The Gift Of Friendship!

This is the festive season and we love spoiling our loved ones with gifts and their favourite things! As one matures, we realise that there are a few gifts that are both – priceless and indispensable to our happiness. One such gift is the gift of friendship… on the occasion of the Festival of Lights, no gift shines brighter than knowing that we are blessed with friends who love us and who we dearly cherish!

While all friendships are blessings, the bond between women friends is just a tad bit more special. She is the one you can call a million times with your inane chatter and the incessant drama of your imaginary twist-in-the-tail life. She will be the first accosted with the macabre details of some fiendish plot, scheme or scandal way before that laundry is aired, leave alone washed! Lot has been written about ‘Besties’ or best friends and through our respective life journeys, a couple of us may have been blessed with one.

It isn’t every day that you find a person who can bounce crazy along with you only because you asked. And then, the very next moment, make you feel special and normal, extraordinary and grounded… all at once! She makes you believe in yourself when the whole damn world doubts you. She prods you into being the best version of yourself. She loves you unconditionally sans judgement or moral calls. She makes your dreams hers. You are cemented in sisterhood, bound by a bond more precious than blood. Honoured by this entitlement, you consider her your soul mate and companion, your partner in crime, your comrade in survival.

Being blessed with good friends is a life-enhancing experience and a privilege. While we are all about things we need, sometimes it would be worth it to pause and reflect on what we contribute. There are people who fail to make the ballot, so what actually constitutes to determining who you want to share the rest of your life with. Believe me, friendship is perhaps almost, or even more sacred than matrimony. Friendships take years to evolve and the fun of such endearing long relationships is that you always have your wingman alongside you.

Like all relationships, friendships too are based on common interests, chemistry, a similar mindset. While these may be precursors, at times we find ourselves drawn to a person so completely different that it evades all logic. Sometimes it defies the rules and you are left with that whole square peg in a round hole thing, but baffling as it is, it all somehow eventually fits perfectly. The strange thing about best friends is that distinctly disturbing quality of them somehow knowing you perhaps even better than yourself. Around them, you are free of constant tiresome constraints to pretend with all that holy goodness and correctness. You stand a bit rough and tumble about in the dirt of that relationship, secure somehow in the knowledge that all cannot always be copacetic. Villian, vixen devil or angel – there is always that 100% acceptance.

While most of us have no issues making friends, enjoying and discovering new connections or talking with interesting new people, maintaining good relationships requires real effort. It takes more than that small slow spark of familiarity to ignite a consuming friendship. The title of ‘best friends’ is not bestowed that easily and even in the present, while I pour over the stained-glass windows of a vintage library of remembrance, as far back as elementary school, that title held a significant meaning – to never be spoken of loosely or flippantly. Even then it was measured by an inseparable bond, deep commitment and an almost sacred vow to be true to one another… always preferring her and only her, above all else.

There were rites of passage as sacred as those marriage vows – bracelets, necklaces, key chains and trinkets exchanged, matching T-shirts proclaiming to all how cemented your bond was. Through life, you become part of a large sisterhood of friends. In your teens, you gather a dynamic yet volatile mix of personalities, with day-to-day drama-laden cat fights and truce-calls, but consistently having that someone in your corner makes it so much better.

As one grows, maturity lends a helping hand – you have dealt with your share of curveballs life has thrown at you and through it all, eventually, most of us create this little tribe of women who rally with and around you. There is no denying here that even within the midst of this close club, the equation and dynamics keep changing from time to time, but that one constant will and shall always be your ‘Bestie’, no matter what. “I have your back,” she says to you and that shadow of intentness between her eyes has you marching on enthusiastically, like an elephant calf trumpeting one step ahead of its mother.

You’re her drop of sunshine on dark days, she’s your courage when you are weak. Her sorrow profound and pronounced with yours, her joy over-brimming from the pool of your delight, she slides effortlessly into your mood frame, as a car rolling down a gentle slope, no bumps, no stops gently seeking a rhythm with your own. She makes you a better person just by being her, and no matter what kind of Jesus moments you may be having, she doesn’t pull back the punches. There is stark honesty and an almost brutal authenticity in all she says and does. Now, whether you stand tall or fall flat, she knows all – your strengths and weakness, skill sets and the dithering contents of your soul. Tell her your secrets and they are buried in that grave, give her your burdens and they are eased, sell your soul to the devil and she will buy it back! She’s the One, cherish her for life and even your darkest days will be bright!

Veera Shroff Sanjana
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