Friends are for free

I've heard many say with unshakable conviction that their friends are their lives. But I shall beg to differ, and openly proclaim that friends are for free. I use a vernacular punch line to signify that as important as one might consider friends to be, they ultimately turn out to be insignificant. Jump not to conclusions or opinions as of now but just give this humble heart a chance to express what lies in it.

I beg you to not assume that I consider friends unneeded. They so much are needed! To share one's moments, to have a sense of belonging, to enjoy little joys, to et cetera et cetera; they serve a million purposes. I cannot disagree to that. Only that my contention is that friends are like currency notes and not like money. They are so much needed, and they need me (assuming that I'm the centre of the universe), but how long can one hang on to the same note? You need them but you also need to not need them one day.

We befriend people at work and play. We all have pals and best-friends. We become intimate and personal with people, speak to them as our own. We get them close to ourselves, just to leave them one day. When friends have distances to bear, their friendships behaves in the same way. Which should be observable from common experience. The place a certain personality held in your heart some time ago, has been replaced. I have friends without whom I felt fractional at one moment and now I don't even know, they might be living in Antarctica. People get bored, people get too used to to the same people. Meeting new people is always fun. What does this all suggest? Well.

I have no mind to undermine the close relationships (or superficial ones too for that matter) people possess, but I just intend to say that they are as temporary as a fly sitting on your arm. Bad analogy, I know. It's just because my next post is going to be about flies and other stuff.

Relatives already exist for us but friends are the ones we choose. We hear this all the time. But when desires clash, when interests intersect, when egos, and when material gains gain higher priority, then the connection is weakened. Friends keep coming and going, that too very easily. And I'm sure there'll be one day you'll think not so grandly of your best friend as you do today.

"Little known, better liked"

That is perhaps the reasons all friendships grow. The more one gets to know a person, more the vices that are discovered from behind the veil of the smiling sweet face. Disappointment rises and with a pinch, the goodness factor of the relation goes down.

We bind ourselves to others only for ourselves with a completely selfish view in mind. We continue that binding until it gives us joy, or assistance, or pleasure or satisfies some need or desire or whim. As soon as that is fulfilled, the other person is as important as a fly on the arm. Once we start to not get what we expect of the relation, we tend to terminate it. That's the whole, the simple and the plain truth.

Unfortunately, one cannot do without friends, but when friendships rise, so do expectations. The wise say that there are three things a person must have to be termed a fool. First, useless actions; Second, useless speech and finally useless expectations. In a nutshell, it is a sin to expect. For if the by fulfilling your expectation the other one must suffer pain (on a overall calculated basis, done subconsciously) you're going to suffer.

Being mercilessly honest, we're all part of the herd too. I myself suffer from the flaws I impute on others. I make friends for my benefit, for the purposes mentioned earlier. I stay loyal becuase I expect the other one to stay loyal. But since I am the centre of my universe, it's perfectly fine to look down on everybody and assume for some time that I am perfect. I too am a temporary person for other, my friends too will get bored of me and people will forget me too. But the best part is, I forgive them for being so and I forgive them even if they're not able to forgive me. Relations will break and rise, and the best part is that I'm perfectly fine with it because life will go on until one day ofcourse... :D

I do not write this because I have been betrayed by some friend in the recent past (or will be in the recent future). I do not write it because it is time to leave behind friends, family and home. Nothing substantial has happened to trigger this post. It has always been with me. So don't worry "friends" :)

But life is not all that dark. The ray of hope comes from the fact that friendship is not a rarity after all. Speak few kind words to someone and wallah! The other one likes you. That's another friend for you. Spend on currency note, work more and earn more notes. That's the principle of life. One shall always need some money but the notes are to be done with at some point of time.

This may make me sound like a criminal of the 4th degree but here it goes. Go on, break friendships, form new ones just to break or forget them one day. Love your friends but keep in mind that everybody is as evanescent you are, or I am for that matter. Be ready that they're not going to need you one day and you will not need them perhaps. Time has to power to make you forget anything. Life is fair.


  1. Phoenix said...
    Sayesha said...
    This is your most mind-blowing post ever!
    Dark said...
    I found the underlying premise of your argument extremely amusing. Your contention on ethical egoism or rational egoism is misleading. People do not bind themselves with a selfish view in mind. Your argument redefines ‘self-interest’ to include the interest of others, which is not being purely selfish. Being selfish is defined as being concerned chiefly or only with yourself and your advantage to the exclusion of others. With ourselves, we stand on the ground of identity, not of relation, which last, requiring two subjects, excludes self-love confined to a single one. To ourselves, in strict language, we can owe no duties, obligation requires two parties.
    mostlybhu said...
    after reading this i agree and disagree both with the quote tht i read somwhere, "Everybody is self-centred, its only the radius tht matters"

    Indian din poore ho gaye kya?
    Anonymous said...
    Hi ,

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    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

    Diptanshu said...
    Well, I have been industriously trying to conjure a magic formulation for undying friendship. I have failed miserably, of course, in this quest.
    However, allow me to make one observation. I'm not sure about friends-forever or best friends or the likes. What I am sure about is that good friends are like water. You'll always need them and they, unless there's a drought, will always be around. Further, they would not strike you as some special tasty drink must have done to your tongue. They would appear to fit in your world as harmoniously and as smoothly as possible. You feel comfortable, at ease with them. You feel like you can be 'the pure you.'
    P.S. Maybe, I'll put up a post on it as well. Being concerned about global warming, pollution et al, I'll title it as "Friends are for tree." Amen.
    Aditya Patel said...
    Amazing post!

    You put your -harsh- views on a sensitive topic in a way, that even your closest friends won't feel offended :)

    Keep Writing !!
    pushkar said...
    It is foolish to hang on to relationships from ones past just for the warm and fuzzy feeling that their memory brings us; yet it is equally stupid to proactively forgo of them just out of fear that they might hurt someday. In matter such as these, I have learnt, it is best to let time take its natural course. So while friends may not be forever one should not be so eager to move one that he tramples on someones toes in doing so.

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