The bond between persons of same gender, males as well as females, in stages of childhood, youth, adulthood and advanced age passes off as friendship. Other bonds have acquired fascinating types, thanks to the societal ethos about such togetherness. Husband and wife, as long as they live under one roof, irrespective of compatability between them, either in privacy or in the open, are said to be held together in a relationship. When either of them break the oath of adhering to mutual trust administered during their wedding ceremony, both in good times and adversities, seeking companionship outside their two-some life, their bonding acquires the much-gossipped-about badge of an affair. While history as well as epics present affairs of kings both in India and other regions of the world, the incidents of extramarital adventures of persons in high posts, particularly Presidents of their respective countries, continue unabated, making news much to the delight of people at large. The idiom Birds of the same feather flock together applies to the human species only as long as the feathers are intact !
The rules of the game of friendship may not have been written in precise terminology but the example in the narrative of epic Mahabharata citing the friendship between Krishna and Kuchela stands out as classic case. The idiom A friend in need is a friend indeed may have taken birth drawing from that example.
Multi-column headlines in the dailies reporting incidents of long-time foes turning into friends and vice-versa during the run up to the ongoing polls to elect members of the country’s Parliament for the 17th time in seven decades reminds one of the famed Churchillian words: There are no permanent friends or foes in politics, but there are only permanent interest. Saying that the permanent interest of the land’s vote-seekers of all hues is to grab votes with no holds barred, reach the country’s apex law-making body and lead a life of utter comfort for a five-year term is saying the obvious.
The vote-seekers, throwing to the winds the virtues of mutual respect, decency and decorum during their campaigns, freely making personal remarks and uttering swear words have tacitly demonstrated how fragile their time-serving friendship has turned out. Their friendship unwittingly turns fertile when they come together in the Cabinet of Ministers, for obvious goals of life.