That time we were together…
“Friends are the siblings that God never gave us.” – Mencius
Friendship is something I treasure. It is something that means a lot to me, and has guided my life to where it has reached today. I say “I live in words”, but if it wasn’t for friendship, I have no doubt that I’d not be living at all. There are some things in life our family will not understand, but friends do. One of them is failure. I’ve thought long and hard about why that is, and I think it is because friends walk side by side with us, and know the troubles we face, why we fail, and how to pull us back up from that failure. Family, though they love us beyond words, have expectations of us which are important, dreams for us that need to be fulfilled, and that destination is what they know and can see; the path taken is not, because they aren’t traveling with us.
Ask any undergraduate student of my university, and they’ll agree that the day of results is the worst. For one thing, the nerves are jangling waiting for that dreaded moment. Another is that the university server is so slow that it makes the anxiety multiply a hundred times over before actually putting us out of our misery. By the time that happens, we’re relieved to see that it has opened, no matter what the result.
I had failed some exams in one semester, and had to retake them. The result was to be out that day, and my friends could sense my tension. They had kept telling me that everything would be okay, that I’d pass and not to worry. They even reminded me that the university correction was like that, and it wasn’t my fault. But it wasn’t working. I told them I was fine, but my friends aren’t fools. They have this knack of knowing my moods without me telling them, and they saw it in my eyes and heard the shiver in my voice.
They wanted me to cheer up, and the way they did it was something I never expected.
“We’re going to bunk the second half of the day and go for a movie,” they told.
“No Leo, you didn’t hear us properly. We ARE going to a movie. It’s not an option.”
And they did. Our class strength was forty. That day, ten had already been absent. And in the afternoon, ten more, including me, joined that number. We took a bus back to the city, and headed straight to the theater #together. The movie, Jodhaa Akbar, was something I had wanted to see, having heard and loved the songs already. And it did not disappoint. It was fun hearing the hoots from the balcony when Aishwarya ran to the idol of Krishna in the movie, or the gasps when Hrithik ordered to push a man off the top of a fort. Some of us silently sang along with the songs when they came. And the movie was enjoyable. By the time the movie was over, my nerves had eased.
It wasn’t so much the movie which helped to give me the confidence that all would be well, but the fact that my friends were nearby, and they did something they didn’t have to do to cheer me up. We went for coffee afterwards, and the news came that the results were out. One of us checked the results on the 2G internet he had in his mobile. He checked mine first, and didn’t give up till the server had connected. When he showed the results to me, it was like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. I had cleared every paper. It wasn’t with flying colors, but there were no fail grades, and that was a relief.
As we made our way back, I realized something. When friends are #together, the motivation to get up from a failure is more. It makes me think positively, and know I can take what life throws at me. And that’s because they know how to; because they know why I am where I am; and because they know how to change that.
(© 15th March 2015)