1. Friends are like extended family.
2. Friends are paramount in our lives because with friends we can be anybody we want to be.
3. They are true stress busters.
4. With family members we might sometimes feel reluctant but with friends we are akin to an open book.
5. I have been blessed with some wonderful friends and some of the most cherished memories of my childhood are from the time I spent with my friends.
6. One of my friends is Arun and I am really proud of him because of what he has achieved in his life.
7. He is my oldest friend and I know him since I was 3 years old.
8. He was my neighbor and we grew up together.
9. We went to the same school and joined same club for evening activities.
10. He is a complete all-rounder and excels in everything he partakes in.
11. He was the monitor of our class as well as the captain of our school football team.
12. He had won several accolades and had made our school proud.
13. He is an avid football fan and is crazy for Manchester United football club.
14. He actually dreams of playing for this club one day.
15. The head coach of our school was impressed by his football skills and the acumen he possesses for the game.
16. He was confident that given the right guidance Arun can become a professional footballer.
17. And last year he came one step closer to realizing his dream.
18. Last year a leading sports network in collaboration with Manchester United organized trial across the country to scout for talented footballers who can potentially play at the club level.
19. Nearly 2 million children participated in these trials and only 10 were to be selected who would get the chance to go to the UK and train in Manchester United club facilities.
20. And I with great pride can say that Arun was among those 10 shortlisted children who went to the UK to train with professional staff of Manchester United.
21. The day this news broke, our chief minister personally called him and congratulated him.
22. The next day the news was covered in daily newspaper as well with his photo on the front page.
23. He became a celebrity overnight in our city.
24. And I take great pride in saying that he is my friend.