Some people have lots of friends. And some people few. But most people have friends. Correct?
As a 5-year-old, the entire kindergarten class was my best friend. As a first-grader, the first girl to offer me candy on my first day of school was my best friend. Later on, the girl who sat with me during lunch became my best friend. And then the girl who also talked to me in the auto rickshaw back and fro to school became my best friend. Then as I grew older, the girl who knew about my first crush was my best friend. And later, the girl who comforted me when I found out that my crush already has a girlfriend, became my best friend. In high school, the girl who lent me her notes when I bunked classes became my best friend. In college, the girl who shared the same fashions as me became my best friend. In my Master’s degree, the girl who took me home because I was not a localite, and fed me home-cooked food became my best friend. And then in the United States, the girl who offered me rides to school became my best friend…and amongst all these best friends, I had a gym best friend and a work best friend and a class best friend and a phone best friend and many others. And these days people have orkut and facebook and myspace best friends.
I can boast of over 200 friends on Orkut. And I can boast of over a 100 contacts on Yahoo Messenger. But I cannot boast of being in touch with all these people. Hell yeah…I do not even know what some of these people are doing, where they are, whether they are married or not, and if they still remember me. And yet, they are “friends”.
I have been realizing over the years that we categorize our friends too.
Today, I have a group of friends that I know will always be ready to go out to eat if I give them a buzz. Another group will always be ready to have me over and play games all night. Yet another group will always be ready to travel with me. And another group will be ready to go to a club or movie with me. And then there is an online group, blogger friends, orkut friends, IM friends.
But how many of these people will be there when I need them? Who is that friend that you can call in the middle of the night when you need to go to the emergency room? Who is that friend who will answer your call even when at work in a meeting when you might be in an accident? Who is that friend who will come help you clean out your apartment and help you pack when you are moving permanently? Who is that friend who will cook dinner for you when you have a broken leg? Who is that friend who will answer your call to hear you wail and yet not get bored?
Are you that one friend to someone?