Friends

by Kavita

I am with 5 of the most important people in my life; one is my life partner, one – my sister and three of them are friends who set the foundation for all valuable friendships. All of these people are companions, and in that way they are similar but that’s where the similarities end.

G, my partner, is crazy yet extremely wise. He dislikes and doesn’t value short-sighted decisions, is paranoid enough to scare you of the simplest things and despite all this, leads an adventurous life. H, my sister, is a child-like responsible adult, who loves to take care of others to the level of spoiling them and can’t stand people who worry a lot. V, my friend, is an entrepreneur and a child-man who acts naive but understands everything – a bit phony in his outlook but truthful to even his darkest self. J, is joyful, experimental, conversational and enjoys being proper and A, is a mature, thoughtful man who finds it uneasy to explore out of his comfort zone but nevertheless does it.

Years ago, the 5 of us(No G – he came into my life later) used to meet every evening, and discuss life, politics, relationships in twilight. Our individual existence was a response to our everyday exchange of thoughts together. The sense of completeness was so gratifying that sometimes we didn’t feel the need to have anyone else around. However, I noticed the impact of our ‘move together, think together, act optimal’ group-ism, once I moved cities.

I value my integrity and consider it as the single greatest factor that enhances my interaction with my surroundings. In the years that went by without the ‘Hum Paanch(We, the five)’ gang around, I realised that the effect of group-movement can be positive or negative, based on how clear the individual outlooks are. To explain this, I would pick an example. Once, I received a job-offer from another company in another city. I had apprehensions about money, career and most of all, moving cities just 2 months after I had relocated. I was finding it difficult to reject the offer.

“Just call them up and tell that your father’s health isn’t doing great.”

This was the conclusion of our group discussion. I agreed but when the time came to say this, I was shivering since I principally dislike ‘excuses’ and ‘lies’. Eventually, I was able to convince myself that ‘family problems’ isn’t untrue and I was able to handle the situation without getting into specifics. However, at the far end of this drama, I walked out of the company I was working for, in the most outrageous yet honest display of ethics and values. It taught me an important lesson that even when I am tactful, I can’t convince myself of a lie, ever. My future decisions were better – peaceful, honest and the best. I let my heart speak louder than the brainstorming sessions the group had.

Years have passed and I haven’t had the chance to share my life, the same way, with these friends. And I don’t expect that anymore. They have visited me several times, have helped me through some important tasks and were also among my wedding hosts. Every time we met, I was amazed by how easily we were back to where we left.

However, this time, I sense a strange lack of connection. The synergy that we shared seems to have faded away. When I listen for five people, I hear myself and instead of 4 other people, I see one and sometimes, a maximum of two people. When I look for the voice of the five of us together, I still hear one or two individual voices. There is no sound of ‘Hum Paanch’, anymore.

 

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