I have often toyed with this humongous word called “friends”, never really knowing or understanding what it meant. When we were small, friends meant those with whom we shared our tiffin and our toys, with whom we came back from school and with whom we spent lovely evenings playing and squabbling about whose turn it was first to jump into the little puddle on rainy days.
But as I grew older the definitions changed.
Friends were those who shared my secrets. Who helped me sneak out and provided the right alibi so that I never got caught. Who stayed up nights hearing my sob stories and never judging me for what I had done. Who promised to be there for each other when we “grew up” and moved away. Who was my sounding board and my intellectual stimulator, giving me insights I would normally overlook. And I thought I would never find other friends again.
But I was wrong.
I have often heard people say that real friends are those who you’ve been friends with from childhood. You can meet people later but you’ll never be ” friends” with them. I often speak to a lot of my friends from before. While I chat and laugh, share jokes and updates, often I feel Iv lost the connect somewhere. We are different people today…different individuals in different cities, different thought processes and different perspectives on life. While I love them like Iv loved them before, the connection is gone. I love them for what they are and what they have become…creative directors, huge corporate honchos, happy housewives, doting mothers and adorable wives. But through it all, Iv lost my ” friend” somewhere. They don’t understand me anymore and perhaps even I don’t. They are not what they used to be and perhaps its meant to be that way. And when we talk, there is an underlying tome…almost like ” you’ll never understand”- unsaid but understood.
Today when I pick up the phone to call someone at 4 am just because I’m feeling low, Ill perhaps call someone I have a connect with “now”. Who knows who I am today and what I’m going through. Who knows my circumstances and situations and doesn’t connect it to what I felt 20 years ago. Who believes me they way she sees me now…
And I guess that whats it about…tomorrow if I move on Ill meet others who will become ” friends”, who’ll know me as I am then and who’ll relate to the life ” then.” And, that’s what makes us special. Our ability to move on and not forget what we have left behind…but to keep adding to the circle and making the ring of trust and love reach wider and further. It doesn’t make us small because we make new friends. It makes us richer because we allow more love to come our way.