Last Sunday was Friendship Day! Friends play a very important role in our lives, as we know from experience. Only a true friend knows how to playfully put you into a truly awkward and embarrassing situation and pull you out of it smugly! πŸ˜€

Jokes apart, friends are a major constituent of the solid foundation our life is built on. And if you’re an only child, your friends are everything to you! Friendship Day is an excellent opportunity to thank them for being there through thick and thin!

This year’s Friendship Day started off the same for me. The entire morning was spent sending and receiving messages. As usual there were some elaborate forwards – the ones with polysyllabic words and dripping with so much sentiment, it makes you choke! πŸ˜›

Then there were some nice one-liners and quotes, and a few simple, “Thank you! Wish you the same!” Messages from regular contacts, some from the “text-only-on-special-occassions-and-festivals” contacts and a few from friends who haven’t been in touch for a while. All in all, it was a fantastic start to the day!

The next part of the day was different though. This year I went out to lunch with a different group of friends. All of us are classmates at the University and members of the three prestigious Cells! We thought it would be a great idea to get together and develop some inter-Cell amiability! (Frankly, it doesn’t last for long! :-D)

We chose a restaurant convenient for everyone. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait for a table for long. Within five to ten minutes we were seated comfortably and choosing starters and the main course. That important task accomplished, we were free to chat!

The rendezvous was a lot of fun! We talked about our juniors, we discussed strategies we need to implement to “make our juniors a part of the family”! We gossiped about everything that’s happened so far since the semester commenced. We chatted about the upcoming events. We teased each other over who has become a “favourite senior” and who is a “hated senior” amongst the juniors! And then the teasing moved on further to more secretive quarters! πŸ˜‰ When the food arrived, there was the usual chiding over who was taking how much of a helping; the customary, “Amhala suddha thoda thev, bara ka!” and to certain others, “Bas itnasa hi le rahi ho? Thoda aur lo yaar!” And when the bill came, there was the friendly debate over which Cell would be sponsoring the lunch based on assumptions about how much funds they’ve amassed, and declarations like, “Bartan dhone ki tayari ho toh hum paise bhar denge!

We had ice cream for dessert. As we stood there licking those candies, a thought came to mind. Institutions like the Department I study in have this quality to bring about a strong bonding between all the students. Had I been hanging out with classmates from school or college, the people I usually didn’t hang out with, I’m certain I’d’ve got bored after a while. I would probably not have gone to the party in the first place! PUCSD has changed me in many ways and I am glad for that!

Friendship doesn’t always have to be about common interests, common tastes and common views, I’ve realized. Sometimes it’s about simply being there with each other, for each other! It’s about knowing we’re not alone. It’s about enjoying pleasant moments together and getting nostalgic about them years later!

Cheers to strong friendship! πŸ™‚