“How many friends do you have?” I asked a young lad in the crowded auditorium at Park Street, Calcutta.
“How many?” I went on.
“Too many, Sir. I can’t think of the numbers.”
“And how about you, in the front row: how many friends do you have?”
“Something like seventy, I guess, Sir.”
I smiled, adding: “If you have one friend you’re lucky. Should you have two or three you’re blessed.”
“Excuse me, Sir” a voice boomed from behind the room in the darkness. “What is your definition of a friend, Sir?”
A wave of silence rushed through the packed hall. Every single soul was wondering how I would explain the word ‘Friend’.
For a brief moment I cleared my throat, stepped forward on the stage, and replied : “I’ll make it very simple : anyone, who is prepared to tolerate your nonsense, put up with your sudden bursts of tantrums, and always sticks by your side come- what- may, always understands and forgives you, he is a Friend.” After a brief pause I sealed the evenings event, saying: “All others are your ‘Acquaintance’.
Photo Courtesy: http://www.pdpics.com/photo/1046-group-of-friends/