Friendship is a relative word. Every acquaintance is not a friend but all friends are acquaintances. Though there may be invisible friends as well, but who indeed is a friend?
Who is a friend?
Definition of ‘friend’ is very dynamic. It changes from situation to situation, age to age and even place to place. But one thing is common. A person whom I can treat as friend must not have an interest hostile to me. Hostility does not necessarily relate to physical violence but also includes financial adverse interest.
Friendship, to me does not include card playing or drinking buddies even though they would not be excluded on that score alone. To be a friend, the person must inspire trust apart from a common interest.
Clients turning friends and vice versa.
Being in a profession in which strangers frequently come and repose their trust in me, formation of a bond is natural. Very rarely it turns into long term friendship. Actually I can remember only one person at this time who came as a client and became friend. Most of the time it is other way around. However I must say, I rarely socialize with clients almost never. But there are friends with whom I socialize and if they have sme legal problem, I have to do it without distancing but barring this exception, the distance must be maintained. It is good for mental health also because people in trouble have a tendency to rake up their issue at every moment and to discuss the same thing over and over again.
My transient friends.
The most interesting creatures are the transient friends. Who befriend, wave hands from long distance or run towards me with appreciation when they anticipate that I will be needed soon but once need is over they disappear in the fog of oblivion. Some would then walk past me, chatting with somebody, without noticing me at all. But only start all over with attention when something new comes up.
As a matter of fact, now I can see who is soon going to approach me for a problem. Their waking pattern, timing etc. change to coincide with me. Then they would try to seek advice as if it is a casual question. This inspite of the fact that I have brutally told everyone that I cant think on my foot. But they try.
And we become friends again. Until we part ways again.