By Pranali Batra
Friendship- perhaps the only concoction of its kind that blends together the contrasting emotions of respect, with complete and utter frankness and acceptance- has always been bafflingly hard to define. The complexity only deepens as the said relationship is not static but evolves and gets redefined with time. It will not be an exaggeration to suggest that the practice of friendship today is in sharp contrast to the role it played a few decades back. In this light, let’s explore the age-old myths that define friendship and see their relevance today.
MYTH 1# A friend in need is a friend indeed
This oft repeated saying, exaggerates the role a friend needs to play. In today’s busy times of jam packed schedules, it is not unusual to lose contact with cherished old friends for certain periods of time. But this hardly means that the friend is not loyal or attached. Maybe he or she just didn’t have the time to get in touch, and like you had genuinely intended to call but just never got down to it. Says Aishwarya Srivastava, passout Amity Noida, 2012 batch, “School might be over but those people that helped me get through it are one of the constant things in my life. Granted I am not in regular touch with them, but what comforts me in the hardest of times is that even when they aren’t physically present I know they are always a call or text away.”
MYTH 2# Ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi dost nai ho sakte
This aged quote was thoroughly milked by Bollywood for almost a decade, to justify their cheesy climaxes where any two given people, who had a special friendship, always essentially ended up in love. Needless to say, this cannot be further from the truth in this extremely hip-n-happening 21st century. Says Apeksha Jain, passout of Amity Noida, 2013 batch, “I have always found this statement perfectly ridiculous. One of my best friends is a boy and we are perfectly comfortable with the state of things.”
MYTH 3# A friend always leads you on the path to goodness
This belief accords to a friend the humongous proportions of a deity. A friend is after all only human, just like you! To think that his guidance is always unquestionably true and virtuous is an exaggeration of the extremist kind. The extent of ruin that peer pressure can and does bring is enough proof of this. Surabhi Gupta, primary teacher of AIS Vasundhara 6, says, “As a teacher I observe children interacting with each other on a daily basis. Children, especially young ones have extremely impressionable minds. I have seen enough instances of friends misleading their peers into wrongdoings, to prove this.”
MYTH 4 # A friend to all is a friend to none
In this generation and time this statement is almost laughable. The fact that 1000+ facebook friends is a matter of immense pride, justifies this. Socially active people today not only boast of many casual acquaintances but have many close companions as well, to fall back on in times of need. It is totally unjustified to say that they are lonely or friendless. Rather closer home would be the fact that they happen to have friends for every occasion- friends to gossip with, friends to hang out with, friends to help out when required and friends whose shoulder they can cry on. This brings to mind the peppy jingle of ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai”.
MYTH 5# Friendship is a ship that never sinks
This epic quote epitomizes all friendships as perpetual and everlasting. In some cases this may be so too. It is true that for some time, both people might try to hold on to the relationship. But in most friendships it is only natural that people drift apart, and ultimately their moving on is inevitable. As I stand at the threshold of entering the real world, I too have already begun losing touch with many people who I earlier, saw and interacted with on a daily basis.
In modern times Sholay’s classic friendship number, “Ye Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge” becomes redundant. But if Sholay were to be made today the lyrics should probably read , ‘Ye Dosti Hum Shayad Todenge, Par Dostiyan Roz Nayi Jodenge’. Thus, it will not be wrong to say that in the contemporary world, these myths that have stuck around for a long time, can be safely discarded.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.