The ball came bouncing at Grandpa’s head, while he was sitting in the garden reading his newspaper. He looked from his crooked specs at the boy, who came running behind the ball.
The boy said, panting, ‘Hi… Hi Grandpa… I… I am… Sorry. I couldn’t catch the ball… when it…’
Grandpa interrupted ‘Never mind.’
Then suddenly, he stopped reading and asked the boy with inquisitiveness ‘Why aren’t you playing with your friends today?’
The boy said sadly ‘I don’t have friends…’
Grandpa kept looking at him. The boy said ‘My friends are cruel. They tease me on things I don’t like even after telling them not to. If they are my friends, can’t they understand my simple request?!’
Grandpa said simply ‘May be they’re not your friends. Or maybe you are not theirs.’
Boy looked confused ‘People in my school have hundreds of friends. And my list is just one paper long! And in those too, no one cares for me. They always fight with me over the game and go away if I don’t let them touch my things… How do I know who’s my friend and who’s not?’
Grandpa smiled and said ‘So you too have fallen in the Friends vs. friends dilemma…’
Boy looked confused.
Grandpa continued ‘Dear son, listen carefully. Friendship is not a relationship. It’s a feeling that you share, be it in any relationship. A friend is like a cheerleader, who’ll always be right by your side, whether you need her or not. You don’t require to please someone to become their friends. Doing that only makes you vulnerable to people’s selfishness. Friends comes in all shapes and types, but they all make us feel alive. With them we don’t have to fake ourselves. We always have something to talk about and laugh on. Becoming friends with someone is just a matter of one incident, which makes you realize their worth. Lucky are those who get to face that incident before they lose their friendship…’
The boy said ‘But then, they always fight and leave someday…’
‘Yes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t call them back, does it?’ replied Grandpa with all his wisdom ‘Friends stick together, even after a fight, although with a punched face.’ and they laughed.
Friendship day is here and our phone is constantly buzzing with notifications from different groups, desperately trying to make a plan this weekend. Before you accept any invitation, take your time. Don’t fall in the friends vs friends dilemma. Stop your mind from falling for the wrong ones and understand the worth of your friends, before it’s too late.
Let this friendship day be for those who are our friends, rather than for those whom you want to be friends with. Let’s reward them for being our true friends, instead of wasting our efforts in pleasing someone who’s not…