A decade ago, when I was in school, this month defined friendship, numerically. Friendship Day was ostensibly a wholesome occasion, but it was also, secretly, a competition — who, at the end of the day, would have the most friendship bands? Ten years later, I’m definitely older, hopefully wiser, and thankfully, I’ve learnt that friendship is not a competition you need to win. Ten years later, my adult friendships are also not defined by who ties me a band and who doesn’t.
But then what, exactly, defines them at all?
As we grow older and life expands, so do the roles that people play in our lives. Which means that friendships outgrow their clear-cut, well-labeled boxes — becoming far too deep, much too honest, and too expansive to specifically categorize.
But just because adult friendships are hard to label in the traditional ways dictated by grammar and society, doesn’t mean we can’t invent our own definitions. Here are some non-traditional ways in which I define them:
1. The friends who have met your parents, and charmed them. Your mother trusts them more than she trusts you, and your father has hour-long conversations with them about their jobs. Friends who know that your family makes rajma chawal on Sundays. And who are comfortable enough to invite themselves to eat it.