RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT BUZZ
We meet a lot of people at different stages of our life. We remain to close with some of them for a short duration of time, and then lose touch. Others remain just acquaintances. But there are a select few with whom we truly connect with, who remain a part of our life for years, a bond that stays strong through thick and thin
And indeed, these are the people with whom you make your best memories, believes Alisha Fernandes. Fernandes has been pals with childhood friend Maryanne De Souza for almost two decades. And while they do not meet each other as often as they would like, this does not make a difference. “We both are at growing stages of our careers and we both respect this. At the same, we also appreciate every minute spent with each other as this makes us forget all the chaos and confusion of life. We know that no matter what, no matter after how long, even if the world goes upside down, our relationship will not change a bit,” she says.
Staying connected to old friends is a challenge sometime, agrees Rebecca Pereira, especially as hobbies, interests, schedules, and lifestyles change. However, she is still close to her childhood friend because they make it a point to keep in touch be it via shooting messages on WhatsApp, replying to each other’s Instagram stories, or meeting up for occasions like family birthdays and anniversaries. “Over the years our friendship has been a rollercoaster ride, but we’ve always stayed connected. We laugh about the goofy things we have done together in the past and look forward to creating special moments when we can,” says Pereira.
Mitalee Bhattacharya too has a best friend who she has been close to for 28 years. “We live on two opposite ends of the world but there is never a question that if either of us needs each other, we will be there. I would say that for lasting friendships it’s more of a deep emotional connection to another human being than it is about interests and schedules,” she says.
Alisha Menezes also believes that friendship is something which if taken care grows stronger and like any other relationship it has its ups and downs. In fact Menezes has a friend with whom she has been quite close to for almost a decade. “We were together in school the whole day and sometimes the night too when we had sleepovers. My family considered her as their own daughter and shared things with her more than me,” she says smiling.
As they grew up however, Menezes and her friend got into a fight and didn’t speak with each other for almost a week. “Later everything was sorted and we were friends again. This time we were more then what we were before as we had become soul mates,” she says. And while they don’t meet as often as before, they have kept the mutual understanding alive and they remain best friends.
Yatish Pai Vernekar too is still friends with some of his kindergarten mates and even with friends from college even though he graduated 17 years ago. He says friends who have been with him at critical times remain a priority to him. “Humans are designed to be social and for our happiness, we need to stay connected with them. With work and family life it does get challenging. Thus, it’s a matter of priorities and today with technology it has become much easier to stay connected than ever before. So we cannot give any excuses,” says Vernekar.
Akshada Bandekar is also in touch with her school friends and feels that with any relationship, there has to be a certain level of commitment, trust, and a feeling of comfort. “In present times, life has become pretty fast paced. But with the integration of social media and various other online platforms that offer global connectivity, it becomes easier to stay in touch and even maintain friendships in cases where one might not be able to meet up due to their schedules,” she says.
Going through a change in interests and ideologies is definitely a part of the process, agrees Bandekar. But, she believes that friendships that are able to evolve around these changes are the ones that get cemented and develop into an unbreakable bond. “When you end up knowing your friend well, they seem more like family. Honestly, friendships like these are incredibly precious and should not be taken for granted. We must consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have friends like these, who understand us and are always in our difficult times,” she says.
Similarly, Kajal Rivankar and her childhood friend, Fossila are friends for 25 years and counting. “We became friends in primary school but she moved to London in Class 9. However, our friendship only became stronger with distance. She has seen me as an innocent school girl grow up into a teenager and now into a matured adult,” she says.
Technology at that time, she says, wasn’t as well developed as it is today. The two of them thus used to write letters and send photographs to each other. Those letters still remain with both of them today. “Only on special occasions like birthdays we made ISD calls. Slowly in 2000, handwritten letters were replaced with emails, mobile calls/messages and now we are always together via video calls,” says Rivankar, adding that they make it a point to spend as much time as possible together when Fossila comes down to visit.
Doris D’Souza too is close to a few school and college friends with whom she grew up with.
“I have always believed that friends are the family we choose. While some individuals are only chapters in one’s book of life, others become an important role in the story. They become the shoulder to cry on, a mirror that is not judgmental, space where you need not pretend, an emotion which makes you happy, a voice that keeps you motivated,” she says, adding that the bond can only grow stronger with time.
Yadnesh Sanzgiry believes that two individuals need not have much in common but if their minds connect that’s enough. One of his oldest friends is someone he met back in 1989 when they were in Class I. Till date, they remain close. He also met his best friend back in 1999. “Friends as are usually people that share some common ground and friend circles change as time passes. But this is not true in the case of old or best friends. They stick along irrespective of time, geography, and age,” says Sanzgiry.