Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Got a Friend? - Imchenmeren, BA 5th Semester English Honours




In our darkest moments, we all need someone   who will listen. Some turn to helpful professionals, while a few rely on those who are older and wiser. Others seek out someone who knows what they are going through. However, for most of us, there is nothing more therapeutic as a refreshing long chat with a few good friends. With Friendship Day just around the corner, this week’s article scrutinizes the value of friends in one’s life. 



Got a Friend?


Try to think of someone who has always been there for you when you were alone, who makes fun of you but also supports you and cares for you the most when no one does, who argues with you but always helps you during the most difficult times, who tries to correct you when you are wrong, and who tries to understand you when your parents do not? Who do you think that ‘someone’ is? A friend is more precious than the glimmer of a thousand diamonds!

“Goodbye! I’m off!” Those were the last three words she spoke and left me all alone with a broken heart. Tears rolled down my eyes just like rain drops. I was in pain and I had no idea what to do or what to say. I was a walking zombie! I had lost all appetite and drowned myself in drinking to numb the pain. I could not share my problem with my parents. I was speechless and hopeless. Alas! Then one day my best friend came up to me and said, “Why do you have to suffer like this when you have a friend like me? Cheer up! You and I, we are still alive!” Those lines were so strong that it went through to the  depths of my soul and cured me of my emotional breakdown. My best friend gave me hope and encouraged me. He listened to me and tried to understand my problems. He supported and corrected me in every possible way. I finally understood what he was trying to tell me, that life is always beautiful. I could see how much he cared for me. Because of my best friend, I was finally able to smile and continue to live my beautiful happy life.

It has been two years since, and the bond I share with my best friend has stood the test of time. We fight, we talk, we laugh, and we probably fit the definition of a ‘bromance’. Nevertheless, in this day and age, where people are obsessed with finding Pokemon, or obsessively ‘snapchatting’, having a real life best friend can be such a comfort.

I believe that every human being in this world needs a friend. It doesn’t matter whether your friend is rich or poor, a fool or a genius, or a cool cat or a geek. What matters, ultimately, is your mindset. Do you trust your friend? Can you understand your friend? Are you faithful towards your friend? I got to admit, I love the portrayal of friendship on the sitcom of the bygone era, ‘Friends’. Monica, Ross, Rachael, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler were the icons of friendship in the US of the 1990s. They understood each other so well, and stood beside each other no matter what! As a student of literature, I do not feel guilty about taking pleasure in these fictional depictions, and I believe in my heart, that such friendships are a possibility!

Indeed, we must never forget that, as Helen Keller once verily stated, ”Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” We all know the hard life story of Helen Keller, an American author, who was deaf and blind. Even though she was afflicted with such physical disabilities, she never gave up. Her biggest inspiration came from her mentor, Anne Sullivan. At first, when Helen was frustrated with her efforts to spell words with her hand that she almost gave up, Anne was there to cheer and encourage Helen through every hurdle. Even though Anne was her mentor, she was also a friend to Helen.  It’s true what they say, that a friend in need is a friend indeed!

A friend can help you realize your flaws and can also help you to know the reality of life. When I read Jane Austen’s novel ‘Emma’, I remember with glee how through the shy and awkward Harriet, Emma was able to realize the true value of love and life, and stop her obsession about class and parentage. Without a friend, I doubt happiness would be a possibility. That is the reason why even when we are alone in our rooms, we constantly throng to social networking sites, hoping to communicate and socialize with ‘friends’. What happens to someone who is alone? I got a glimpse of this while reading Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’. A man who was stuck on an island for many years, of course, learned to live and feed himself, but he was terribly lonely. More than good food, he wanted the companionship of a friend.
Everyone has their own opinion in defining their friendships. Some may say that ‘we are halves of each other,’, while others may say that ‘my friend is like  family to me’. It’s the year 2016, and the dynamics of our society is changing drastically. Our grandparents lost touch with their classmates once they graduated college. Thanks to social media, I even know what my childhood friend, whom I have not met in 6 years, is having for dinner! There are documented cases of people forming emotional bonds with the intelligent personal assistants of the 21st century, namely Apple’s ‘Siri’, and Microsoft’s ‘Cortana’.

Maybe humans weren’t designed to live alone. I thank all my friends for being there for me. What about you? Got a friend?

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Anjan Behera, Dr. Salikyu Sangtam, Nivibo Yiki, and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email: dot@tetsocollege.org.


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