By Vidhyalakshmi Rao
10 year old Rahul went to his mother one day and asked, “Friends are friends. Why do we say ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’?”
To that her mother-in-law said, “I will tell you a story. Then you will understand.”
This was what Rahul’s grandmother told him:
There were 2 friends – Anirudh and Nikhil – studying in the same class of 5th standard. They would always compete with each other in studies and even in extra-curricular activities. They would often fight with each other as well.
One day they were playing football on the school playground. Nikhil was suddenly pushed by a player of the opponent team and he fell down. When he tried to get up, he couldn’t. He had perhaps fractured his knee. All the other boys playing in the football ground either looked at the injured boy, shocked or was laughing at him.
But Anirudh ran to his friend to see what had happened. Suspecting something serious, he immediately ran to their sports teacher to tell him about it. Ambulance was called and Nikhil was taken to a nearby hospital. Anirudh also informed his friend’s mother about the incident.
Rahul’s grandmother asked him, “Now tell me, who is the good friend in this story – the friends, who watched as Nikhil writhed in pain or Anirudh?”
Rahul replied, “Anirudh, because he helped his friend.”
Grandmother said, “Yes. Anirudh turned out to be the ‘Friend indeed’. Now it is ok if one does not attend someone’s marriage. If you do not visit your friend, when a death has occurred in their home, then you don’t have the right to be called a friend. You can cancel any important meeting or even any happy celebrations at your home for that matter.”
Grandmother told Rahul another incident, “One man lost all his money in business. His friend could not help him financially. So he decided to help him manually instead so that the first man could be uplifted. That is again “Friend indeed’. It is not enough that you know these sayings, Rahul. Understand the moral behind them and follow them in your life, so that you become a good citizen of India.”