I remember, my uncle came to pick us up early in the morning from the railway station, the traditional "Central". The previous day was a rainy day, I suppose, the streets were wet and it was overcast. My parents were very happy to be back in the South, this time for a "longer-than-vacation" duration, permanency! By Wednesday, my sister and I got admission into a school (which was already 2 months into the academic term) and from Thursday onwards, we were attending the classes! So, like within 10 days I had made the transition from studying in a north Indian school to a south Indian school, and believe me, you don't want me to list out the differences. In about a month of so, I had made some good friends, made up for the lost studies (lucky, I came just after an exam...couldn't have been ready to face an exam as soon as I enter, can I? ) and improved my Tamil (Appu, remember "Avaadi"? :-P ). It did take me some three to four years to bring it to tolerable limits, but that one month was enough for people to accept me as a Tamilian ;-) .
Tomorrow will be Sunday, the first of August, 2010! The first Sunday of August is celebrated as Friendship Day, all across the world (I guess). Its what I figured out 11 years ago and confirmed it as the years went past by, never bothering to check the record books for instant clarification. Friendship... How shall I define it? Should I define it? It'll be a disgrace to someone's friendship to bring it within the bounds of a definition. One presents abundant care, kindness, love and affection put together in an infinitely sized nutshell named friendship! Each one has his/her own way to express it, and develop it.
Having been to four schools and college in my little life, I know that friendship is a divine state which can only be enjoyed from within. How I enjoy the company of my pals, you will never understand or feel and nor can I do the same about yours. But what I (/you/we) can appreciate is the bonding that happens sub-consciously! And, most of these bonds are not going to be broken, (sans some sad exceptions) come what may. Even if you are not in touch, don't worry, the friendship is not going to take a hit. I have seen this through my very eyes. My dad and his school-friends have been out of touch for 30 whole years, and when there was a re-union of their batch, he somehow got the contact numbers of his classmates, his best pals. You won't believe how much they remember about those good old days! They can visualize it all. I understood friendship that day! Time and distance are no factors! Origin and language are no barriers! Looks and brains are no catalysts! Its just the communication your heart makes with your friends'.
"Every one is unique, just like everyone else"
This is an oxymoron, but I hope you saw the truth in it. The four years at college exposed me to people from more than 15 cultures. People of all kinds mingled like dust in the wind (no reference to the classic, here) and a few particles stuck onto me. After four years of college, I have friends, some of whom I met on the fist day of college, in my second year of college, in the third year, and even in the last semester... And all of them came into my life because we share something in common. Or, supplement something, and make the friend's life seem more complete. Yes, without my friends, my life is incomplete.
Even at work, as if the corporate culture and multinational inter-culture can make any difference to my heart, I made so many friends that I am overwhelmed by the warmth I receive in the chilling cold workplaces every single day. The guys on the bus, the warm smile as soon as I get down, the numerous waves of hand and "good morning"s from myriad people, the talkative gup-shups not withstanding the lectures and sessions, eat-outs... Who said man (/woman) forgets his (/her) childhood (read as - college/school life) when he (/she) enters corporate life? Do you even know how just a smile can get you a friend? I know, I have. And the friends help me sustain the smile. I just pray the smile I give them all never fades.
To all my friends, wherever you may be :-
Wish You All A Very Happy Friendship Day!
I enjoy(ed) your company whenever and wherever I had it, and I (will) miss you all whenever I am away from you. I am sure our friendship will last a lifetime! Thank You, All!
With a broad genuine smile,