When I think of legendary friendships ending with a messy bang, a couple instances come to mind: Cain and Abel, Caesar and Brutus, and Asif and Mudasir.
You may remember the last two from September of 2015, when Pakistani man Asif Raza posted an image on Facebook declaring: "Friendship ended with Mudasir. Now Salman is my best friend." The post went viral overnight, and internet users began taking sides while trying to figure out what had happened between Raza and Mudasir—all Raza would say is that Mudasir was acting very "selfish" and "proudy."
One month later, in October, Asif posted another image telling the world that he was once again friends with Mudasir, and now he, Mudasir, and Salman were officially a gang.
Read More: Why Teens Use Memes to Talk About Love
In a time when memes have become political talking points and symbols of hate, "Friendship ended with Mudasir" and its happy conclusion are a beacon of hope in a dark world.
It's been one year since the internal dynamics of Asif's friend group went very, very public, and he's now 26. He's also kept up the Facebook posts, and they often feature shots of Raza, Mudasir, and Salman all hangin' out.
To find out what life is like after becoming an internet celebrity, and if he's learned anything about the nature of friendship, we called up Raza on Skype in his hometown of Gujranwala, Pakistan.
Motherboard: What actually happened between you and Mudasir that caused you to end your friendship with him?
Asif Raza: He was my friend for longer than five years before [the meme], but he became very selfish, arrogant, and proudy. He was not giving me time.
He wasn't hanging around with you often enough, and you basically said, "Enough."
What was Mudasir's reaction to the photo?
He was very angry with me when I posted his picture without crossing out his face. He came to my house and told my brother that I'd posted his picture without crossing out his face and that it wasn't good.
Did the photo going viral influence your decision to become friends with Mudasir again?
Sort of. I didn't want to lose my friend forever, and so he excused me, and I excused him. We regained our friendship.
Were you surprised when the photo went viral?
When it went viral I was very surprised, and that people were sending me messages from all over the world and asking me who I am. I received so many messages, and I was very surprised by all the media coverage. It was a difficult thing for me.
Do you get recognized on the street in Pakistan?
Yes. After it went viral, I was in some other cities and so many people stopped me and said, "Hey, he's very famous on Facebook," and people take selfies with me. I also got to work in some TV commercials just because of my fame.
What are some commercials you've done?
I just did the commercial of a beauty parlor, and that just finished today.
How does your family feel about it?
In the beginning, my family said I shouldn't be involved in this matter and I shouldn't take it to an international level. But now, they're totally satisfied with me.
What do you, Mudasir, and Salman do when you hang around?
Salman was my friend before Mudasir, and after I regained my friendship with Mudasir we all became best friends together. Now we mostly meet with each other and hang out together, running here and there and eating food together. And enjoying the rain together.
Would you have done things differently, knowing what you know now?
It's tough to answer for me, because I was lonely. So many people said to me that I'm a so-and-so, but I don't hear them. I'm satisfied with the choice I made, because I was right. Mudasir wasn't right.
Well, there's nothing better than being right online.
Yeah, Mudasir actually admitted his mistake after it went viral.
Do you have any advice for people dealing with selfish and proudy friends?
We should care about our friends and not be selfish or arrogant. And if we become selfish and arrogant, then first we need to understand what our friends want from us, and if we can understand them, then we should compromise between each other.
We should live with peace, love, and friendship. And this shouldn't just be in our country, but in other countries. My main aim in my life is that I can live with peace, love, and friendship among all people with all countries in the world.
This interview has been edited for length and for clarity.
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