Happy Friendship Day – Deepa (Laji) Bhagnari


Another day to celebrate…we humans try to find happiness in so many different ways, so we have created festivals like Diwali, Christmas, Holi, Raksha Bandha, Eid, Easter and many more, but maybe there was still a void, so we look forward to special days like Independence Day, Republic Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Teachers’ Day, Valentine’s Day, Daughters Day, etc. and last but not the least – Friendship Day.

Friendship Day apparently was created in the fifties by the owner of Hallmark Greeting Cards but since it was thought to be a gimmick to enhance the sale of greeting cards it was soon forgotten. Then later in 2011 The United Nations announced July 30th as Friendship Day to grow cooperation between people and to overcome barriers between people and countries. But different countries celebrate Friendship Day on different days of the year. In India, we celebrate it on the first Sunday of August every year. This time it is the 7th of August. So Happy Friendship Day to everyone.

Personally, I feel every day is Friendship Day, because one needs a friend every day – it could be different friends for different day, as each friend possesses a different talent or characteristic, you may need one friend on some day to confide in and on another day another friend to seek some advice on a particular topic, which he/she is good at – so definitely every day is a friendship day.  

Friends are not inherited …you choose them…so definitely one tries to choose only those whom we feel we are comfortable with…who are trustworthy, who are likeable and share common interests…though of course, when you have a group of friends there is always a chance you may not see eye to eye with some, but then if it’s a group, one does not usually interact too much with them one to one level.

Well coming to myself, I feel lucky to have so many good friends. I remember, I entered Kataria colony in 1961 and in some time, I got friendly to a group of friends and from then till now our friendship has blossomed and we are all still going strong – in fact we call ourselves the Golden Girls…Touch Wood. As I live in Dubai I cannot be a part of their monthly kitty, but once in Mumbai I make it a point to go for the kitty, so that I meet all my dear friends…and even though we meet after a long gap, I still feel I have met them just yesterday as we have our group chat where we all connect – Thank You WhatsApp…you are a blessing…Thank you my GG gang, I love you all. May our friendship continue till our last breath. 🙏

Then after marriage I came to Dubai where again I was fortunate to get a lovely group of friends. We have all been friends from the 70’s till now…we used to go to picnics…outings as our children were young and now with all our children married and happy in their lives, we still meet for dinners or movies and parties…so I really thank God for blessing us with true friends.

True friends are those whom you can call at 3 a.m, in the night for help and your call is answered…then there are friends you may not be in touch with for some time as we live in different countries, etc. but we will not hesitate to pick up the phone and call just to say hello…how are you?  There is no ego issue. Nowadays friendship in some case has a different meaning altogether because of the newly developed social platforms, which are both a boon and a bane. There is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. People often confuse themselves by assuming they have say 700 or whatever number of friends on FB…so they think they are surrounded by friends – well I myself have 634 friends on Facebook and mind you I never accept any friend request randomly – I still think the number is ridiculously high…are they really all my friends?  Of course, not…they are just people I know or I have met once or maybe never but they are still on my list of friends…as some are friends of my friends…So one should not feel elated about the numbers on your FB or Insta, etc…I too follow so many celebrities and Michelin Chefs, etc., but that does not make them my friend.  It is better to have a few good friends…someone you can count on through thick and thin rather than hundreds whom you can’t even converse with.

Personally, I have seen so many different groups of friends who have been – you can say Forever Friends – in our very own beloved Kataria Colony…whenever I am in Mumbai I go to the colony…sit on the bench with my sisters Lata, Asha, Geeta Kanar, Vaso, Sabita and whoever else can come from the group…it is such a pleasure to be with them. I also see different groups around me…Babo and Ritu…Geeta and their group…Hema, Kusum and their group…and the big group of Usha, Neeta, Sabita, Laj, etc. and many others …then my sister Kiran, Kiran Jani, Sujata, Shraddha, Dolly etc. Really, I love to see all this camaraderie around me…then I feel the world is a good place to live in. 😊

But I think your parents can be your friends…your siblings can be your best friends; your children can be your friends. I think friendship exists everywhere; we only have to learn to value it.  And value it soon as in the course of this journey called life, we have lost some dearest of our friends, whose loss will always be a void in our life. They have left their footprints on our hearts – never to be erased….so if one has for some silly reason had a tiff or whatever, try to mend your relations…it is never too late…or one may be left with regrets.

Happy Friendship Day to everyone…my lovely family…my cousins, my friends and my acquaintances…love you all. 


  1. Lovely one Laji – its a great feeling to be your friend. We may not meet or talk often, but when we do, it’s never ending.

  2. First of all HAPPY FRIENDSHIP DAY to you dear Laji and all my wonderful friends out there.
    I remember when we came to stay in Kataria Colony, how we formed groups according to our age.
    My sister Shaku had her group, my sister Bharati had her group and I had my group of friends.
    We all went to Canossa Convent and later to Jai Hind college. Attended all the functions in the Colony like GEETA JAYA NTI (it lasted for a week then), Picnics,Prize distribution etc. It was fun and frolic all the time, till one by one one my friends got married and left for Dubai, Australia, Hongkong, or the USA
    But upto now we are all in touch, (thanks to Whatsapp). We do plan get-togethers whenever they are in town. Its a ploeasure meeting hem.
    And last but not least, I do thank God for having given me such a “Loving, Caring” group of friends, Love you all to the moon and back.


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