Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Friends and Great Friends Differentiated

The difference between my friends and my “GREAT FRIENDS”:
Friends call me during office hours to say “Hi!”
“GREAT FRIENDS” NEVER call during office hours because they know that I don’t want to be interrupted or disturbed at work.
Friends speculate about my absence and silence.
“GREAT FRIENDS” know that I am either sleeping or eating or working late!
Friends tell me to quit smoking because it is bad for my health.
“GREAT FRIENDS” smoke with me until our lungs get burned!
Friends invite me for a cup of coffee.
“GREAT FRIENDS” hand me 3 big mugs of milk every night!
Friends tell me to stop eating too much.
“GREAT FRIENDS” eat big lunch and dinner with me!
Friends wonder about my worries and angst and troubles.
“GREAT FRIENDS” disappear when I start whining about my problems/mean-capade!
(After hearing every minutiae of my life)
Friends worry about me all the time.
“GREAT FRIENDS” know that I can kick ass & they worry for the safety of those who hinder my way.
Friends start philosophizing when I am being mean or sarcastic.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

My Own Vitamin F

Earlier today I received a forwarded email regarding a newly-coined term "Vitamin F". A certain Dr. Oz stressed on the importance of of Vitamin F (Vitamin Friends) and recounted the many benefits of friends to our well-being. Apparently, research shows that people in strong social circles have less risk of depression and terminal strokes. The warmth of friendship reduces stress and can decrease the risk of cardiac arrest or stroke.
I couldn't help but agree.
All my life, I have been blessed with good people:
Good friends who played Chinese garter with me during my childhood days,
Good friends who studied and learned with me during my adolescent days,
Good friends who helped me during my challenging teenage days.

But one friend left an indelible mark in my life - Archi.
Archi during Safari

Archi & I have a common bestfriend who have been a close friend to both of us during a different phase of our lives. We knew each other's names and stories back then but due to geographical differences, we never met.

Almost four years ago, we finally met here in Dubai.
After our first meeting, we became inseparable.

Together, we rocked all the clubs in Dubai.
Together, we danced and laughed.
Together, we partied!

We were young. We were thirsty for adventure.
We were both alone in this strange, foreign place.
But our friendship was put into test when I faced a financial dilemma.
I signed a contract and issued a cheque without consulting anyone.
I was young. I was impulsive. I was gullible.
It was a foolish move, and I suffered.
I paid AED25,000 & I had to pay the total of AED65,000 for a year (divided per quarter).
I couldn't back out since there was a one-year commitment clause in the contract that I signed.

It was a hopeless case.
I had to shell out a big money every three months. I borrowed money from credit cards, from the office, from everywhere.
After the 3rd quarter, I was just down to zero. I had exhausted all my resources.
I maxed out all my credit cards, took advances from my leave allowance, worked 2 jobs.

Still, it wasn't enough.
There was no way I could cover my expenses and payable with my meager salary.
The people who promised to stay were the first ones to leave on the onset of the problem.
It was a desperate time.
And I took all the desperate measures to stay afloat.

After receiving legal notices for the bounced cheque, I could neither sleep nor eat for days.
I was 22 - just a kid facing alone an adult's problem!

Archi withdrew money from his credit card (AED12,000 I think) & gave it to me even without my asking.
No written agreement.
No nothing.
He just told me to pay him back "when" I can.
He trusted me with life and he didn't think twice.
He lent me a big money that wasn't his.

Later on, I brazened myself out of that messy situation and was able to pay him back.
Slowly, I started to pick up the broken pieces of what was left of my ruined life.

I might have paid him back the money, but I could never pay back what he had done for me. He helped me when I needed it the most. He stayed with me during my most trying time.

Enough of the drama and let's fast forward! :D


Archi now works as Asst. Property Development Manager in a Property Developer company (Goodness truly pays off! He has been so blessed!).
I am now debt-free and wiser! (Alas! :P)

Archi & I remain best of friends.
We now live together & help each other every step of the way.
He is my partner-in-crime.
He is my confidante.
He is like my brother, my sister, my mother.
He always supports my decisions however bad he thinks they are.
No questions asked.
No explanations needed.
He encourages me to pursue my dreams and not to fear failure.
Now, THAT is friendship.

Looking back, I might have lost a lot but I gained more.
I gained my lifetime supply of Vitamin F. =>
What makes our friendship even better today is that we gained more friends! Friends who are like Archi!
Great friendship solidified.
Great friendship intensified.
Great friendship multiplied. :D