My best mate of the same sex A and I met over a Chinese roll at the American Center. It was the last roll on the table and we were both reaching for it at the same time. Since politeness dictated that we not squabble over it we agree to retire across the road to the 'peti kade' for a smoke and a coke.
We are completely different people, so much so that many people find it hard to believe that we are friends. And yet, our friendship has endured the passing of a significant potion of our lives. We hardly meet anymore, our life's path taken us in different directions different lands, but when we do meet, we pick up where we dropped and go on.
The other best mate is of the opposite gender and we still disagree as to the exact circumstances of our meeting - we met at an exhibition, I was aimlessly strolling around killing time, she, K, was manning a stall. She maintains I tried to pick her up while I maintain that I was more interested in her friend.
Some of the happiest moments of life has been in the company of these two people - a shared meal or a day spent doing the stuff that friends do, idle chit chat, shared joy and pain.
There are a few more people who I count as my friends and consider myself fortunate that they are my friends. Closer to me than family, knowing me better than anyone else does, these friendships are the kind that last a life time
The internet and blogging has brought a few new friends too, most I am yet to meet, perhaps we never will; but the thoughts shared intimately
To K and A, and to the rest of the chosen few, I raise my glass to say with a nod, thank you and qoute the words of Kahlil Gibran On Friendship
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.