Monday, June 09, 2008

True Friendship

I have had an interesting conversation recently with two of my friends-cum-engineering classmates recently. Since coming to the US, I have been spending on average of 1-2 hours per week on phone with one of them, with whom I could be only in contact through email generally once in a month or two.
We were discussing on the same thing in that call and questions came up on the friendship; and as usual I have started thinking a lot on this.

What is a true friendship? If I do not spend at least an hour with a person, share feelings, thoughts and occasions – would that make the person no longer a friend of mine?

As the journey of life goes, we meet many people. We simply forget some, while some become just acquaintances whereas a few become our close friends; And only those who have something in common with us would come closer to us and we respond with the same intensity. But, as the journey continues, the paths may split due to interests, goals and other reasons – our priorities might change; our life styles might alter; our way of thinking would definitely change; so, those two persons now living different kinds of life, could they still hold the bond of friendship with same intensity? If they can’t share things as they used to, would that make just acquaintances and not friends?

What has made me ponder over these thoughts is not solely due to the conversation with my engineering friend; I have started thinking on this long time back –
I have a childhood friend – our relationship started in school when we were 10; we went on to study together till +2 – our friendship extended then to our elder brothers and then to two families to such an extent that people think our moms are friends because of which we have become close. Now, once I joined engineering and he joined science graduation – although we met every day, I had started spending more time with my engineering friends, giving more priority to them during academic year. Initially, this turned into a gap between us and some conflicts appeared, but we have sorted them out.

The gap was due to the fact that I couldn’t share all my things in the engineering college with him and that engineering requires more time and effort compared to a normal B.Sc.

When I joined IT industry and moved from my native city, the gap started appearing again – even though I talk with him on phone quite regularly, my priorities have changed. Our friendship still continues – however, I don’t communicate with him so often as I do with some friends of relatively less priority and even some distant acquaintances; This is because, he rarely comes online.
Some of things I can’t share with him because he wouldn’t be able to understand the context.

So, I started thinking has our friendship got diluted? Are we just pretending to be
friends – as we no longer share thoughts and feelings?

I want to say the answer is “No” and I believe that is the answer. But, that doesn’t stop me thinking on what true friendship is; will it require being physically in the same geographical area – seeing each other often;

Still thinking…

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