Circle of Friendship
The true test of a friendship is definitely not in the frequency of emails, calls or visits that you share with one another. For me, its the simple confidence that you have to call someone up after six months of no contact and carry on as if you were never out of touch. That's all there is to it. It very rarely happens, but once you have it - its magic. And when you try and look back, you will never be able to pinpoint when those people became so important to you. It just happens.
From my experience, you actually start to form lasting friendships only when you are in high school - say the IX or X th grade onwards. Till then, having a friend is primarily having somebody to eat lunch with and sit next to. Its from this stage onwards that you really connect to people in a much more serious way. Once you finish school of course, distance plays a vital part in how much you are able to sustain it. And when you move into college, you tend to meet and relate with another separate circle of people. The friendships formed here, especially in this age of emails and accessibility, are likely to last a lifetime.
Then you move on to your workplace, but then you find that you can't make friends like you did earlier! What happened? Its almost like you have seven or eight years to sort out yourself and that's it. After that stage, you will like, and probably keep in touch, with a lot of people - but you cannot actually classify them as friends, can you?
It has been my experience that although I have been blessed to have so many friends [of both sexes], I have many circles of friends. It's like a set of concentric circles, and the size of people that are close to my center, progressively decrease - and I have a small coterie with whom I am perfectly in sync with. They know it, I know it and I would bet that this is the case with many of us. Surprisingly enough, people whom I have studied with but just about managed to say hello/bye to, have suddenly become good friends after school and college - sometimes, distance is a significant factor is bringing people together.
And all this talk about friends always being behind you is nonsense. Sure, you need a degree of trust but you should also have the strength to give and accept criticism. People who are always ya yaying what you say are not exactly friends - there are other numerous terms that refer to such people! I have known people who did not have the will to say a simple sorry, and hence have lost opportunities to make many a beautiful relationship. I'm sure that we all have regrets too.
One of the most important things about friends is that they are your confidant's. Sure we will have our parents, husbands,wives, some of you might even have girl/boy/friends - but talking to a close friend is something else entirely. There is almost something religious in the way you can open your mind and yourself to him/her, and be secure in the knowledge that you will have their support.
The most precious gift you can give someone is your time. As regards celebrating friendship day/week/month - its a wonderful idea to actually take the time to appreciate the people whom you count on for so much in your life. But sending out mass mailings to everyone in my addressbook is not going to make one feel warm and fuzzy, right? Where's the effort in that? So I thought I would send out a personal mail to everyone [like those mass cover letters we used to send out to companies!].
Then I read this quote:
Silence makes the real conversation between friends.
Not the saying, but the never needing to say it, is what counts.
So I am going to shut up and be quiet...