When I started writing this one, there were some bad memories at the back of my head and somehow I felt that if I tried writing about what I am writing, it will bring out a lot of negative energy. But I still chose to do so, because bad memories need not always leave a bad impression on your life. They teach you something. Make you realize that you are above what everything and everyone forces you to think you are. And here it is.
Friendship. Friends. If one is asked to define them, it will be a herculean task. Also not everyone would be content with such an attempt. Because everyone has their own idea of who a friend is. And if you have read some of my previous articles, like the idea of love I would like to reiterate that there isn’t any good or bad friend, because if it is bad it isn’t friendship at all.
In the era of social media, where we have forgotten to draw lines between friends and acquaintances, there is a more important question waiting for us, it is only that we don’t know the right time to answer it. And the question is, who are they? Who are really my friends? Over the years, many friends I have left behind. The world is a clumsy maze and in the attempt to save ourselves, we lose what we treasure in others. We may have tried to stay in touch over the years, but it is not the same anymore. But that doesn’t mean that it is dead. It is just more passive. More treasurable, less comfortable. Some people, we do stick to. We make sure that it stays, that even though you have no idea what life has brought them to and you haven’t heard from them for so long that it now appears centuries, you know they are still a conversation away.
Throughout your school and college life, one generally does have a gang of sorts. The people whom you talk to regularly, share your days, your happiness, strength and sadness. People whom you can confide in, trust and of all whom you can fall back on. Even after being surrounded by so many people, today we increasingly find ourselves to be lonely. The nights are absolutely vacant and so is every minute you are with them. You are there, standing, smiling, talking but it is just not what you wished it would be. A pang in the heart remains and while you appear to be full and socially attached, there is no one as isolated as you. So where is the problem? I shall borrow Jean- Paul Sartre’s words for a start: “If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.”
A man is hungry for respect, one that he think he deserves, one that he demands from his friends and family. Respect for his dreams, for his views, for his philosophy and for his way of life. Because these are the very people a man thinks will understand them better than anyone else. Friendship is hence a very evolved relationship with lots of expectations, which is a result of the amount of effort, trust and time that goes into it without any ulterior motives. And when these very people show complete disregard to it, it breaks you from inside. They might not have meant it seriously, but a person’s dream and identity are things that shouldn’t be meddled with. Friends are there to show you the right way, to make you realize that sometimes your dreams are not deserving of you, that sometimes your vision may be flawed and they teach you a better way to look at things. But to hurt where it matters, to ridicule his ideas when you know that they hold weight is a mockery of the relationship. The wounds there will always be deeper than a knife stabbed at heart, because though the scars remain in the latter one, in the former one’s life is scarred forever.
It is never worth explaining and reasoning one dreams with others. And while you feel hurt, you stick to them because in your heart they still are your friends. You realize that they don’t get your pain, you realize that they don’t understand what it is to stand infront of them everyday with a smile and be vacant inside. It is so emotionally draining and still you stay with the hope that they will understand one day. So when you lie down and think about the days passed, you know you are lonely. You are lonely in the quest for your dream, lonely in the attempt to reclaim the respect for your identity. And while you have so many friends, you still don’t have one to fall back to. And such kind of loneliness is not a good thing.
One does eventually realize. It may take time. After a period of complete isolation, self critical analysis, questioning the wrong in you when there may be none, you register it in your heart that you are right on your ground and it is for you to hold onto it. You find it to be rude to breakfree, but ultimately you do. By the time you would have healed from the injury, you would have learnt the lesson. There is no friendship without respect, there is no love without sacrifice and there is no greater joy than having someone who understands it all. For your dream and identity are very personal things and when you give someone access to it, it is their responsibility to show enough consideration for it.