What is a best friend?

“If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow. If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder. If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow. If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile… But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me.” -unknown

I’ve always wondered what defines “best” in terms of friendship. What, or who is capable of being a best friend? Why do we apply this superlative to one particular person when most people we tag as friends have at some point affected our lives in some way? Some may have been a negative influence, some positive, but at the end of every experience there’s always a lesson and lessons always make life better. So I come back to wondering why a particular negative or positive incidence or incidences perpetuated in association with one particular person at a given time earn them the title of being your “best friend”.

The answer to this quandary lies in our own mind, in our own perceptions. Today, with an avalanche of social networking websites, “friend” has become as common a term as any other word in the dictionary. We can add complete strangers on facebook, follow the lives of people we’ve never even met through 140 character tweets. In such a scenario, defining one best friend seems like a herculean task to me.

For me, I’d say my best friend is not even a human being. My best friend is an object. For a long time, in days when phones were not a common commodity, I maintained a diary. Every deep, dark secret, every joyous moment was handwritten, the perusal of which still brings tears to my eyes. It has confessions I’d never want to share with someone who can understand or analyse, judge or crucify me for my actions. I share that kind of comfort with my phone now.

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4 thoughts on “What is a best friend?

  1. Hey, I think it’s a great post and that the best friend need not be a person is something very few people understand, or have the patience, courage, and wisdom to understand…For me my best friend is my camera, it takes me to a world insulated from the noise of this world…It helps me forget time and space and brings the best out of me…It makes me happy, which I seldom feel with people…It provokes me to think as if it were saying “Love is the only constant of this universe, rest all is variable”…

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