Galli Friends, School Friends, College Friends….Your Closest Friends!

Mr. Pritish Nandy, many eons ago, in The Illustrated Weekly, once posed a question that went somewhat like this, “What will you do if a friend, who you call a close friend, comes to you saying that he has just killed someone and wants your help?”
I have been quite clear about the answer since those early days. If you believe this person to be your closest of close friends, then you’ll help. Period. You can’t rationalise and think of options and consequences. There are no buts in a close friendship.
The problem is that such friends are really hard to find. And the question that each one of you must ask yourself is this. “Do you have at least one friend on whom you can unload your deepest, darkest secrets? Just one person who you can trust with anything and everything? Just one individual in this whole, wide world, who will stand by you, come what may?” I know people who have tons of friends and the knack of creating back-slapping buddies out of people they have met for less than a minute and yet have not one such person they can lean back on.
The simplest and the strongest friendships are the “galli” and building ones, followed by those forged in school, junior-college, college and graduate college, in decreasing order of strength of friendship, with professional colleagues and recent acquaintances coming last.
I am not saying that all school or “galli” friends are as close and non-questioning as Mr. Nandy would want them to be. However, virtually all close friendships are forged in school or during college days. As we grow older and meet people mainly from our professions and in the work-place, we tend to circle more and more, feinting, questioning, parring and then taking time to reveal one little facet after another, unwilling to strip off all the masks that we have learnt to put on, over the decades. It is only with friends made when we were very young that our personas are close to naked, with hardly any layers to peel.
Even if your school-friends are not your closest friends, they are still the one set of people with whom you don’t have to put on an act. You can be as you are, without having to worry about what others will think of you, especially if you get a little drunk and can’t control the “*&%&&

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