I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
- A Poison Tree
by William Blake
Friends come in all shapes and sizes. So, we can’t judge them by the so-called standards, right? They can be silly or wise, fierce or timid, boring or interesting. What’s important is we love them because friends are amazing just the way they are. And, the wrath does end when they are by your side.
Ever wondered what kind of a friend you are…
If you are adventurous, your friends are riding a roller coaster; they are scared stiff, but enjoying each and every moment of this thrilling ride.
“I had a crazy friend in college who had to do something to create trouble in the Math class. We used to have two consecutive Math classes after break and it was pure misery for two dumbos like us. So we came up with a plan! Since we were the last ones to leave the class in break time, we would jam the knob of the door by shutting it with great force.
“After the break, the entire class, along with the teacher, had to wait for at least 15 minutes until someone from the office came to open it (Office people were extremely lazy people). Meanwhile, we both would sit in the corridor and gossip for the entire time.
“Then eventually, college management discovered it was an act of mischief. I was a bit scared! How would I face my parents if I got caught? But, the management had another solution to the problem. The door knobs were removed all together. We still break into a fit of laughter when we see through those holes in the door.” (Moona)
“This is not something I should feel good about, but my friend was an extremely dangerous person! She wasn’t even afraid of lizards and cockroaches. One day, during our Math class, she said the classes were unbearable and she wanted to have some fun. She told me she was bringing a flying cockroach the next day and that the girls in our gang were going to jump around and scream.
“Next day, my friend signaled everyone to start shouting while opening the jar with the cockroach. But, to our horror, the cockroach was almost dead inside the jar and would not come out. I knew we were in trouble; the girls were already shouting and the teacher was trying to figure out what was going on. In a frenzied motion, I kicked the jar and the cockroach was out and thank God, my friend hid the jar immediately. When the teacher saw a numb cockroach on the floor, he shoved it out of the classroom and continued solving algebraic expressions with the class.” (Zaira)
No matter what it takes, some people are always there to rescue their friends when they are in hot water; tactfully, they pull them out safely.
“You know what nonsensical stuff students do in college; so a really strong prefect body is set up for dealing with troublesome students. But, you don’t have to worry about a thing if your best friend is in the prefect body because they’ve got you covered. Everybody was doing their class work silently when I thought I should hit a nerd sitting in the front with the tiny pieces of chalks I had in my pocket. After missing several shots, the chalk hit the wrong girl. Oops, she got mad! The teacher was cross, too. He made me stand on the chair and kept asking if I had thrown the chalk pieces. I simply said I had no chalk pieces, which was not true, of course. Then, the teacher asked the class representative to check my pockets. She was my friend and couldn’t bear to see me humiliated; she said, ‘There aren’t any chalks here, sir! And, I don’t think they would do this nonsense.’ Friends are the best.”
Who do you talk to when you are worried about an assignment you have been putting off for ages? Of course, a friend! All they do is call you “yaar” several times in the conversation and you feel absolutely fine. This is how therapeutic friends are!
“The night before semester exam was always terrifying for me; my world seemed to come to an end and every time it felt like I wouldn’t survive ‘this’ time. After a restless night, I would be at the campus at least an hour before the test. My friend used to wait for me at the staircase. First we would have a good laugh to ease down the tension; and then, we would quickly revise important concepts, tell each other what chapters we skipped, predict possible questions, motivate each other to do well, indulge in backbiting for a few minutes and enter the examination hall feeling so much better.
“Just the presence of your friend is so comforting! You know together you can handle anything.” (Sarah)
The problem with extremely pious friends is they will never help you with cheating in exams. So students addicted to cheating are likely to break up with such friends as exams draw near.
Such friends are a blessing in disguise only if we realize. They are always so concerned about teaching morals to their friends. “I remember in university I was going through a very difficult time in my life; I was losing concentration, was depressed and kind of jealous of my friends. Then, one day, I got really upset because my parents didn’t allow me to hang out with my friends at night. I thought it was unfair to me and my parents were just being overprotective.
“During that time, I made a friend who was staying in the university hostel. In a short period of time, we became very good friends. He made me look at the issue in a different way: instead of telling me that my parents were narrow-minded, he made me realize why parents are usually right and they always want best for their kids. I am so grateful for his friendship!” (Rabi)
Maintaining your personal space and privacy becomes a problem when your friends are inquisitive.
“This reminds me of a recent group chat. Some of my friends were planning a reunion when one of them said she wouldn’t be coming to the reunion because some guests were visiting. Everybody got curious: what guests? Why are they so special? Are they coming with a proposal? Obviously, these questions were taken lightly and answered with light-hearted emojis, but they must be annoying for the girl — aargh!
Whether it is cousin’s wedding, farewell party, Eid or any other occasion, you just look up to that one friend whose fashion sense is beyond awesome.
“My friend Laiba - I have known her for almost 10 years - knows exactly where one can get good quality clothes at economical rates. She even knows about secret sales around the city. With her, I don’t have to worry about anything; she knows what color combinations would work best, what fabric would go perfectly with the occasion, which design would look more elegant on my body type, etc.
“Her fabulous fashion sense has made things so much easier. I know she will pick up the right thing for me and I will look and feel gorgeous. When people come to me and compliment my fashion choices, I feel so grateful to her.” (Sundus)
Friends don’t always need a specific reason or date to party!
“Even though we had cameras in our class, we were determined to have a party on the last day of our class. But the camera had to be covered! You can’t just sit and have a party. My friend and I quickly came up with the idea of covering the camera with tissue papers. After covering the camera, we had so much fun: we sprayed glitter on each other, and sang and danced like kids. All of this lasted for a couple of minutes until someone noticed the blank screen in the office. The teachers came rushing to the class and we were told that we won’t be allowed to take exams - which obviously didn’t happen.” (Shafaq)
If you are traveling with friends who have a knack for navigation, getting to unfamiliar places in a crazy city becomes an easy-peasy job; literally, you can lean back and relax without worrying about the directions.
But how do you handle a friend who, halfway through the journey, freaks you out by saying: I’m not kinda sure where on earth we are!?
“In college, I decided to commute to the examination centre with my friend who lived near my house. On our first exam, my father took us to the centre but we had to come back home on our own. At that time, we used to travel by public buses and had no personal phones.
“My friend had been to the examination hall before so I assumed she knew what buses to take, which routes to follow and everything else about the directions. After the exam, when we came out of the examination centre, I was relieved because I had her as my travel buddy. We both got on the bus quite easily and the ride was surprisingly comfortable.
Within few minutes, we both slipped into gossip mode, completely unaware of our surrounding. It is only when we had run out of topics, we realized something was wrong! We had just driven past Mazar-e-Quaid! And, there were no signs of NIPA Chowrangi. A lady sitting next to us said, ‘Beta, get off the bus! You have taken the wrong bus. It doesn't go to NIPA!’ Oh my god! Wasn't it enough to give me a heart attack? When I asked the driver, he just said, ‘NIPA? No! Come on, get off quickly.’ We got off the bus and now we had no idea where we were. There were only stalls and men walking around.
I kept asking my friend what to do but she was just numb with fear. I grabbed her hand and held it tightly.
“Then I saw a traffic sergeant; he told us we were standing in Bolton Market and helped us get on the right bus. When we finally reached home, it was three in the afternoon. Of course, our parents were extremely worried! Today when I recall this incident, it just feels like a beautiful adventure.”
This incident will make you think of all those friends who are a bit lost or are unable to figure out where they’re heading in life. So how do you handle such friends? You just shake their hand, pat them on the shoulder, and keep standing by their side.