Bug Vanquisher

28 March 2007

The cost of friendship

Filed under: Personal — Tanveer Badar @ 11:10 PM

Dedicated to Faisal Nasim and Usman Ghani

One wonders what is the cost of friendship? Can it even exist?

Let me tell another story to show you there really is a cost associated with having friends. It began in mid 2001, when I encountered the most intriguing person in my maths class, named Usman Ghani. He is an absolute wonder; no one I have saw had achieved so many things and excels at so many things as him. In him, I found the force that taught me more than half of what I know today and helped me become what I am today. Our friendship started with mutually transfer of mathematical knowledge and very soon grew to include things like physics, chemistry and of course, computer science and hardware. He helped re-kindle the flame that had sparked in my life two years ago, when I saw in a cartoon what computers could do. It was he behind my back that taught me almost everything about computers and the reason how I knew things before 98% of my classmates. We discussed many things in the long summer afternoons on phone, sometimes forgetting altogether that we are really talking on phone, not sitting in the same room. Can you imagine we discussed Riemann geometry, Schwarzschild radii, tachyons, things like that?

Fast-forward 18 months, university started. Usman introduced me many of his college friends. One of them is Faisal Nasim. Another wonder of creativity. Nothing escapes his grasp, done things one has not heard of before. It was rumored that ShellExecute was his suggestion, the function that opens a file in correct program when you type its name in Run dialog box. Together, they formed the perfect dream team, much like Harry Potter, Ron Wesley and Hermione Granger. Their first year project, an RDBMS, written entirely in C++ threatened open source RDBMS systems. A blockbuster hit! Second year project, the popular snake game on a LED screen barely 25X25 using a microcontroller. Only shows their ability to achieve the goal no matter how limited the resources. Third year, wireless video broadcast. Fourth year, a robo-camera that can target interesting objects in field of vision and lock on to them.

All these achievements, not to mention many programming competitions they participated in and won one of the top three prizes, culminating in first position at Softec 2005. These things aside, both are very good at their academics too.

Faisal is leaving tomorrow for US for a job at that dreadful place, Microsoft. Usman’s visa is due in a few days. You see, I have depended almost entirely on them for technical stuff and the way to do things. They have been a source of knowledge for me. Usman is the only person whom I can call a close friend. The only compatible person who can understand my weird, crazy ideas and make them better. Almost same goes for Faisal, though the impedance matching is little lower. Sometimes, they are even the goals I set for myself.

Now, on to the cost thing. The cost I will have to pay is many faceted.

  • Seven seas (metaphorically) between us.
  • The only person whom I claim to understand my ideas will be too far away from me.
  • Two very good friends will no longer be there to shoulder me in time of need.

Note: In case someone laughs behind my back after reading this, they will be amused to know that I do not even care. It is my words, I choose the idea they convey.

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