A couple of weeks ago, P, an old friend of mine called up and asked me whether I was interested in accompanying G and him when they went to purchase a bicycle for P. I immediately agreed despite the fact that it had been more than two decades since I parked my butt on a bicycle. And the funny part was that while G, a reasonably avid bicycling enthusiast and P were discussing extremely technical details of what bicycle would suit P and were trying to figure out the options that would fit within his budget, not for one moment did I feel out of the conversation at all during the drive to the showroom itself. I guess, the fact that the three of us have been friends for almost three decades now helped the situation quite a bit.
In fact, after P was done paying for the new bicycle itself and we were on our way back, G started reminiscing about how it had been around 28 yrs since I first met him (and 24 yrs since both of us met P) and we laughed about some of the funnier incidents that we had encountered together. Pretty soon we realized that there was more to this friendship than the three of us could easily describe in words. There are very few times when either of us, especially P and me, are lost for words and this was well and truly one of them. And believe it or not, we ended the trip in complete silence, lost in our thoughts and memories. That’s what true friendships and true friends are about, they don’t need words, labels and hollow promises to keep them going. True friends just know that the others will be there for them, no matter what.
Somewhere in the second half of 2013, I once again had the opportunity to try and make similar new friendships, albeit in the virtual space. When the WordPress platform came up with this concept of daily blogging and published a list of blogging prompts for all the days of 2014, I conjured up this wild idea of putting together a small team of bloggers (initially four of us, which later expanded to around 25+) and participating in this ‘challenge’. And my first choice of the team members were Sakshi (www.sakshinanda.com), Sid (www.iwrotethose.com) and Rekha (www.rekhadhyani.com). Now the only reason that I chose the three of them was because all three of us were contributors to a parenting blog in those days and enjoyed each other’s writing quite a bit.
That being said, I did not know any of them well enough just to pick up the phone and ask them if they were game for this seemingly crazy endeavor of publishing at least one post for the group blog everyday of 2014, based on the prompts provided. But I did just that. Well, I didn’t pick up the phone, but messaged them on Facebook, laid out the plans and asked them if they were game. And surprisingly enough all of them agreed almost immediately. And this led to Project 365 (http://wepostdaily.wordpress.com) which soon became something that the four were known for in the blogging space. In any case, this post is not to talk about the blog itself, but something else, the friendship that started because of it.
Now, picture this. The fact that the three of them decided to take up this relatively crazy endeavor purely because they enjoyed my parenting related blog posts endeared all of them to me quite a bit. And pretty soon, in the few days of 2013 that were left, we all realized that there were more things that were common to us rather than just the fact that we were good parents and good bloggers as well. The fact that none of us let our egos get in the way, and we were all thoroughly professional and didn’t let down each other no matter what, meant that pretty soon we were good friends along with being team mates as well. We soon realized that the only way that Project 365 would see a post being published every day was if we all contributed in our small ways over and above what we had initially agreed upon. And the loosely coupled structure that we provided to the ‘core team’, that we called ourselves meant that one or more of us stepped in, when the person assigned a particular task couldn’t do it due to various reasons.
In more ways than one, Project 365 taught me a lot about how I performed in group situations, how I could make and more importantly retain new friendships, and more importantly have fun even under extremely stressful situations, on days when we were struggling to come up with posts to be published for the day.
Between these two groups (G, P and me) and the Project 365 one, I have well and truly experienced what true and unconditional friendship is, and I can quite confidently say that I will do whatever it takes to remain friends with these folks forever, if possible. After all, that is what friends are for, aren’t they.
This post has been written for the Housing.com blogging campaign, you can follow them on Twitter using the hashtag #together or #lookup or on Google+ to check out their latest offerings and media campaign.