Today is friendship day. A day dedicated to celebrate the friends in your life. Friends hold a special place in my life. Ever since childhood, i have been fortunate to have been surrounded some really nice people whom i call friends.
My 1st ever friend was made in the townships of Baroda. We became really good friends and are still in touch after 25 years of friendship. I still remember both of us playing cricket in car garages and fighting for the right to bat first.
Coincidentally, both our families got transferred to Haldia in the same year and both of us landed at this unknown place in West Bengal with nothing but each others friendship to hold us together. We made some new friends in our 1st year there and one of them sparked my interest in WWF(Now WWE) wrestling which is my favorite sport to watch even today. From there on, three of us became really good friends playing and studying together most of the time. However, as fate would have it, my 1st ever friends dad was again transferred after 3 years in Haldia to New Delhi while my dad remained. The departure of my 1st ever friend really made me sad but i held on. I made some new friends as i entered class 4. These ones were good at studies and i would be lying if i say that i was not jealous of some of them being toppers in the class.
School days were fun as we sailed through them playing cricket, football(yes, i used to play football as well) and studying. All this fun ended for me when my father got transferred to Mumbai as i entered 9th standard. I did not know whether to feel happy about the fact that i was going to Mumbai or feel sad that i was leaving this small town and the friends that i have made here. Nevertheless, i had a good farewell party and off i was too Mumbai. I never made much friends with the local kids in Mumbai. Maybe just because i was not one of them. My years in Mumbai were however not uneventful. The little friends i made taught me how to steal money from my parents wallet without getting caught, watch late night porn movies and everything that my parents would not want me learning. But my best days were ahead of me.
I enrolled into an engineering college in Ramtek, Nagpur University. I was extremely nervous when i entered the college campus to begin first of my four years of engineering and hostel life. The only comforting fact for me was that my elder brother studied in the same college and was in final year which meant a lot. Having a brother in final year helped me avoid all the ragging while my batch mates suffered through it.
My friends in engineering taught me most of the things in life that has made me a better person. They celebrated my dad's promotion with me, they were as much as happy i was when i cleared my 1st year backlog papers along with my 3rd semester exams. Every joyous occasion, be it anyones, was shared by everyone as if it was their own. I did not even know how to eat food with hands, they taught me that. While in engineering, I learned to celebrate life and more importantly i learned to respect friends and friendship. We used to sleep on railway platforms because we never had enough money to stay in a lodge. We used to travel by trucks to Nagpur to save mere 10 rs /- on bus fare. I never said "Thank You" to any of my friends but deep down i really look up to them and respect them for turning this "No good idiot" into someone worthy.
When we left college, we promised to keep in touch and most of us has honored it so far. Even today, we look up to each other for advices, confiding secrets and sharing our griefs.
While most of my friends went into jobs, fate however had different plans for me. I secured admission in Welingkar School of Management for MBA. I quickly became friends with most of the hostelites who were mainly from Delhi. The bond that binded us together was the same bond that binds most of the guys together "Alcohol". We never missed any opportunity to catch a few drinks together. Be it exams, mid terms, presentations we drank and passed through them all. My friends at MBA taught me how to communicate with people, how to sell myself in an interview and more importantly how to make CVs. If it had not been for them, i probably would not have been where i am today. They always believed in me more than i did in myself. We always studied and partied together. They were there to celebrate with me when i got my first job. I called up my friends before i called my parents to tell them i had got a job. They were there for me throughout all sorts of problems i faced in my first job. They helped me make my CV when i was looking for another job. They made me respect friendship even more than i did before. I am very much indebted to them for having belief in me and for tolerating my drinking rants.
All through my life, my circle of friends have taught me many things in life which makes me the person i am today. I never believed in the concept of a best friend or a BFF. For me, all friends are the same. Some friends are more dear than others but i choose not to choose between friends. Now sitting here in Bangalore, as i celebrate friendship day i have only two things to say to all my friends "Thank You for being my friend" and "Love you all".