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VIVA Friendship

"Make new friends, but keep the old

One is silver and the other gold"

WHAT OTHER way to define the strength of friendship! After the United States congress proclaimed the first Sunday of August each year as Friendship Day, in 1935Friendship day has slowly but surely become a day to celebrate, in our lives.

It is interesting to note how well the idea of celebrating this day has caught on among the new generation Malayalis. Even celebrities, not wanting to be left behind, are jumping into the bandwagon. Says Siddharthan, the new heartthrob in Malayalam films, "though I knew of this day when I was in school and college, this is the first time I'm getting to celebrate it, and I want to make the most of it." He is planning for a gala time with his film friends like Vinod Vijayan, Dinesh, Nishant Sagar, etc. "I will be in Kochi, partying the whole day," he says.

Achu Chandy, daughter of Oommen Chandy and herself a noted political activist and franchisee manager of Reliance says, " in college we used to have real fun on this day. We used to organise contests in which friends participate in pairs and won prizes." But this year she will be neck-deep in the cyber party organised by her company to celebrate the day. So she is planning to send off e-mail messages to her friends.

Jyotsna: A day with close friends

Jyotsna: A day with close friends  

Jyotsna, the popular playback singer of Malayalam films says, "In school we used to exchange friendship bands. We go out as a group and enjoy an evening together, eating out and generally having fun," This year she wants to make herself free and spend a day with her close friend Sreedevi, who is doing her degree in Thrissur. "If possible we would meet up somewhere and exchange friendship bands like the old times," she says. Navya Nair, the much sought after heroine in the Malayalam film industry reminisces the Friendship Days she enjoyed when in school.

Navya Nair: Cards, Messages and gifts from friends

Navya Nair: Cards, Messages and gifts from friends  

"We used to distribute cards and gifts among our friends. I think that was the time friendship bands became very popular. Being the school leader I used to receive so many bands." Now back at home for a short rest before the next shoot, she plans to celebrate with Nithya Das and Geethu Mohandas, her colleagues in the film field.

Balabhaskar plans to spend the with his wife.

Balabhaskar plans to spend the with his wife.  

"I've already bought gifts for both of them. And I'll definitely send cards and messages to my school friends," she adds.

What's the fuss?

But there are also a few of them who were, till recently, quite unaware of the day's importance. For Rimi Tomy, playback singer and TV anchor, the day was never extraordinary. "I used to send messages or cards to my friends. But I have never given undue importance to the day," she says. And singer Balabhaskar came to know of Friendship Day only recently. "I don't remember anyone in my school or college celebrating Friendship Day. But this year I plan to spend the day with my wife. I will be rehearsing with my music band, with all of them my college mates, and will have as much fun as time permits."

Archana, a popular TV artiste pooh-poohs the whole affair. "Do we need a particular day to love our friends and think of them?'' she asks. "We are blindly embracing American culture when we have been blessed with so much heritage and traditions," she adds. All this hoopla, according to her, has been created to increase the sales of greeting cards. "Shops make the most at such times, which is the idea behind all this fuss," she says. This Sunday she plans to visit her friend's father who has been hospitalised. "I'm sure all my friends will be there at the hospital. So I can meet them there and exchange our love and friendship," she says.

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