In school I had all types of friends. I was a likeable kind of guy and I was one of those chameleon like people who could morph their own personality based on who they are with. So, with the studious kids I could discuss corollaries and theorems, with the arty ones I could pick up a brush or even do a cross stitch, with the sporty ones I could talk about NBA and politics of Indian sport, and with the 'no-gooders' I could get into their inner circle by hanging out with them and speaking their bad-ass lingo. I even had a few different ‘lunch-time’ groups. We sat together in a circle under a big Pipal tree as we opened and ate our lunch boxes together.

Yet, I think I was lonely. I yearned for a friend. Someone with whom I could just be myself. Someone to hang with when I didn't feel like being a part of the any of the ‘groups’. Someone who I could just call over to my place to chill or just land up at their place. Someone who would understand me and not judge me when I had my mood swings. Someone who wouldn’t feel possessive if I hung out with my other friends. Someone who would know when I’m sad and say or do a few kind things to lift me out of my blues. Someone who can see my goodness and make me want to be even better. Someone who can reprimand me gently but firmly. Someone with whom I could go out and have fun together. Someone who could make me laugh and who would laugh at my jokes.

Hahahaha. Now I hear you laughing! Is it too much I’m asking for? I just want a friend!

Such friends do exist. Actually, I’ll correct that. Such friendships can be nurtured. It takes a bit of a chilled out attitude, openness in communication, the strength to hold on to my own identity, flexibility and adjustability, and lots of patience. All that takes a little practise.

When I have even one such friend, I don’t feel alone. Having such a friendship in my life makes me feel strong. With the presence of even one such friend in my life, I believe I am a winner. I’m blessed to have a couple of such people in my life.

We all discover these friendships at some or the other point in our lives. If you think you haven’t, despair not, there may be one just lurking around the corner. Let's be open and look. Let's vulnerable but be smart. Let's respond but don’t chase. Let's share how you feel and be watchful about how they reciprocate, or not. Let's allow things to evolve. It will happen. I truly believe there are abundant opportunities for us to find such friendships.

The trick is to be open to these possibilities and not be fixated on our own ideas of who should be our friend. Let's look around. Surely, there is someone who wants to be my friend. Maybe they are not dressed the way we'd expect them to be dressed. Maybe they don’t speak English the way we’d expect them to speak. Maybe they don’t drive the car we’d expect them to drive. Maybe, we were so busy wanting to be someone else’s friend, that we just didn’t notice. But maybe, just maybe, they could be that kind of friend for us. Maybe it’s time to expand our idea of who can be our friend.

So smile, relax, and allow a friendship to happen!