Friendship is one of the most exquisite bonding forged by mankind. It is a binding, which thrives across space and time, religion and cult, social and economic vagaries when genuine.
It is a feeling that has to be nurtured and cherished for a lifetime. Quality time spent in the company of a close friend can prove to be the best investment in a lifetime for a friend in need is a friend indeed.
It is a well-known fact that friendships forged during the formative years of children’s lives through school have an everlasting impact on the minds of people. We can find an exemplary example of such a friendship in Bhagavatha Purana.
Lord Krishna fostered friendship with Sudhama when he went to Muni Sandeepani’s Gurukulam. Time passed. The priorities of their lives changed.
Krishna went on to rule Dwaraka while Sudhama lived the life of a poor householder. He often spoke about his best friend to his wife and twenty-seven children. He never once thought of availing his rich friend’s help till his wife goaded Sudhama to seek Krishna’s help.
Sudhama was reluctant. Friendship was precious. Yet his wife’s nagging got the better of him. He left for Dwaraka to seek Krishna’s help. He carried the last fistful of flattened rice in his home as a gift to Krishna for old times’ sake.
When he reached the palace of Krishna, he was pleasantly surprised by the warmest hospitality extended by his childhood pal. He hesitated to give the humble gift to his chum but Krishna snatched the bundle and helped himself to his favourite goodie.
That instant, Sudhama made up his mind not to ask anything of Krishna and belittle their unique friendship. He bade farewell to his dearest friend and left the palace ruminating over the good times they had spent together.
When he reached home, he found there stood a mansion in the place of his hut and his children and wife were bejeweled and wore the finest clothes.
He recognised the hand of Krishna in this transformation.
The bond shared by the two friends was filled with the finest universal qualities of friendship like mutual love for each other, trust, sharing, caring and the capacity to understand unspoken words. Many such friendships have been eulogised in both mythology and as history and will be done so in the future, as long as these values are cherished by every one of us.
We are living in unrealistic times, where we have more virtual friends than real ones. We must realise that commenting on or clicking on “Like” or “Dislike” on a friend’s post on Facebook cannot match up with the warmth and worth of face to face interaction.
It is high time adults sensitise and facilitate young children to the charms of this beautiful relationship.