According to the Oxford English dictionary, friend means: (i) a person that you know well and like, and (ii) a supporter of a cause or organisation.<br/><br/>Solitude can be one’s best friend, but not always. Yup, given the fact that man is a social animal, it is most unlikely that he turns out to be a malicious megalomaniac misanthrope, who prefers to keep his sanity intact by walking alone in his own shadow rather than being benefitted by a homosapiens’ godly gracious presence! <br/><br/>Well, who cares a dime if you are a king or a pauper; you still need a friend to confide all your joys and sorrows. One constantly needs to share one’s consciousness with the fellow human being, do remember - ‘Joy shared is joy doubled and sorrow shared is sorrow halved!’ Being self sufficient or loaded with a fat purse can never compensate the lack of society. After all, friendship is a precious gift, which is based more on giving rather than receiving. And a happy man ought to have some friends. Okay, here we are not talking about your five hundred plus friends on Facebook, half of whom you don’t even know in person!<br/><br/>Have you ever noticed the fact that some of the best friends in our entire life consist of schoolmates. As we mature, the list of acquaintances keeps on expanding – high school, college, job and so on. Well, it’s nice to socialise and be courteous with people, yet, the idea of friendship is not to have as many friends in your life but only as many as are enough to make you feel happy rather than a bunch of fair weather friends, who every now and then descend upon you for idle talk and rob your peace of mind. Ideally, the concept of friendship is based on compatibility and likability. Yes, opposites do attract but what is the point if one is chalk and other is cheese!<br/><br/>Generally, friendship can be divided in two broad categories: friendship based on the milk of human kindness and friendship based on utilitarian principles. The former is platonic in nature, often formed during the formative years of our childhood. As we grow-up, this pristine gift of nature becomes sullied when it comes in contact of the outside world, wittingly leading us into utilitarian bonds of veneration or servitude. Such a friendship is only based on vested interests, which ceases to exist as soon as it serves its purpose. On the contrary, the friendship based on love and affection will stand the test of times in comparison to friendship based on material benefits. That’s why children are capable of striking genuine friendship among themselves when compared with adults.<br/><br/>One learns good deeds from good men as frivolous minds will lead to utter dissipation. Instead, read books or cultivate a hobby. And in case you are genuinely short of friends, here’s a reason to cheer for it is better to be alone than in a bad company and who said solitude can never be handy!