Friendship doesn’t have an acceptable definition. The shopkeeper who knows you by name is also your friend, and so is the guy who has taken baths with you when you were a kid. There is no gradient of comparison, although there are rough estimates. We are all bound by bonds, and friendship is one of the most frequent forms of those bonds. Sometimes not related by anything at all, yet inseparable.
How difficult is it to be alone? Friends really are the best things that happen to you, whether you’re a prince or a pauper. Scientifically speaking, it is basic survival instinct for humans to reach cooperation with those around them whom they find least irritating. By building emotional bonds with those who surround us, we automatically make it so that we are prepared to take risks and difficulties to help them survive. This is instinct working. The more defensive we are, the greater the numbers we gain, the more we are gathered, the greater our security and security is an attractive gathering point.
Friendships are forged out of some of the most insane incidents, or some of the most passive kinds of interactions. They are forged out of hatred; they are forged out of failed love. Friends can be people whom you have never even seen. It doesn’t logically make sense for us to be so close to someone without any collateral; for all we know, they might bear with you so that they can get into your mother’s pants, or to steal your car. But we still start friendships; we still trust and try to be trustworthy. The more you think of it, the more miraculous it sounds. By letting someone enter our lives so deep, we automatically become vulnerable to deceit and manipulation. It is a flaw in the very basic survival rules.
It’s no shocker then that friendship is a popular theme of entertainment – exactly how the ups and downs of life create a strange comedy, drama, action (horror?), or even a romantic scene. We are able to relate to it (or at least wish that we had something like it. The variety of experiences that friendship offers makes our lives worth living. It’s a vital part of growing up. It has been proven that people with absence of friendship tend to develop more polar personalities than their more stable friendship satisfied counterparts. Animals raised in isolation tend to develop psychopathic traits like malice, sadism, and manipulation. By witnessing others in their successes and failures, we gather more knowledge, more empathy, and more emotion.
Although we do tend to forget our friends as we change place and environment, it is undeniable that when memories about them come up we tend to smile, get our eyes watery, and lose our thoughts for a while. Meeting them again is like a wave washing over us, recounting older memories, catching up on what has happened since the disconnection. It only takes a few minutes to go from “I haven’t seen you since too long” to “It’s like you never left”. It’s very difficult to say that you are bored of someone, unless you become friends with him/her with a motive in mind. The tender sweetness mixed with the rough comfort is what makes friends one of the things that is lovable, irrespective of time and state of one’s life.
But if one must ponder over the necessities and reasoning of friendship, there has to be thought of the fact that some things are not explainable by plain biology and logic. Companionship is an eternal search that our hearts have embarked on, where we search for people with reflections of ourselves, or personalities that fit ours, making us complete. It is by the blood, sweat and tears of the bonds of trust and goodwill that the human race stands where it is today. These bonds may have failed us once or twice, but at the end of the day, they have pushed us forward into a world of knowledge, strength and sanity.
Photography By: Arunava Das