• Remember, as a child, you clung to a doll even if one of her limb was broken.
  • Remember as a kid, you kept playing with your favourite car, even if one of the wheels was stuck or went missing.
  • Remember, when in college, you kept wearing your favourite shirt, even after its collar had worn out?

The reason for all these is because, over a period of time, you build a special bond with these objects.. and even if they are not that perfect, you still hang on to them.

Isn’t it the same with a friend? Friendship builds over a period of time: you get to know the person, there is some commonality that got you together (same school, class, neighborhood, etc). Longer the association, more the opportunity for the friendship to grow. 
In case of many, you build the same likes together: started swimming together, got a cycle at the same time, etc.
Then, when you have this bond, even if there are differences, you tide over them:

  • He/she eats non veg, but you don’t mind eating out with him.
  • He is from a different religion but you both treat the other’a festivals with equal aplomb.

As you move on to your respective lives and careers, the frequency of connect reduces, but the bond remains. You stay in touch through various modes of communication. As your family expand, you try and introduce each other’s family, for a stronger bond to get established. 

Now imagine, in case of one such close friend/jigri dost/ langotiya yaar, whom you have known for three decades, there are series of unfortunate developments as under:

One day, he/she does not respond to a request from you, even after a reminder. BLANK.

You are running a fundraiser amidst a group where he is also a member. The most unexpected people donate a huge amount  but your best buddy, does not contribute a dime.. assuming that he might have missed the group message, you send the same separately to him.  no response. BLANK

Then, you decide to gift a book to his daughter, totally out of the blue.. it’s not even her B’day, . You gift it because that’s your way of showing your affection to your friend, that you even thought of his daughter. This time, he is surprised, responds and says he will read the book and surely get his daughter to read. One month, two months, three months, weekends, long weekends and vacations, go by. But he has still not read the book, nor has the daughter. BLANK

You are helping a friend to generate traffic for his website. It’s an educational course and they are offering FREE trials. You ask your friend to consider the trial for his daughter. Guess what happened. BLANK.

Now, put yourself in this scenario and suggest as to what would you do?

  • Would you break the friendship?
  • Would you pick up the phone and scream and shout at him?
  • Go out for a drink at some point of time and emit it all out?
  • Make sarcastic remarks in normal conversation to give a hint that you are cheesed off?
  • Ask another common friend to tip this guy off?
  • Or do you just forget and move on and keep the normal friendship?

I had invite inputs from readers and thanks to Chander, Yash, Surekha, Ravi T, Ankita, Divya V, Pankaj Kumar, Meera, Nikunj and Supriya for sharing their valuable inputs.

It was heartwarming to hear the detailed suggestions and all of them supported the idea that I should try and talk to him preferably in person or on phone and if not possible, then just forget about the issue and move on.

Further, i am sharing my perspective on the matter, which I had held back as I was keen to get inputs from others before sharing the same.

The magic word here, which I had initially thought as title for the post is: Acceptance

This is what it is. My Karma is to run a fundraiser. its my expectation that my friend will contribute to the same. Its all about ME. Where and when did my friend come into the picture? If I was to dictate his Karma and decide which fundraiser he should be part of, then what will he do? I have to clearly ACCEPT the way things are. If I start overanalysing what others should or should not do or think or not think, then who will think for ME.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”

— Elisabeth Foley

It is my personal need that I had made a request to him. to accede to it or not, is HIS KARMA. His Karma might not be oriented towards either conceding to what I am requesting and/or it might have been a case of sheer ignorance, that he missed the request completely when it was made, and ignored it later assuming it was too late. I yesterday wanted to message a guy and realised that I had missed responding to his month long old message. I did chose to respond to it yesterday, but not everyone has that outlook.

“The essence of true friendship is to make allowance for another’s little lapses.”

— David Storey

The key here is whom do you call a ‘friend’ and what are the ‘rules of engagement’ that YOU set as far as your friendship to anyone is concerned. Remember, its YOU YOU YOU. You do not set any rules for the friend. ITs friendship not an employment contract, or anything. You let the friend BE what he/she is. This is often advocated in marriage partner, but its equally important in friendship: Accept Him/Her as it is. No Conditions Please.

When it comes to the friend not doing something that you wanted him/her to do, I have a simple rule : Hajaar Khoon Maaf 

As a friend, he/she is allowed to err one thousand times in a lifetime. If you are the type who keeps count, then please, go ahead and maintain a diary and make note of of each of his/her mistakes. Till you do not reach 1000, you forgive him/her for EVERYTHING.  In case of this friend of mine, I have not maintained a diary, but I don’t think I will ever reach even 50, forget a 1000. So We are good!!

In Summary, writing the follow-on of this post has been a very emotional journey. Of course, if one such friend one can find so many issues, what would happen if we have many friends (most of us would). The point being, one should be laser focused on one’s own Karma and go on to fulfil that and not worry on other people’s Karma. Thanks to all who contributed and made the effort worthwhile. 

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Hetal Sonpal

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