enquired about his father. He took me outside his house and sitting under the tree were a group of six oldies , all with shinning white hair and engrossed in gleeful talk( not internet chat).
When I asked, “ Uncle, Do you remember me?”. He said “Off course, Beta you were my son’s best friend in School”.
“Uncle how are you?” I asked.
“Oh, you can see how happy we all are” Saying this he looked at his friends and they all smiled and nodded in agreement.
He then introduced me to his five friends ( all above eighty years  of  age) and all of them had smiles on their faces which were suffusing with bliss and contentment .
“ Mohinder , in our  younger days when people were desperately  investing their time  only  to earn more money we six were investing in our friendship by helping each other in all spheres of life and see now how we are reaping the dividends of that investment here under this tree. We pray, we chat, we lament, we stay together.

Son, if you invest in true friendship today, the dividends will be unlimited happiness in your old age. Investing too much in Money will only bring loneliness and worries”.

This was his parting advice to me.


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