Is there anything known as “friendship”?

What is friendship? 

I guess the definition varies from person to person. It could also vary for a person from time to time. At least that’s what its been for me.

When I was in school, I was in a huge group of “friends”. At that time, friendship to me was a bunch of children (mostly girls) hanging out in school, having lunch together, talking in classes, hanging out in the evenings and playing games, biking together, etc. And that’s that. 

When I joined junior college, I was in a relatively smaller group (4 guys + 4 girls). Friendship then meant going to movies together, bunking classes, gossiping about crushes, etc. This time around, it also meant discussing about career, doing assignments together. A part of growing up, I guess.

In engineering too it meant about the same, except that everything was more intense. Friends served as vents for emotional phases of life. Relationships, sex, breakups formed the main topics we conversed on.

When I was in the so-called “friend circles”, I somehow always ended up being the main member of the group. I used to be almost everyone’s best friend. And I’m not exactly sure I considered them mine. If I had a fallout with any group member, all the others would side with me and that person would be cast out of the group along with any member who “dared” side with them. Fun, immature, carefree times.

When I started working, everything changed. Friends no longer held the same amount of importance they did earlier. I have a handful of people in my life some of whom I have known for a really long time, some for not that long, who are indispensable in my life. Some of them are related to me, most are unrelated. I somehow can’t bring myself to call them friends. They mean way more to me than any friend ever did. And obviously that is the sole reason why they are still such an integral part of my life. They are more like my soul mates. The others, well, were just friends, I guess.

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