Of friends, acquaintances and almost-strangers.

Courtesy: Alexramos10 on Pixabay

Friendship was easy when we were in kindergarten - we met those kids everyday - we played, we talked and occasionally, we were invited to each other's homes. We didn't squabble over why we didn't call each other often enough or take offense over innocent remarks. Oh, we might have broken each other's toys or given each other memorable bruises but hey, all was fair in love and war.

I had a lot of friends back then. I still do. But I have no idea if they'll be my friends seven years hence - or for that matter, even seven days hence. Because it seems like no one (including me) makes an effort any more. And when we do, the chances of causing damage seem much higher than getting it right.

Friendship is easiest when you see your friend everyday - perhaps at work, the gym or at college. But when you don't, be prepared to deal with innumerable idiosyncrasies of human behaviour and psychology (yours as well as your friend's). Sometimes you'll be left wondering why they haven't kept in touch and sometimes, you'll be the one giving someone else a sleepless night. Eventually, it becomes less about enjoying good times together and more about treading on eggshells.

It's pretty hilarious how our definition of 'friend' has watered down to something like 'Yeah we hang out together. Sometimes.' It's only the dictionary that seems to believe that a friend is 'a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection'. I think, our friendships today have become trapped in the notion of being together, physically. The idea of friendships that survive the years, irrespective of distances and time is alien to us. And this is strange because technology actually makes it easier to sustain relationships. Instead, we use technology to reach out to more people and undermine older connections in pursuit of newer ones.

Recently, a study (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2534950/We-demote-old-friends-new-ones-arrive-Research-finds-natural-limit-number-people-stay-touch-with.html) showed that when we make new friends, by starting a new job or going to university, we downgrade or even drop old ones. Who makes the cut and who doesn't? Friendship seems to have become a competitive sport and more often than not, I lack the energy to play it.

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