One believes, the foundation of love is laid by respect and friendship. I guess that’s why after my brother, who was my buddy and confidant, my lovers have been my closest friends and my closest friends have seemed like lovers, to most people, as they’ve usually been from the opposite sex.

The collision of two random souls that choose to, for some inexplicable reason- trust each other, remain vulnerable in front of one another, protect each other from life’s bitterness is a strange, yet wonderful phenomenon. Friendships can be a boon or bane, though, depending on how well your life is going.

To hold on to people who you knew when you were so little, you could barely spell your own name and to continue cherishing that, with a sentimentality is a bit strange, no? But that’s what most long lasting friendships are based on, sentimentality, the need for a witness, a person who remembers things about us, even we have forgotten about ourselves!

One has no such emotional attachments, though. It’s a terrible thing to say, especially today but it is true. I know writing this would make me sound like a bitter monster but I’m not here to sell my goodness to you! One has been in touch with various people, from the past four decades- from school friends, to colony friends, to my brother’s friends to ex lovers, to various professional acquaintances…if I pop it you can piece my existence together from Facebook, most of them are there, barring the one’s who’ve chosen otherwise. With some the relationship has grown stronger and other’s have become mere acquaintances but nevertheless most of them thankfully haven’t grown too bitter.

Yet, I don’t take any of it too seriously, anymore. I saw my mother being completely heartbroken in the last few years of her life, when over forty years of friendship, were albeit forgotten as she became inconvenient for most people to know. I still have those messages on my phone, that I sent to all the people she knew, ‘she misses you please come and see her’ and yet most people didn’t. Sabh time ka kamaal he! Unlike my father and I, she was a loving and forgiving person. Yet, she died a very lonely death and I’m okay dying lonely but not shocked. So, no I feel absolutely no deep rooted attachments to old friends, new friends or any relationships for that matter. It helps being like this, not expecting anything, makes you not feel betrayed or too alone, when the darkness surrounds you and there’s no one there. You got yourself, your faith and that will make you survive. I’ve really started to believe that, when the time is right, your enemies will turn into friends and when your time is bad, your closest friends can cause you the greatest harm.

Having said that, one cherishes the moments I’ve spent with a lot of my buddies. I invariably end up smiling when I hear ‘Yaaro dosti badi hi haseen he!’and one still ends up calling some friend or the other each time one hears it on the radio. My female friends, though adorable, have always been a bit too proper for me to end up spending too much time with. Once in a couple of months, is the amount of time, I’ve met them, through the decades. One’s always been like one of the boys thanks to the rebellious streak, the love for street food, bike rides, nocturnal drives and spitting competitions from on top of flyover’s to appreciating women’s beauty to long discussions on all kinds of random crap. One tends to sit like them, has a sailor’s mouth and one definitely has a male ego. Plus, over the years, they’ve all known the best time to get me to talk is in the middle of the night. So one’s spent more time chatting with them or driving around Delhi, discussing their love lives or mine. My female friends are usually scandalised by me, my male friends amused, so most of my cherished memories with buddies, have been with the latter. Like one of them whose known me since my teenage years, said to me recently, ‘aise mat bol ke tu sudharne walli he, Moti!’ Not in this lifetime, I reassured him. Otherwise, how will I sing, ‘ bigade hue insaan the, shaithan ke santan the….woh din bhi kyaa din the!’