We have just celebrated Friendship Day. Friend and friendship have had different meaning for us at various stages of life. As children, we had our playmates as friends. In school , we found some classmates to strike a friendship with. The friend as often described in an essay on “ My Best Friend” used to be a paragon of virtue – a brilliant student , an excellent sportsperson , born of rich parents but very humane and down to earth, without any airs, respectful and obedient etc etc. In later years, pursuing our career and vocation, may be we found some kindred souls , who fitted in the definition of a friend. In school we were told and made to write a story “ Two Friends and the Bear ” , which bore the moral: “ A friend in need is a friend indeed” & “ Do not trust a selfish friend ” - the latter purported to have been whispered by the bear in to the ear of the friend feigning death , so that the bear would leave him unharmed.
Man being a social animal has always craved for company and companionship which with some further bonding develops into friend ship.
We have had movies like ‘Jagriti’ and ‘Dosti’ eulogizing true friendship
Francis Bacon in his essay “ Of Friendship” has waxed eloquent on the need for friends and friendship, as an essential human trait and has minced no words to drive home his point.
Once , the outgoing Chairman of an institution , where I had a stint , in his farewell address advised the staff to live and be like friends and not like brothers -as he put it – as there is always a possibility of brothers falling out over matters.
I can safely vouch for the friends and friendship made in the school/college days as being true as in later years, it is not friendship but more of a symbiotic relationship , meaning, you rub my back and I will rub yours- implying that there is some give & take involved , though there are exceptions to this rule also.
One has to be wary while choosing friends so as not to regret later like the poet who wrote :
“ Huey tum dost jiske dushman uska aasmaan kyon Ho” !