Friends are for life. They are our favourite companions in every phase of our lives. On Friendship Day, Bollywood actor turned humanitarian, Somy Ali, who now runs her NGO, No More Tears, talks about the significance of friendship in her life and more.
“I will quote one of my favourite shows right now that I have been watching, ‘Stranger Things’. What is of the utmost importance in a friendship? ‘Friends Don’t Lie’. Such a simple, yet such an important statement and principle to abide by when it comes to friendship. It’s my friends who I rely on when they tell me I am wrong or putting my ego rather than my dignity ahead of me. I trust them to tell me the truth even if it hurts and I will do the same for them always,” she says.
Having close intimate friends who know everything is a rare thing. “No. It is not important to tell your friends every detail of your life because humans in my experience turn on you very quickly, given a better opportunity; thus, the friend now is your enemy and knows all your secrets. For someone who has been there, I was not in a good place emotionally as I trusted him with everything and he bared it all to the media in an article using his pen proving it to be mightier than the sword. Except in my case it proved disloyalty so I am very careful now with what I disclose to anyone,” she adds.
Most of the long lasting friendship starts in school or college. “For the majority of the individuals, yes, but for those who move countries, cities and states it’s not pragmatic. If it is not you, the other will move on. I know I have when I have moved from one country to another. There is no intentional or malicious reason to do so, life just gets in the way and both parties move on. Sometimes they reconnect after years, which is beautiful and at times, they stay disconnected. Such is life,” she shares.
In the fast paced entertainment industry, people have no time for friendship. They don’t even have time for themselves and their families as well.
“It’s not their fault. It’s a very competitive field and I remember when I got together with actors my age back in the 90’s, we were so young and gossiping was our biggest entertainment. I am not sure if that remains to be the same now, but I feel that social media has everyone either severely self-engrossed or too worried and lurking on others posts. I am equally guilty of both. It’s human nature to be curious and compare and yes, be envious. It’s innately built in our DNA, one has to be a monk, completely off the grid, or a Buddhist not to do any of those things in this social media based era,” she says.
It is often said that two actors can never be friends. Somy disagrees, and adds that many are actually good friends.
“But one has to first comprehend what a real friend or true friendship entails. We all have fair weather friends, but a true friend is someone who will always have your back. They will never lie to you, backstab you, hurt you intentionally, and above all, they will be there to support you in your worst times. A true friend is loyal, kind, generous and will stick up for you in front of a million people because they genuinely care for you. So, to answer your question, yes, I am a cynic by experience, no, actors cannot be true friends. There will always be that unwillingness no matter how hard they try a speck of envy and jealousy amongst them. I have no shame in admitting that even though I was friends with the actresses of my era in the 90’s, a small part of me envied them and was jealous of them. Now, one can look at this in a positive manner and deem it to be flattery too. It depends how one perceives what, as life is all about perception and seeing the glass half full or half empty,” she adds.