Pop the cork, a champagne glass
Raise to the future, drink to the past
Thank the Lord for the friends he cast
In the play he wrote for you.
This comes from a song called Sweet Mistakes that is featured in the movie Shallow Hal. I really liked these words. But more than that, I liked the thought behind them. What would I do without my friends? The people I fall back on when I am feeling low, the people I go out to celebrate with when I am feeling happy, the people who give life its flavour, its meaning. The people who complete me.
We all need friends. From time to time I have phases when I think I don't, but these phases pass and I realize how sadly mistaken I was. My memories of my school days, my college days, and even the time I've spent working, do not relate to the Physics or the Boolean Algebra or the Numerical Analysis they taught, or the code I tried to write. They all revolve around the friends I made in that phase of my life. Around the good times I spent with them. The times when I needed a shoulder to cry on and it was granted. Or I needed a listening ear and I found it. Maybe a bit of cheering up when I was feeling low. Or a demand for a treat when I had achieved something, which actually reinforces the feeling of achievement. (This is for the St. Stephen's gang: for some reason the treat that happened when I scored a 42 in Aggy's Jan test resounds in my mind here. Somehow, after any number of achievements and any number of treats, that achievement and that treat still holds a very special place in my heart.) And of course, the limitless leg pulling. Knowing that I can joke about anything under the sun and the other person won't mind. That they can also poke any amount of fun at me without running the risk of me taking things to heart. But the most important part is knowing that there is someone out there who really cares. Cares with all their heart. With a feeling that does not depend on the miles that separate us, or on how frequently we are able to talk. There are a number of friends with whom my relationship has stood the test of time and distance. Those are the friends I swear by. Whom I would pick over everything else in the world. We all need a familiar set of people that we can go back to whenever we need them. Because we all need a sense of belonging. Knowing that there is someone out there who understands us completely. And who knows that the most precious gifts can come from empty hands, and that they have given us those gifts.