I have a look at my watch and realised that it was getting late.My always hyper Mom would be definitely angry by now.On the other hand,the huge bundle of assignments that waited for me at home made things bitter.But,I decided to hang on for a bit.
“10 minutes more….perhaps..”,I repeat the same dialogue I told myself half an hour ago.
“So..how many friends do you have in all?” ,he asked all of a sudden, changing the topic about his disastrous life.
“A few,but they are all ‘real‘ ones”, I tried to play wise with my choice of words.
“Good.You know that people nowadays make friends easily-even though they have no link in between;all thanks to the internet and those socialising apps that you guys are addicted to.Iam glad you didn’t give me “I have 400 something friends on facebook” kind of reply.”
“Yeah..nowadays our lives are ruled by this techno-revolution and these sites have all become an usual part of life….
But,why this question..that too all of a sudden?”.
“I was reminiscing those moments I spent with the only ‘real‘ friend that I had – Ashish.”
“Ya! Ashish Roy.He was a very good friend of mine since our college days and later he joined my company as an employee.He was a simple, kind person who was committed to his job.
After our tiring schedule,we used to hangout on weekends at posh and luxurious hotels and restaurants at South Mumbai,keeping the CEO-employee relation away.We never talked about business and our occupation except at our office.We understood each others lives very well and this sense of understanding gelled us together.We knew about each others secrets very well,but the factor called ‘trust‘ was never broken,by either of us.”
I Iisten to him carefully,at the same time think of my ‘real‘ friends who I hope are ‘really real’.
“He led a simple life unlike me.His support was the only reason I kept cool during those days when the sales figures dropped down to negative and we incurred huge loses..during those days,when life ensembled a desert- devoid of life,devoid of hope.
He managed to motivate me somehow and raised the morale of the entire team,and soon,we bounced back to profit.
This was just one of the many deeds he has done for me.” ,he sighed.
“So,why didn’t Ashish help you out during this difficult time of yours!? He isn’t your ‘real’ friend!” ,I tried making a point.
“Let me complete my part at least!” ,he said with a tone that gave me a whiff of his CEO days.Those days when he had everything.
“When disaster struck,the first friend I called for help wasn’t Ashish,since I didn’t want to affect his simple life.So I turned to Madhav,the friend of mine with whom I was in regular contact since we met the first time in school….4th standard to be precise.We used to meet often and most of the times,joined me and Ashish during weekends.Apart from Ashish,he was the only ‘real‘ friend I had..but..”
“But what?”,I prodded him to continue.
“..but..I was wrong.”
“He didn’t even care for me when I needed his support the most.He gave me a lame excuse and just assured me with some fake words like “Everything will be alright” and disconnected the call.I was heartbroken,after all,he broke that bond of trust and ‘real‘ friendship that we shared since our school days in a matter of few minutes.”
“So,eventually, I had to turn to Ashish.He was stunned after he came to know about this.At that very instant he offered me a room in his 1 BHK apartment,stating that his family would adjust somehow,and soon,will lookout for a new home for me.
“Everything will be alright”,he assured me with the same words that Madhav had used..but this time,it didn’t feel fake,since it was heartfelt.
But,I turned down his help.I didn’t want to be a burden in his life.He requested me till the last moment,but I promptly refused and went away….
That day,I learnt one thing- True friendship isn’t measured by the amount of time you know each other.It’s about understanding and helping each other out in times of difficulty and not breaking that very fragile,yet strong bond called trust….after all,friendship is a ship that floats on trust….
I nod my head in agreement.
“..and soon,life became more miserable and now,I’m sitting besides you,making your life miserable by boring you out of proportions!”
“Hey! Who said you’re boring me!? Instead,you’re helping me out with these life experiences of yours!”,I retort.
“Well,I hope it helps you in some way,at some point in your life” he smiles.
“Ya! Hoping the same….”, I say as I look back at my watch.