By Sumrit Shahi:
So there I was clubbing sober, last Saturday night, sipping on my Red Bull even as the world around me got wasted, one shot at a time. Bored out of my wits, I ended up doing what I end up doing anyway at any social gathering—I took out my voyeur lens( figuratively, before I get arrested!) and started to observe the people around.
You know, the regular grind—drunk couples, teenagers trying to look and act old, married couples trying to look young—but then my eyes focused on this particular group of ‘friends’. They weren’t really talking to each other, everyone was engrossed in their phones, doing their own thing. But suddenly one of them would shout out, ‘Hey guys, let’s take a selfie,‘ and they’d all huddle together like they’d been having the time of their lives, pout and pose and get back to not talking to each other. Wow, some friendship there!
That really set me thinking. Today, in our oh-so-contemporary world, do we really honour friendship like we did, when we were kids? Is it still real and honest?
Shared tiffin. Borrowed pencils. An accidental desk partner—the first friendships we made early on in life just happened. No planning, no thinking. They just happened. And then we grew up and our hearts shrank. We started selecting friends not from the heart but from the brain, for whatever reason. Social standing. Convenience. Or plain lack of options.
Today, life’s one hectic deal after you finish college. So many people on your Facebook list from school and college, how many do you wish, not just because you can see their birthday featuring on your homepage? How many do you call, despite having their numbers in the contact list of your phone?
Well yeah, everyone’s busy. Words like career and ambition sound oh -so-important in your early twenties, but life is supposed to be like that. But you don’t want your life to be the sequel to A Christmas Carol, right? You don’t want a wedding where you don’t have even five embarrassing real friends?
There’s a difference in being liked and having friends. And if you don’t want to drown yourself in cheap port wine, I suggest you opt for the latter. Also, once you start working, you realise, you need some genuine faces to load shed your worries, fears, and overdrives of abusing the boss! You need your buddies, bro. Trust me on that.
So now, the choice is yours. Or rather, there isn’t a choice, you better pick up your phone. Call your friends. And keep it that way.
Sumrit Shahi is a twenty-two-year-old bestselling author and scriptwriter for youth TV shows such as ‘Sadda Haq’ and ‘Million Dollar Girl’ on Channel V, India. He has recently released his third book, ‘Never Kiss Your Best Friend’ with Rupa Publications.