|Madhuri and me|
A friend of mine and fellow Author Madhuri Banerjee (who wrote 'Losing my virginity and other dumb ideas') wrote this very thought provoking post on friendships in her blog. Interestingly, I had the exact same experience as Madhuri, for almost all of my book launches.
A lot of my fans and readers attended my launches (and I was very happy they did). But the people I considered 'my very good friends' did not. And it wasn't as though I had not communicated to them how much having them there means to me, and it wasn't as though they had an extremely pressing reason for not attending. There were absolutely no excuses given too nor a call or a text asking how the launches went. They were at home, they chose not to attend as they felt it was 'too much of a bother'.
|Mayank and me at the Pune launch|
Some of my good friends did make an extra effort to attend and I felt grateful for their presence. (One friend came all the way from Chennai to attend my Bangalore launch, and another drove all the way from Mumbai to attend my Pune Launch).
It made me wonder for a long time, if I am judging a friendship based on one particular incident of attending or not attending an event, that meant the world to me.
I thought a lot, drew some conclusions, made some decisions and moved on. Honestly that is all one can do.
You cannot predict how a person will behave tomorrow. My rock-solid dependable pals are truly very few--ones I can count on my finger tips.
That is why when Madhuri says
and"It’s a strange universe of fickle friendships."
I tend to agree one hundred percent." Friends moved on. New people through twitter came into my life. They were tweeple. They weren’t friends. Old friends found new friends. Then I was alone. I wondered if I had “invested” enough? Hadn’t I done what was needed to rely on them? Or was it another expectation from life that was being tested for me to understand that one cannot have ANY expectation. That maybe “friends” are like the weather. You can’t predict when they’ll be sunny and when they’ll be moody."
Strangely, one of my earliest posts written in 2006, was about friends walking away when I needed them the most. I was not a published author then. I was merely a hurt, shattered soul, trying to find some solace. (read the said post for a brilliant piece of writing on people in your lives for a reason, season or lifetime, by Brian Chalker)
Today I seek the same answers, when I am at a great point in my career. (three books behind me, all best-sellers, working on fourth)
Why do people behave the way they do? It is because they have their reasons which make sense and seem fair to them, inside their heads.
You cannot change that. You cannot make someone stay in a friendship if they want to leave.
And today I can say with confidence (and perhaps a certain amount of pride) that life is really too short to bother about the ones that left. What matters are the ones that are in your life, at this moment.
You can do nothing if people change.
All you can do is make new friendships, or hope like hell that your old rock-solid dependable ones, stay just so.
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