The gift of friendship . . !



AS my plane took off last week, from the city I’d done my school and college, I looked out and thought of last few days, when not a moment went by when old friends were not around. There were lunches, dinners, speaking and singing!

But when the last day came, and I grew sad, I knew that even though hundreds of miles separated us, the miles would not come in the way of the deep bonds of friendship that connected all of us to each other. So through my tears, as the plane reached the skies I smiled and I’m sure those below who I’d left behind knowing my thoughts and feeling the same smiled along with me.

“Once a friend, always a friend,” I thought and I remembered the words of Richard Barnfield: Every man will be thy friend, While thou has wherewith to spend, But if store of crowns be scant, Not every man will supply thy want. He that is friend indeed, He will help thee in thy need; If thou sorrow, he will weep, If thou wake, he cannot sleep. Thus of every grief in heart, He with thee doth bear a part. These are certain things to know, Faithful friend from flattering foe.

A true friend is one who will recognize me when necessity compels me to wear shabby clothes, who will take my hand when I am sliding downhill, instead of giving me a push to hasten my descent. Who will lend me a rupee when I really need it, without demanding two as security. Who will come to me when I am sick, who will pull off his coat and fight for me even when the odds are two to one against me. Who will talk of me behind my back as he talks to my face..!

“Friendship,” says Pythagoras, “is one soul in two bodies.” Says Thomas Wilson, “Friendship is to be purchased only by friendship. A man may have authority over others but he can never have their heart but by giving his own.”

And here’s some lovely lines penned by an unknown writer: “Today I have added to my wealth, a priceless treasure. To find it I did not have to dive to the bottom of the sea, nor blast the granite mountain side, nor dig a field, quarry, nor play a sharper’s trick. I looked straight into a man’s clear eye, spoke a true word, received a signal of understanding and now for life, I have a friend.”

I smiled again and this time my smile was broader as I remembered a time when down and out a true friend had opened his wallet and without asking bailed me out. “Thank God,” I said to the clouds outside, “for the gift of friendship..!


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