By Pooja Malhotra:
When I think about ‘True Friendship’, the picture of Jai and Veeru (legendary characters from the Bollywood blockbuster Sholay) singing ‘Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin Todenge’ instantly comes to my mind. I’m sure we can never forget this epitome of true on-screen friendship, but are examples of such immortalized ‘Jai- Veeru dosti’ or ‘Krishna Suduma’ friendship witnessed in the ‘real’ world too?
Considering the redefined perspectives and fast-changing sensibilities of our generation, a poll, titled ‘I would you do anything for a friend. You think that’s true?’ was recently conducted on Youth Ki Awaaz and The 5th Space. The response was overwhelming, but the mandate was rather divided- 40% of the respondents agreed that they would go that extra mile for a friend, while 49.6% disagreed.
Going by the response, I was prompted towards some quiet introspection and I questioned myself — Can I boast of such superlative friendship or am I inadvertently drifting from ‘Har ek friend zaroori hota hai’ to ‘har ek friend kamina hota hai’? My instant reaction of going out of the way to help a friend stems from an innate desire to nurture that special bond which I share with my friend. But I soon find myself getting into an internal dialogue wherein I start weighing the pros and cons…and that includes thoughts about whether or not my friend will reciprocate my gesture. The debate goes on…
Is my initial reaction a part of the camaraderie that we enjoy or is it just sappy sentimentality? With a majority of respondents believing that there are so many things that fall under ‘Anything’ which can be detrimental to their own well being, the verdict is clear —most of us are anything but ‘sentimental’ fools! The poll results clearly indicate that absolutes can be dangerous to live by. Some responded by saying ‘without question’, others felt ‘within reason’ …whatever the response the fact remains that you’d never do anything to hurt your friend.
But then, there are times when one is forced to choose personal interest or ego over a friend. Though I’d prefer not to go into the details of sharing one such incident, on second thoughts, I feel it might just help lighten my burden. One of my close friends recently lost her father. Since we were in the midst of our final assessments, I found it impossible to juggle studies with being ‘there for her’. I know I could’ve been that pillar of strength and made things easier for her by visiting her & communicating that I care, but I chose to stay with my books. She couldn’t appear for the exams and her empty chair, right in front of mine, in the examination hall, weighed heavy on mind all through out… yet I waited for my exams to get over, before I could pay her a visit. I could sense that she had felt intrigued and I know that I’ve lost a ‘good friend’ forever, but it was a deliberate choice that I had made and now I have to bear the consequences of my decision.
“We all have choices, you and I.
One is to laugh and one is to cry.
One is to be wrong, one is to be right.
One is to be peaceable, one is to fight.
One is to love, one is to hate.
One is to be early, one is to be late.
One is to be truthful, one is to lie.
One is to fail, one is to try.
One is to quit, or to follow things through.
The final choice is up to you.”
In fact I’ve realized that it’s less important to have more friends; it’s more important is to have ‘real friends’… and that it’s definitely easier to sing ‘yeh dosti hum nahin todenge’ than to actually be the ‘Jai’ to your ‘Veeru’!