The thing with friendship is, once you've had a taste of it, you're addicted for life. The need to conform and identify is of course, clear and present in us humans ever since we find ourselves in any form of society. However, it is only once we have relished our first morsels of true companionship do we develop a yearning to belong.
Often, it may even happen that we ourselves have not experienced this, but we have seen others enjoy it, and have started craving it because it is so conspicuously absent from our lives.
This was me.
As a child, I generally found myself to be an outcast. I hadn't yet been a part of any true... fellowship of chumminess, and I found, even at that age, that other kids my age only allowed me to hang around due to whatever advantages my presence could afford them at that point. I don't really know why I was singled out for such treatment, but I do remember being extremely lonely- and trying to hide it from my parents.
At some point along the way, my mother did notice it, though, and that is the time she introduced me to books. "If you have a good book, you don't need anybody else", she said. I took to reading as fish to water, and for many, many years after that they were my only companions, and I was deliriously happy at finally having friends. I was the girl with the book. Always.
Some time later I fell in love with cricket. Once I get involved in something, I have a tendency to completely lose myself in it. This happened with both cricket and my books. These were the only two elements of my life that spared me from the gnawing isolation I felt otherwise.
After sixth grade I switched schools, and at my new school, I finally found acceptance. To be openly admired is a feeling the like of which I had never experienced before. It was emancipating. Years of being a bookworm had improved my level of English to such heights that I could easily correct my teachers (though I rarely did it), and at this different school they did not take offense to the fact that their student knew more than them about some things. I found out that I was talented at many studies, foremost amongst them art (as in drawing, sketching, etc.), and that said talents were appreciated.
It was here that I finally opened up and made friends. Sure, I was still deeply insecure about myself. Nor did I trust people to treat me with due respect, and so was always in a shell, but it was here that I found the people (or maybe they found me?) who now know me better than I know myself, and will not hesitate to yell at me for 'being dumb', or even take decisions for me to 'protect' me from said 'dumbness'.
It's been some time since I left school. I am now a second year student (Yay!!! :D), but I still have trouble with my self esteem at times. The thing is, I know that these spells would be a lot more chronic had I not chanced upon the various forms of support I did, at the times I did.
I don't know how to wish all my friends a 'Happy Friendship's Day', seeing as so many of them are characters in books... then there's my school, the art block in the school, the library, the amphitheater, the senior school ramp (the one close to the Bio Lab), or even a sport (random, yeah?). But to those of you who can read this, being (mostly) human, this post is dedicated to you:
Devika, Niki, Siddhu, Bhavyaa, Medha, Zoya, Arushi, Dhriti, Amrita Ma'am, Udayan.
I love you.