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Friendship Day has become more commercial and virtual
Over the year the western observance of Friendship Day (FD), celebrated on the first Sunday of August, has caught up the world over including India.

In our country, a week before FD, the friendship wrist bands appear even at the stationery shops these days. This year, FD falls on August 3 to value and honour friendship.

The day, meant to celebrate the relationship of trust and mutuality, has become popular among youngsters, who throng gift and florist shops. People also exchange friendship bands as a symbol of their uncompromising support for one another.

In the virtual medium era of smart phones and facebook friendships, FD has become more a matter of FB postings, WhatsApp and Hike messenger. Sharing quotations on friendship and stickers are in fashion now.

However, many sociologists believe that this has affected youngsters' confidence to socialize in the real life. They find it convenient to post a message rather meeting people and cultivating friendship.

However, crass materialism, consumerism and falling values in the society have distorted the celebration of FD to mere pleasure seeking rather that enforcing the true spirit of friendship and uncompromising support for one another. 

"It (Friendship) has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival," says C. S. Lewis of the friendship supported by market forces.

Friendship is cultivated, nurtured and lived rather than buying it through gifts since a true friendship is a precious gift of life itself.

Here are my two haiku on friendship.

The bond of friendship -
Relationship of sharing -
Marked with deep trust.

Friendship's hallmarks are
Understanding, acceptance
With mutual support.

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