I wrote a column last week about how college friendships don’t always stay because life gets in the way. Of course, I expected a barrage of abuse in the comments area for daring to call into question the eternal link that exists between brothers. But I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of pals tagging each other left, right, and center, demanding to commit to stay friends for the rest of their lives. This made me think about how, while friendship is valuable and difficult to come by, it is also difficult to keep. When you realize that someone who was previously your brother-from-another-mother is quietly drifting away from you, it’s a new type of sadness. Friendship is no longer as straightforward as it once was. Gone are the days when all we had to do to establish our link with our brother was sing “ye dosti hum nahi todenge” at the top of our lungs. Things have changed since then. You must take time out of your busy schedule to be there for your friend. You must continually reassure them that they are a significant part of your life, and that you cannot take them for granted, or else they will quietly drift away from you, and you will not notice until they are entirely gone. We keep in touch or remain friends with people out of obligation or for the sake of nostalgia. However, keeping someone in your life for that purpose is not the appropriate motive. Consider whether this is the same friend you met years ago. It may sound harsh, but it is a crucial step before attempting to reintegrate them into your life. Was it a particularly nasty brawl? Was it because of a girl? Or did long distance simply put a damper on your friendship? First and foremost, figure this out. Because if it was a minor issue, you might be able to go on. However, if something serious causes a rift between you and your brother, you’ll need to make some difficult choices.
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