Friendship. There must be thousands of posts written about the subject and you’ve probably read a fair share of them. I know I have. I’ve even written a few posts myself. Why do I return to it then? Because when prompted to describe a time when someone or something gave me the strength to get up and move on, I can only think of events involving my friends. Sure, my family has always stood by me and offered me the best advice whenever I’ve needed it and I love them for it. But, I moved away from home when I began college. I was all of eighteen and when I didn’t have my Mama’s shoulder to cry on because she was physically in another city, it’s only because I had friends who filled that void that I survived.
I remember having contracted jaundice during the semester exams one year and I was not exactly willing to go to the hospital for a blood test (I can be a very fussy patient…preferring to just sleep till I feel better). My closest friend (to whom I have already dedicated a post which you can read here) looked after me the best she could, even feeding me when I agreed to eat while I was at the paying guest accommodation. When things became so bad and I had no choice but to be admitted, before my father could reach the hospital, she was there, helping me with my clothes and trying to make me comfortable. She showed up the next morning, before the final exam to check on me while I lay on my hospital bed hooked up to an I.V. drip! She even washed the dirty clothes I had left back in our room since I couldn’t go back there myself.
I remember going through a very rough patch personally a little later. It was shortly before I took the CA final exams for the first time and we were supposed to be attending classes regularly. Since I was crying all night and waking up with eyes so swollen I could barely see, I ended up missing a lot of those sessions. But, not only did she keep me abreast of what was happening, she actually kept me together. She would let me cry endlessly to her and on more than one occasion, I’ve seen her crying with me too.
I remember while I failed those dreaded CA final exams (which I had a feeling would happen since I had a lot on my mind), she had passed. She didn’t make me feel like the total loser I believed I was and instead just blamed it on bad luck. I know it must have been really hard, because she must have been dying to celebrate, but she waited till she thought I could handle it before she let the fireworks fly. When I flunked the second time (I am not that dull…but if you have written the CA final exams, you would know that sometimes it is just the most difficult thing to clear!), another one of my friends cried when he saw how distressed I was that I failed again.
She is my family. But, I have other friends too…like the boy who cried with me. Those who have taken me out to have dinner with them everyday just to make sure that I always slept with a full tummy when I was alone. Friends who have come home to check on me during the office lunch break when I have fallen sick. I even have some friends who include me in their daily prayers at night!
I don’t generally consider myself lucky. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I won a prize when playing even something as silly as tambola at a party and even my palms are so lined that anyone with the slightest knowledge of palmistry has told me that I am going to have a very complicated life…so, no. I am probably not lucky in the conventional sense. But, I have the fortune of a small but simply wonderful group of friends and that probably makes me one of the luckiest people on the planet. It’s a good life. What more could I ask for?