They've been our backbone.
Always. But especially since March 2020.
The pandemic and the never ending challenges it comes with showed us that family today has a new definition.
Family is not defined by just kith and kin. Family is created by love, even if you are not related by blood.
In the darkness that has shrouded us for so many months now, our friends have been our beacons of bright, shining light that promised a way out.
They have helped us navigate through this difficult new world.
Friends have been there, uncomplaining and strong, even as they juggled their multiple responsibilities.
They have stuck with us through online school, online college, projects, WFM, deadlines and even that dreaded question -- what to cook/eat today.
Zoom calls, birthday and anniversary surprises, a virtual shoulder to cry on... they have done it all.
The pandemic has created new friendships and strengthened old ones. Many of us have even reconnected with our old friends, those who we lost touch with in the buffets of Time and have always missed.
Which shouldn't really surprise us. Because friends are magical. They walk into your life when you least expect it and enrich it so much.
Friends don't hesitate to tell you like it is. They know you inside out and love every bit of you. They find your little sillinesses endearing, not foolish. They make you laugh. They wipe your tears. They push you to be your best and, most important, they know all your dirty little secrets so you can always be yourself with them. They empathise, like very few others can.
And then, there are the memories... a precious, precious gift from which you can always draw strength. Or a smile.
So, on Friendship Day, August 1, tell the world how special your friends are.
Share those unforgettable tales, those mastiwala memories. Tell us what your friendship has meant to you in these terrible COVID times.
Send in your favourite picture with your friends, but get their consent first.
We will feature the best responses on Rediff.com.