HT Brunch Game Show: Your childhood buddy, your girl friend, or your dog— who is really your best friend? – brunch feature

Psychologist Dr Prerna Kohli has been an adviser to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and is a member of a nutrition committee

Varisha Kampani, 31, Brand consultant

Varisha (right) with her party partner Amrita

Varisha’s BFF is: 31-year-old brand consultant, Amrita Mukherjee.

How long they’ve known each other for: Almost a decade – they met at a common friend’s Saturday night party in 2011.

Squabbles are inevitable: They have differences in opinion, but always respect each other’s perspective and decisions.

Why they’re best friends : From celebrations, to impromptu drives they do it all together. Once when craving rolls at midnight, they sneaked out of their homes, went for a drive and binged, while their husbands slept!

Why they may not really be…: Their interests are too similar.

Ashita Rawat, 26, Publicist

Ashita (left) and her childhood buddy Pratik

Ashita (left) and her childhood buddy Pratik

Ashita’s best friend is: 26-year-old software engineer, Pratik Bardia.

How long they’ve known each other for: Ashita and Pratik have known each other since 2008, when they were 14-year-olds in school .

Squabbles are inevitable: They’ve had fights. Reason: Ashita was too busy at work!

Why they’re best friends: From celebrating festivals to partying till dawn, going for concerts, road trips and even praying together, they’ve done it all. There were the only ones to wear animal outfits (of a duck and a hen) to a friend’s jungle-themed costume party.

Why they may not really be…: One of them feels ignored and they fight.

Yatin Suryawanshi, 27, Businessman

Yatin with his possessive BAE Oreo

Yatin with his possessive BAE Oreo

Yatin’s closest ally is: Oreo, a Shih Tzu, 2.5 years young, but wiser than all!

How they met: Oreo was 60 days old when Yatin got him in 2018. One of the first things he did was pick up a packet of Oreo biscuits and run out. So, the name stuck.

Squabbles are inevitable: Oreo is quite possessive and attacked Yatin’s ex once because she sat too close.

Why they’re best friends: Oreo accompanies Yatin everywhere. He even went with him to a karaoke night at Bandra’s Soul Fry! They share a bed and Yatin feels like Oreo understands him.

Why they may not really be…: No reason, really.

And the winners are… Yatin and Oreo

“Yatin and his dog Oreo share a bond closer than is possible between two humans,” says Dr Prerna Kohli, a four-time gold medalist, clinical psychologist and a social worker. She lists five rules to being a dependable friend: 1. Empathy. Often confused with sympathy. Empathy is ‘I feel how you feel’. 2. To be non-judgemental, whether you agree with what your friend has done or not. 3. Being a good listener, especially when your friend is feeling low. 4. Being supportive but not sugarcoating things. 5. Being fun to be around. If you have the same friends your entire life, you either aren’t growing and maturing, or your friendship is not equal.

From HT Brunch, September 27, 2020

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