My parents are proud of me. Well, all parents are proud of children who make it well in life. But, I think, deep down my parents are a little surprised at what I have achieved so far in life. It’s not as if they never envisaged any future or their aspirations with me were any less than any average parent duo. Okay, talking statistically, comparing children in the family in my generation, my success in life till now was what was surprising to them. Statistically, less than 20% of us are Masters academically. Less than 30% of us are working (full-time). I don’t know how many have a bank balance in 6 figures (mine is a joint account which I count!!). But am sure by the rates I have mentioned, the percentage would be in single digits. Less than 40% are married and leading a ‘happily’ married life. And I contribute to all these percentages! Now, that’s really something. Actually, looking at it now, I too feel proud of myself. Most of my friends and acquaintances though, are evidently surprised at my current achievement levels. It shows in the way they interact with me or react to any conversation involving me or has my mention. Friends with whom I have spent the most times, who, in the worldly term can be called ‘best friends’, don’t really ask much about my professional life. I would want to believe that’s because they do not think beyond the relationship we share. Our friendship will not be affected even if tomorrow I loose my job or one of us replaces Bill Gates as the richest man (Ugh uhhh…well, on second thoughts, it may change just a bit. He will adopt me!!)
Most of us still have the same set of ‘best friends’. Atleast I do. We love to talk. We talk incessantly. My parents and now even my wife are surprised at how much we talk! Infact, my wife has a regular complaint that I don’t talk to her as much as I talk to my ‘best friends’ when we meet. I don’t remember even one instance, which was a planned outing among us. We have never gone for movies, shopping or even dinner! We just meet up over snack and, we talk. Among ‘best friends’ though, we have never shared our monetary progress. Well, we may have mentioned some figures off the cuff. But that never was the point of contention. Unlike most of the dialogues that I have with my other so-called friends, where the third question is “so what’s your salary?” The first two being, how are you and where are you these days? There was a time when one of us was yet to find employment; one was ‘in’ love and ‘out’ of his senses. There was one who was still figuring out what to do with his life. In sum, all were frustrated and depressed. When we met, we did not have much to rejoice. Thankfully, we were yet to taste the ultimate medicine to all misery – ‘gam ka saathi rum’ (just in case I become a world-renowned writer, this phrase translates to “ there is only one friend when sad, drink rum like mad”. That’s to rhyme it). You must be wondering where is the statistics here? To summarize, out of 50 physical and over 200 online people that I call friends, only three make it to the ‘best friend’ frame of shame (the count includes my wife and why ‘shame’ comes in the following sentence). Of these three, neither smokes or drinks, while I am a chain smoker and a compulsive boozer. But what takes the cake is that out of every ten outings with my pals, either of my best friends has paid on eight of those occasions (this includes my wife again). But that’s not why they are my best friends. If they have stuck to me, am sure I have something ‘statistically different’ to be proud of.
I believe only my parents, my wife and my best friends can make me feel the way I am. And I feel proud. I proved it statistically.