I got a phone call from sunkan,yes,the sundari kannan,whom we love,just an hour back. I was very happy to get that call from her. When I was in the ICU, sunkan who lives in Bangalore,came to Manipal hospital with her sister to see me.The hospital authorities ofcourse don’t allow anyone in ICU.My DH had taken a service apartment just opposite the hospital and the entire family was there.My husband spoke with her on the phone I believe, and sundari who had brought prasadams from temples and who had come all the way from Malleswaram by auto,went back. Sometime after I came home ,which was three weeks later,my DH told me about sunkan coming to the hospital and how he could not meet her in person.I got very angry with him .I said,”How can you do this to a friend who had the kindness to come and see me even though she had not met me in person?”My husband,gentleman, that he is, said,”Yes,mythili,it was wrong on my part.I was very tired and was very apprehensive about your recovery and so I did not go and meet her in the hospital”. Let me make a confession.Sundari Kannan was the person who introduced me to IL.I remember her sending me a note,”Mythili,come to IL.You will meet many friends there.I joined IL and now I can’t live without IL. Kamalji is a wonderful friend.He came to my house, had lunch and spent a couple of hours with us.My DH and Kamalji became very good friends the moment they said ,”Hello”to each other.But I did not mention both of them in my recent post ,an entry for the latest contest announced by IL.Why did I not mention them?I simply forgot.Why did I forget these great friends?Am I taking friends for granted? My mind goes back to my college days.I had joined M.A.Economics,in Stella Maris college and it was the first day .I entered my class room with great trepidation,I was very nervous.There were totally twenty students in my class.TharaMohan Rao, a classmate came to our seats with a notebook and pen in her hand. She was taking down our names.When she came to my place and asked me my name,I said,”Iam,Mythili”After many months,Thara who had become a very good friend of mine, would tell me,”Mythili,on our first day in our class,I asked you for your name and you said with a stern expression,”Iam Mythili”.I thought,here is a headstrong girl.But you are such a simple person,Mythili.” Sometimes the way one carries oneself and the way one greets people make an impression on others which is very difficult to change,if it be negative. If making friends is an art, retaining those friends in your life and nourishing that friendship is a God given gift.Retaining friends in your life is not an easy job.You have to be a genuine person,should have the urge to take care of a friend and lend a shoulder to lean on, when that friend needs it.You have to put up with some inconveniences and some adjustments in your daily routine sometimes,if you want your friendship to flourish..You should keep in touch with them regularly. When I was in college,I had many, many friends.friends with whom I could share confidences.I got married and my world changed .Slowly, the friends who added spice to my life exited from my life.I will not put the blame on my DH’s transferable job which took me to many places quite often.I take the blame on myself.If I had the urge to keep my friends in my life,I would have kept in touch with them.May be I failed in this sphere.But we ie I and my DH have family friends.The few friends that I have ,have become his friends and his friends have become mine.We meet with our families and enjoy support from each other.I have not mentioned my innumerable friends in IL,they are not frinds.They are my property. I admire my daughters who have very good friends and both of them have nourished their friendships.On my elder daughterVaidehi’s birthday her drawing room gets filled with bouques.The phone rings up continuously,friends and relatives keep ringing up.Friends drop in to wish her.What is the secret behind her popularity among friends?.No magic,my dear.Vaidehi makes genuine efforts to be a good friend.She remembers the birthdays of all her friends and makes it a point to wish them on their birthdays and on their wedding anniversaries .She goes all out to help them when they need help.I know that her friends will remain in her life through out. My younger daughter Sangheetha also belongs to this category.There is nothing that she will not do to help her friends and her friends are always there for her.Sangheetha is the mother of quadruplets and she is always busy.But her friends are always welcome in her house and she gives them royal treatment.Well I feel very happy for my daughters. While on friendship,I want to tell you about different types of friends whom I have had the good fortune to know and observe from a distance. There are friends who are possessive about each other.This possessive nature corrode their friendship.Kanya and Kala were very good friends.Kala had a number of friends apart from Kanya.Kanya could not stand Kala spending time with other friends,going out with them.She picked up fights with Kala on every such occasion.What happened?Kala slowly weaned herself out of this possessive friendship and Kanya was the loser. There are friends who gossip a lot and also carry tales from one person to another relentlessly.Vanitha and Kamala were good friends.This friendship would have flourished ,but Vanitha could not keep confidences.Kamala had to share a piece of information,something confidential with Vanitha,the next day the news would be all over the town.Kamala put an end to this friendship,painful it was to her but she had to do it if she wanted her mental peace. Meenu is a charming person,jovial and hospitable.Sometime back she had a number of friends,friends who would do anything to please her.But today,she does not have a single good friend.Her friends have left her.Why?What caused this tragedy?Well,Meenu ,charming though she is,used to pile on to her friends relentlessl.She would leave her two children one aged five and the other aged three with her friend Leela asking her to take care of them when she went shopping ,why even when she attended weddings.If one of her friends went shopping and told Meenu about this,Meenu would give her a long list of things to buy for her home and would thrust money in her hands,making it impossible for her to say,”No”.Soon her friends got tired of her and her never ending demands on their time,energy and they shirked her off,one after the other.Today when I see Meenu sitting by herself in her balcony in the evenings,watching others go for a walk ,or to the temple together with a sad expression on her face,my heart goes out to her.But ,you can’t deny the fact that she brought it upon herself. A single good,trustworthy friend makes all the difference to one’s life.Friendship does not take into account Caste,creed.language and financial status.Has God planted a sapling in the form of a friend in your life?You are the luckiest among lucky people.But you have to nourish this sapling .Give it water called trust,sunshine called love,fertilizer called care.You will find the sapling growing into a big tree,giving you shelter in your old age.