A Friend You Can Rely on Any Time
by Vijaya Raghavan
How dull life would have been if there were no friends! In the present times, the word "friend" has a slightly different connotation, if I am allowed to say so.
The moment you say you had gone out with a friend; people will want to know if you had gone out to have party and fun. When you want a day out with your friend, it is presumed that you are freaking out. If you friends want to have only fun and frolic with you and nothing else, then please be certain that they are not your true friends. "A true friend is one who may not always share your happiness, but surely will rush to your aid – wherever you are - when you are in trouble. That is the acid test of a true friend."
I have had a number of friends, some have been nice and polite to me at all times, while some have been just fair weather friends (the kind who used me for their personal benefit and have marched ahead without looking back). But, there is one who has stood by me all these years – right from the year 1974 – through thick and thin.
I have gone through lots of ups and downs financially and emotionally, but he has always encouraged me to carry on with gusto in the face of adversities too. At one time, my father took ill and had to be hospitalized for not less than 3=4 times within a span of 8 months and I was facing severe cash crunch. But, my dear friend helped me sail through my travail, helping me financially, physically and emotionally. With his timely advice and moral support, I took up another lucrative job which enabled me to grow well financially. Again, when my father passed away about three years ago, he was the first one to call me and offer me every kind of emotional and physical support, which I needed so badly then.
As fate would have it, my friend’s health hasn’t been too good in the recent months, and has been spending more time with his son in the US. But, I make it a point to keep in touch with him and meet him whenever he is in India and we recall the old times with nostalgia.
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