Is it possible to know someone for more than 10 years and not be friends, even. Or is it that I have a twisted meaning of friends. Or is there really some truth to the whole Popularity Index thing?Well, there was this boy in school that I knew, G. He was in my class alright, but we never spoke. I guess for 4 years we studied in the same class and set just benches apart from each other but had just didn’t bother to notice each other’s existence. Yes, he was busy gaping and wooing the beauties of my class while I was busy with my life(I really don’t want to mention what interested me then. SO lets jus excuse me for the time being!!). I changed schools after my 10th and it wasn’t till after my 12th that I came across him, again! Well, he hadn’t changed much coz he hardly noticed my presence in the room even when there wasn’t anyone around! Boys!!!Or is it just him? Bah!
Last night after I had chatted with him again, I couldn’t help but think if there really is a Popularity Index and if there is, where do I stand? And if that’s a relevant question for you, let me also ask: would you rather be popular than right? Because sometimes I see people losing the line that divides the two. They lose that distinction between real and fake because they are trying so hard to be popular.
And if truth be told, I’ve done it too: faked a smile, an expression of joy, a familiarity with people where none exists. But friendships? No, those cannot be faked, not by me.
But then, I’m not popular either, you see. And not half as desperate as some others to notch up a few brownie points on the popularity chart to actually fake a friendship. I just can’t do it!
It’s the art of social networking, I’m told, and the investment of time and energy apart from money of course, pays rich dividends. You throw parties for perfect strangers, lavish them with the best of alcohol served in the most expensive fashion, open your house to the scrutiny of those strangers, show off your outrageously priced furniture and what-have-you and indulge in some mundane conversations – just so that you can call those strangers friends.
It’s the desperation to be seen with the rich and the popular, to have your name on the invitation list of the high profile parties in town and hang out with “the gang”. Don’t mislead yourself to believe that any of that is friendship because friendship isn’t about enjoying meaningless conversations, or pandering to appearances. It isn’t not about toeing the popular line, or mouthing the ‘right’ words. It’s not about using someone’s contacts for your benefits or dropping names to show your clout. It’s not about popularity.
I don’t need to say this, but I want to. For me: friendship is about standing up for a person, about wishing him well, about treating him as more than fodder for gossip. It’s about being able to laugh at somebody’s face and not behind his back. It’s about knowing how you’re different from your friend and accepting him for who he is. Its about surprising him and doing something out of the way to see him happy, its looking at him or hear him speak and know exactly whats on his mind. It occurs just a few times in life, hold on to them.
I may not be popular, but I hope I’ve been a friend.