Friends For Life

Friends  for  Life

  • Mohinder Pal Singh

Every  now  and  then all  of  us  meet  some    strangers .  With  some  we  exchanges  glances  ,  with  others   some  words  and  with  some  we becomes  friends. No one  is  born  with a  bunch of  friends. We  are  born only  with  our  parents.   All  friends  come  into our lives   first as  strangers , and  then  out  of them  some stay  with  us  as  friends   while   others  depart . The  journey from  strangers  to friendship depends  on  some  pre-requisites.  The first  one   by  its  presence  and  the  other  by  its  absence. The first,  is   the  presence  of  the  feeling  called  mutual.  Everything  in  friendship is  supposed to  be  mutual; be  it  respect,  love,  understanding or   genuine feelings. Nothing  can  be  one-way on the road of friendship.  The  second  is  important by  its  complete  absence  and  i.e   hatred.  This  absence  also  has  to  be in both and  not  one. If  it  is  present  even  in  one  person  it  will  not  let  the bond  nurture. For  a  good  bond of  friendship to  germinate  the  strong  presence  of  the  first  and  the complete  absence  of  the  second  in  both is  a  must.  Some  other  good  or  bad   feeling like  jealously,  competition  can  co-exist  in miniscule  quality without doing much harm .  The  bond of  friendship  can  withstand  them  to  a  great  extent. It  will be  surprising to  note that  the  gender, age , caste, religion, colour  play   so  little  role  in  this  process. Some even  say  that  the  opposites  attract but  that  too  cannot  be  postulated  because sometime  similar  also attract.  No  theory  of  science ,  art  or  psychology  has  ever  been  able  to  explain  the  nuances  of  this relation clearly. The  how  and  why people  becomes  friends  still  remains  an  inexplicable  mystery. Only  one  thing  seems clear and that is it  all  stems  from  the mind   and  thoughts.

An   indelible   truth of  the  life  is that  all friends  were  strangers  one  day.  But   all strangers  do  not  become  friends,  is  also  true. When two strangers  meet for  the  first  time  , something  wriggles in them, something  kindles, some neurons  snap and some  signals  mingle , only then  begins  the  process. If  the  signals  are  present  only in  one  person the  process  of  bonding  will  not  commence  effectively because  the  first   condition  is  not be  met. Once  initiated  , the  process of  friendship goes  through  some subtle and   overlapping phases. The first  phase is  the  introductory  phase  , where  the  strangers  develop  an innate urge to  know  each other. This may be  in  a  kind  of simple  hand-shake  in college, a  party or  in  a  meeting. The  introductory  phase may  last from a  few  seconds to a few  days. It  may  involve  some  verbal  introductions  about  each  other or  may  be  just  a glance. Once the  vibe  sets  in  and  the conditions  listed  above  seem  in place the  process starts. Closely  following this  phase  , is  the  second phase  called  the  Inquisitive  phase. After  a   brief  introductory phase  heralds into  curiosity and    you  wish  to  know  more  about the  person  (  if  you  do  not  know  it  earlier). Even  if  you  know  it  earlier  ,  anybody  will  like  to  be  in  verbal  communication . Inquisitiveness  includes  knowing  about   his/her  habits,  nature , likes and dislikes. This  phase lasts  for  a  much longer  duration.  This  is  followed  by  the  third phase called, Sharing  phase.  Having known    a person for  some  time  you develop  some  faith  and  you   feel  like  sharing  things. This  may mean sharing  some  of  your  not  so  important  secrets  or  even  physical  things  like  giving  small  gifts etc. This  is  followed  by the  fourth  phase  called  the  Test  Phase.   The  road  from  being strangers  to good  friends is  not  surfeit  with rosy petals  all  along. There  are  rough  and  muddy  patches  enroute  which  need  to  be crossed  . At  times  true  friends  can  be  harsh and  rude  too. The  Test phase comes  in when  misunderstandings , personal biases creep in. This  needs  maturity in understanding  and   handling the  feelings  of  a person. The last phase of  friendship  is the   Move –on  phase.   Once  the  bacon of  the friendship  has  been  baked  properly  under the  phases   then  it  can withstand  the  vagaries  of  life and  nature  for  a  life  time.  No  amount  of  time-gaps, silences  and    devilism can  sever  such strong  emotional bonds.

This  article  will  be  incomplete  if I  do not mention  friendship in today’s fast-moving-life  context. Friendship  in today’s  context  is  like  a  continuum,  it  is fast moving, it  has  to  remain dynamic,  it is  for  a  purpose. It  is like  a  tiny  electron which  is  always  in excited  state, always  in  motion. Due  to  24X7  communication  channels, you   can  be  always  be  in  touch with  each other.  Extend  help  and  seek  help continuously. Another  very  important  feature  of  friendship  in  the present context is  the  large  number  of  strangers   to  choose  from.  When  you have  too  large a  number to  handle  the  depth decreases. In earlier days communication was  slow  and friendship  was  more  grave  and personified. Today  it  is  not. Friendships too  have  become like  a  FMCG( fast –moving  -consumer-goods)commodity . Even  after  going  through   the    arduous  phases of  friend-development one  does  not  wink once  before  giving  up  with someone and picking  up  another. Speedy communications have tremendously microscoped  even  the phases  of  friendship-development.

So  in order  to  keep  your  friendships  in  order and  long  lasting  what  needs to be  done?

It is  simple. Firstly, take  friends  seriously because  good  friends  are  a  gift  for life. If  you  have  friends  maintain your  link.  Once  you  make  a  friend stay  in touch, it is  easy to  do  so nowdays. Second, easy communication  also has   a  serious  negative  effect of  breeding misunderstandings. Simply  guard against it. Thirdly, come  what may ,nobody  likes  un-asked  criticism on  anything. So hold your  nerves  even  if you  don’t  like  some  unruly   actions of  your  friends ,  he  may have  his  own  reasons  or  compulsions. Lastly  always try to   be    a  motivating  factor. Everyone needs  it. And when  it  comes  from  a  friend it  has  a  very  soothing  effect.

Last  but  not  the  least , If  you  have one, don’t  loose  him/her…….



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