With friends around, family becomes an add-on. Some bonds are a pillar of support while some are an emotional spring to go to each time life deals a low. The level of comfort and camaraderie one enjoys with friends stands at a higher level vis-à-vis the family. A certain decorum of respect must be maintained with family members, even when expressing anger or distress. But with friends, there is no barrier and hence, the leaning on a shoulder becomes easier.
While the United Nations has declared July 30 as International Friendship Day, India will continue to celebrate it on the first Sunday of August.
On Friendship Day, here’s a look at five Amdavaadis sets who swear by their friendship:
Dr Kanupriya Tiwari and Nidhi Trivedi (three decades of friendship)
The two grew up as neighbors and went through the various phases of life together. Today, Dr Kanupriya is microbiologist while Nidhi a HR manager. “What can I say about this girl who has been my friend for over three decades? We have seen it all together. She is a rare gem and having her around keeps me shining. I believe she is my sister from another mother,” shares Kanupriya, adding that Nidhi brings in a calming effect. The feeling is mutual, as the latter puts it: “I just want to thank my stars for getting us together.”
Abhirup Basu and Harsh Bhatt: The Babbans (decade of friendship)
Ahmedabad-based advertising consultant Abhirup Basu and sound engineer Harsh Bhatt call themselves “troublemakers.” They met during postgrad days and despite efforts at creating trouble, “each watches out for the other. In the end, there is all talk but no noise” share the affable duo.
“Friends who have stuck with you for over a decade cannot be called friends. They are officially FAMILY! They are the ones who have stood by you and know you inside out. Your darkest secrets are safe with them and the best part is no judgements,” as Abhirup says. The two start each phone call with “Hello Baby or Hello Darling and just using cuss words help us ease the stress. We can talk for hours without even bothering to check if the other person is free,” shares Harsh, adding that DEEP conversations are a corollary of “drinking together.”
Dhyana Rathod and Jyeshtha Shah (18 years and counting)
They tag their bond as bachpan ka pyaar. Meet Dhyana Rathod and Jyestha Shah who have managed to keep alive their school days friendship. Dhyana is a medical researcher and Jyestha is a medical student. “I’ve been friends with Jye for almost 18 years now. She’s my soulmate and like a puzzle, we fit in. Yes… we’ve had our ups and downs but without that we wouldn’t be what we are right now and it’s beautiful. At times, we need a someone to ppush us out of comfort zone and for me, Jye it is,” states Dhyana.
Harsh and Nihar (20 years and more to go!)
Ahmedabad-based storyteller and actor Harsh Dharaiya shares a deep bond with his friend, Nihar. “We took admission together on the same day and in the same school. In short, we are friends since we didn’t even understand the world. And that’s how our friendship has been ever since. Psychology holds that bonds undergo change every seven years. But some exceptions always exist,” says Harsh.
Interestingly, Nihar is the name of a constellation in space. While Harsh, which means joy, is an emotion deep within the human heart. “Very far apart and yet rivetted close,” is how Nihar chooses to sum up his their connect.
Akshat Kothari and Rahul Panchal (two scores and more)
What started as a neighborhood bonhomie between two boys developed into a dosti for life. Amdavadi architect Akshat and now Rajasthan-based educator Rahul Panchal have kept in touch on a daily basis, never mind which city or which phase of life they are in. “It is not about the frequency of our talks. We connect even in silence. The love and trust we share is all that matters and it works wonders in driving away any hurdle that either of us faces in our personal or professional life,” shares Akshat.
So, how did it start? “We lived on opposite ends of the street, completely oblivious of each other’s existence. One day our paths crossed and a neighbor called us both to help her daughter with painting. I remember we were 9 at that time. It was December and we were making props for a Christmas celebration,” recalls Rahul, adding that the two were among the better of the entire lot at crafts.
“That’s it. We clicked and the rest as they say, is history. We have no secrets between us. Our crushes and relationships, all neighborhood gossip we got. We used to go for evening walks regularly without missing. All those memories are a lovely part of our lives,” they echo in unison.