I Was Sure My Lockdown Birthday Would Be Quiet But My Friends Made Sure This Happened

Anonymous Anonymous in Life In The Times Of Corona on 28 May, 2020

I recently celebrated my birthday, though unlike every year, this year I was not at all excited about it, as I thought it would just be another quiet day what with no family around here and no birthday bash happening with my friends due to the lockdown.

And so I was binge-watching a popular series on Amazon, about four best friends and their journey through life and with each other. And thought how lucky are those people who have real friends- someone they are able to connect to, that they can be apologetically themselves with - without any pretences or hidden agendas. For, most of the people out there it is with our friends that we get the real freedom to be ourselves with, to be understood without having the need to explain, of being accepted truly with our flaws and faults and still not be judged.

We may be close to our families but it would be our friends that most of us would turn to celebrate our successes, grieve over our losses, share our secrets, tell our biggest insecurities or talk to about our deepest fears.

We all have friends who we tend to categorise and put into groups as we keep crossing each phase of our life - the chaddi-buddy friends, the college yaari-dosti friends, the-morning-walk friends, let’s party friends, I-need-some-gossip friends, the-evening-chai-pe-charcha friends, kitty friends, work friends, the formal hi-hello friends, I-need-to-confide-in-you friends, let’s hang out together friends, old friends whom we don’t get to see for years but chat to almost every week, the occasion friends whom we connect to only on birthdays and anniversaries for the customary wishes, the silent conversation friend, the i-need-to-cry-over your-shoulder friend, the list can be endless, but no matter how many friends we have, each one of them holds a unique position in our heart as they fulfil a need in us as unique as their friendship.

This birthday made me realise that real friendship goes much beyond the boundaries of being there for each other physically. As, even not being able to see each other except for the Zoom call, did not stop a special bunch of friends into turning my lockdown birthday into a very interesting and unusual one, as one of them put it - from making a Whatsapp group and flooding it with customised birthday videos - though heart-warming, some of them were too hilarious with the weirdest pics - am sure they could have had selected pictures taken from better days but then we can always trust our friends to pull out our worst Halloween picture and put it in our birthday videos, to planning a perfectly orchestrated show wherein I kept getting surprises throughout the day, phone calls and chat messages, gifts left outside the door to videos and funny memes, totally unexpected wishes from people whom I have not spoken to in months and years, all of them took out the time to ensure my day would turn out to be the most perfect and memorable one for a long time to come.

I can say these are my lifelines - while we take the liberty to mercilessly pull each one’s leg and have some good fun, we are each other’s biggest critic too and also have the faith that we would always be the I-got-your-back friends for each other for this lifetime. From discussing new recipes to put in our children’s tiffin box, going for picnics and sitting on merry-go-rounds, to partying through the night dancing together, from sipping chai and gossiping about our favourite topics, to becoming a sex-guru trying to make our friend’s sex-life more happening, we have done it all and are constantly thinking of adding new things on this list.

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So this one goes out to all the friends and their gangs out there - be any type of friend you can, but be a true one - because you may never know, but your presence holds the power to put a smile on someone’s face and brighten someone’s day - and that my friend would be the biggest achievement of your life. As they say in a very popular Indian ad - "Kyun ki har ek friend zaruri hota hai."