The best of friendships are those that happen over a common trigger, a discussion that leads to something more meaningful and before long both the people involved realise that there are some common things and traits they like in the other person and boom, a friendship begins.
But there comes a point in time when the level of connect is so deep that the beginning point fades and merges into a vague form. However hard we think, it is near impossible to find out that first interaction – especially if it began as ‘acquaintances’ and then went on to ‘friends’. The constant feeling of being so connected that it feels like it has been years since we’d know each other while it has been just a few weeks is an unparalleled feeling.
I played Sherlock Holmes today, on one such ‘quest’. A casual discussion with a very close friend triggered a question. ‘What was the first thing we spoke about?’
Armed with this question, since neither of us could actually guess when it began, nor point out the exact date, I had to find means to get Facebook to help me. (Thank god for technology). With only a vague memory of the first discussion, I had to wade through months of Facebook shares, posts, and status updates to reach that one post that had kickstarted the awesome friendship. (Of course I didn’t scroll through the whole thing. I used a shortcut that shall not be mentioned here!) 😛
It was a very revealing, enlightening thing to notice how it all began and progressed. Feeling like Benjamin Button, I was so lost in watching how it had all progressed and led to a great friendship. There was something so alluring about analyzing the things that had brought us together. It was a great reward for the minutes I spent scrolling through the whole thing (yes, despite the shortcut, it still took a long time!)
And now began the jokes. When the friendship is strong, nicknames and inside jokes are so abundant that it is hard to determine when they were coined or made. Like the KFC and McD buildings, they just pop out of nowhere into existence one fine day and feel so right that it looks like there was no other way, no other name. But the evidence that presented itself while scrolling through old posts told a different story, one that I shall forever cherish.
The formalities early on, trying to find footing and a rhythm that works, is so awkwardly endearing once the initial stage is past. Trying to work out the likes, dislikes, safe topics, off limit topics are all a part of how friendships form. But again with the best of them, the connect is so amazing that there is no need to constantly filter and overthink every thought and action.
While I was so happy to see the evidence of the initial formalities (which both of us laughed so hard about), I could also not control the laughter that bubbled up inside looking at how natural it had all been. The ‘let us not be formal’ stage came too soon than ‘normal’ and since then it has been a riot of memes, thoughts, comments, jokes, inside jokes, and the extremely high level, ‘PM’ or ‘Private Message’ (for the things that are rightfully kept away from public forums!)
Some friendships are special because they come in your life to teach you that it was not about the people and only their likes and dislikes. It was more about the connect between two like minded people who can consider it safe to disagree on points and still remain great friends. The freedom to disagree comes only in places where the actual need to do it will be very less.
Instead of focusing our energies on wondering if things were right, focusing on the sense of wonder that accompanies knowing that yet another thing matches made much more sense. Though most things do not come as a surprise, there’s still a thrill in seeing the same words tumble out simultaneously across digital screens, and the childish glee that comes next.
The superficial jokes running parallel with philosophical discussions, the random sudden shared meme that initiates a beautiful and deep conversation, a consultation that goes ‘what do you think’ followed with a matter that needs an opinion on, and the helpless laughter that accompanies embarrassing jokes are all beautiful feelings that need to be felt.
Behind all this there is one common important thing. Friendships are made beautiful when there is no need to over think. The sense of freedom is what separates friends and acquaintances. The sensibility in not jumping to conclusions and waiting for clarifications if necessary are little things that strengthen a bond. Friendships are not built with care. They are maintained with care.
So the next time you see a friend and wonder ‘how did we become friends?’ the answer is quite simple. The common things connected you enough to find more common things until the whole thing goes to a point where even the points of disagreement are given fair consideration because the other person’s opinion is respected and valued.
Cherish such friendships. They stand the test of time!