F.R.I.E.N.D.S experiment

Not to be misconstrued, I have not done any experiments with friends, but did a social experiment many years back to determine them. I consider this one of the biggest social experiment I ever did, and this cost me both time, money, efforts and lots of pain. Motto was simple- Be “best” friends with all. Though the motto was simple, it was not possible. I did not realize until it was over.

We had about 70 people in our class. I wanted to establish personal rapport with all of them. This was not to extract any leverage from them, purely done on the basis of best friendship factors. This included both sexes.When the experiment was done, I did gain valuable friends for life. But the tiring process to go through them left me tattered. But no complaints on that front, for I would not be with valuable friends nor lessons for life.

Some of my classmates were in college hostel, being a day scholar, it is tough to rapport with them. I went to their dorms during college hours and after college hours. No offence to them, but their worlds were different. All of them were sweet and had a helping tendency but their ambitions and friendship reasons was alien to me. With limited social interactions and miles of distance apart, I could not gain much with any of them.Not much efforts were sparred in this process.

Then were the 20 odd girls in my class, sorry 20 is an even number. I called each one of them. Some were studious, some wanted to talk more, some wanted to listen more, some would not laugh for my jokes. Many of them would hate my talks, most of them hated my idol Kamal Hassan. Some of them were voracious readers, some of them already had love triangles in progress. Some of them wanted to be sisters for security reasons, and some for genuine reasons.Most of them wanted to operate in friend-zoned spheres of influence. I called them up, trying to weave my boring intellectual stories, my quiz knowledge, I had no preconceived notion in having a romantic angle with any of them. This was a honest attempt in being best friends with all. Some of them helped in my record note drawings, all of them would talk to me when talked. I did gain friends for life from them. Only that the number was tiny. Lessons learnt- you cannot be friends with all, more so best friends with all, friends need nurturing with time, effort and care. You only have a limited time in the world. I would meet some of them in their homes, even became friends with their parents instead. But key takeaway was, you can be nice to everyone but not friends with everyone. Women need pampering, and solid time commitment.

I gifted the book, “experiments with truth” to some of my friends, I believe I gifted 12–15 of them, it costed me 30rs then I believe. With no earnings, it was actually my mother who gifted them. Honest reason for the book selection was the novelty factor and cost. Truth does not come cheap but the book does. I went to many of my friends homes, studied in their rooms for semester exams. I would get down at their areas, eat with them, watch movies with them.One big fail was, I had not played cricket since my teens. This deprived me of the biggest friend network possible. This continued in my college where I was the only boy who did not know to bowl nor bat normally. I knew to field good, but this does not help you with a spot. Since I was a zero in team games, I had to conduct costly experiments to make friends.

I traveled near and far to my friends homes which would span from north chennai, central chennai to south chennai. I would spend a night in Royapettah in a dilapidated room. Then spend couple of study nights in ECR. Would tour tambaram localities scanning for friends. I eat a lot, now and then. We visited multiple biriyani outlets and fast food outlets. Movies was a common factor. I have watched many movies in Chromepet, Tambaram. We were movie fans, sit in theater, eat and relax. Some of my friends for life were gained in this passionate hobby. Millions of messages, forwards, yahoo mails, orkut scrapbook messages, visits, movie outings, food sharing, generated me friends, best friends for life.

I would not be what I am today, without their support and encouragement. Cheers to the brave souls who continue to labor with me. You sift a million stones to get one diamond, I am glad I endured this to gain my invaluable friends. May I be blessed with courage to pursue bold experiments and the company of loving friends for life.



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Balaji Vellore Nandakumar

Balaji Vellore Nandakumar

Wannabe Writer, making delta attempts to perfection.All views expressed in my article are my own. Sincere attempt in weaving patterns and stories of life