Sunday, 15 September 2013

FB 5 : Straight from the heart ......3.........(.Friends n friendships, real or virtual??)

Just a few days ago, a young friend of mine asked me to write about how much people were getting addicted to "virtual friendships" then "real and personal" ones .........She seemed so concerned about losing out on the personal friendship touch, that our generation (her mom n dad's, the present day late forties or fiftties generation) seem to have had!!

Indeed, I thought....every word she expressed was so very true and unfortunately, we, the older generation too, are slowly and surely getting there, aren't we?

I remember the times when there were no mobile phones, no Internet , no Google, no, nothing at all........Reaching out to friends meant meeting and spending time with them personally(not virtually ), either for some sport in parks/gardens or rehearsing a dance/play, playing some indoor games or if nothing, just talking about anything and everything which made/dint make sense in those wonderful times..........catching up with each other was the main point of interest.........oh, those lovely lazy days with those lovely people, our dear friends!!  We did meet at School, but,  that meeting was not enough......we had to meet at each others places or in the park or playgrounds or just anywhere, but meeting each other, was a must...........and given a thought, maybe, it was really because there was no other way to connect..........meeting your best friend  after two whole days of holiday(week-end)  was unheard of! In case it was a "no, not today" from parents, we made excuses of borrowing/lending study books(and this excuse , generally, worked at all times) and went over to friends to just spend some time with them!!! Those lovely days together, talking for hours in the street, or the park, laughing endlessly about nothing, just running along to be with your friends when they needed you the most, sometimes , group-studying or helping a friend in her studies, getting to know her circle of family and near ones and connecting with them too, as your own, going to each other's places for all festivals, get togethers and any other occasions, so many many things shared or just "being there" for them..........oh, even as I pen down, I know I am still only able to do only a little on paper than what I have actually experienced with my friends of young times!!!!
But wait, cos all of that was with PERSONAL MEETINGS , not virtual or through social networks............:)
Those memories will , however, remain with me, for a lifetime.....

The  young ones of today do catch up on each other on an everyday basis but how!!!!!!!

One young school boy , I overheard, telling his friend when asked, "arey where were u yesterday?, I called you but you did not reply" to which the boy answered"dint you see my facebook status?I said I was not available for the next two days as I am going out of town!!" .........FB status? now what was that? A young school going boy will inform his friend who shares his school desk everyday, that he is going out of town, via FB?? What is it all coming to? The other day I met another young boy , who , when asked, if he played any sport, answered, yes, I am the expert in play-station/video games...........Most kids spend hours on FB/other social networking sites, when all they should be doing as students, is fulfilling their academic obligations or dedicating themselves to physical sports, music, spending quality time with friends for common interesting activities........what really concerns me is also the HEALTH aspect of these individuals......when they should be out playing vigourously for building up their physical stamina or strength, they are busy idling away on FB/other social networking sites doing nothing of value for their ownselves!!!From my very own experience I have realised that the stamina building actvity needs to be started from very young ages.......yes, we can attain all of that later too, but with a hell of a lot of effort , both physical as well as monetary, which is so much easy when done young!!! and , of course, the  factual realisation that  the emotional fulfilment and joy that comes out of personally meeting and spending time with friends, which  can never be substituted any any vitual friends on social networking sites and therefore may only be a waste of  one's valuable time!!

I sincerely appeal to all my College-going/working young friends on FB to please arrange your time schedules to meet with your dear friends personally, if only for sometime........The meetings need not be heavy lunches or dinners or expensive affairs, they can just be for sharing even some small silly happenings over a coffee, to involve in some sport or interesting activity or to just exchange a polite "hello"......For the School-going ones, I suggest you take out time for each other for just about anything..........

I want to feel like old times once again,  with housing societies/streets/playgounds/parks  sounding off with noisy, playful children;  children here, children there and children  everywhere !! and for you the mid-younger ones to make and have true friends and not end up like the joke I am concluding this with...........

A man dies............His funeral is arranged by a family member. It so happens that  the turn-out  is only about ten odd  heads................An onlooking outsider asks a senior family member of the deceased, "why have you arranged for a thousand chairs, when the turnout is so poor?" ..........."Because, answers the family member, he had two-thousand facebook friends......"........:):)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Straight from the heart .....2.........(Family time)

Recently, we planned a family weekend visit to family meaning hubby and my only son, who is now a grown-up working man!! I was very excited as we had not done this for  a very  long time......prep for the trip were on in full swing........Sid, my son, who soemtimes works even week-ends these days, was especially asked to inform his office that he would be taking an off  this once, also the same was asked of my husband....Thus, we were ready, all set to travel.

Incidentally, just a couple of days before that we were visiting our friends. In the conversation, this week-end travel topic came up and  my hubby's friend just came up with this question, "what, Sid still travels on vacation with you both?'....he probably meant to ask,  how come Sid accepted going out for a vacation with his parents and not friends or something like that and that's where the idea of sharing "the why" with all of you came to me......

Life, to a large extent takes the course of associations with the past, both pleasant as well as unpleasant.........mostly, the pleasant memories are cherished, replayed by the mind and we wish that we can sometimes do those things, all over again..........I guess , in our case, weekend outings, as family,  are one of them!!!

In our childhood, as far as I remember, family outings were very rare occasions and usually meant going out with family only  for weddings , funerals, thread -ceremonies, other religious festivities and rarely for mere relaxation or sight-seeing or any other enjoyment...........infact, the only such outings during those times were were school picnics/excursions or going out of town for sports/dance/drama inter-school/college competitions and usually accompanied by the team colleagues and managers......there was hardly any time for sightseeing etc..... an outing for just visiting a place to actually see it was "once in a way" kind of an event.
And then, we were always in awe of our parents even during a trip, always mindful of our Ps and Qs, could never behave with the freedom or the closeness of a friend , that, my son shares with me, today!!

So when Sid was hardly 2 years old, we three began our family trips to Panchgani, Mulshi, kashid, murud-janjira, or wherever, to all those nearby places  we could then afford   in terms of our time and money.........Twice in a year, it was GOA (and Sid still makes it to Goa with us every year!!!!) I loved these trips as they gave us all so much time to spend with each other, thrash out stuff,  laugh out together as much as we could, enjoy sport together, thus building our sweet memories for a lifetime.......Never realise how time flew by, but , in this process, we as family have bound in such a way, that, even today, a grown-up son loves to do this vacation with us........Not that he does not go out with his friends, rather, I would say, he is out for 12 hours of everyday with his colleagues/music buddies/ old school and college friends , but he has never denied us our special time together........

Looking back, I now think, that probably, if we as children had done this often with parents too, I would have probably been looking forward to doing these small outings with them, all the time, even as an adult!!!
Yes, we did speak to parents about everything , they were are guides in the true sense, but today, we not only play that role but also the role of "best buddies" with our children..............Today, my son confides more in me than I ever did with either parent and that too with so much ease!!! For me, to confide with this much freeness never ever came easy.....

Such is the "change" in time and lifestyle and so I guess,  our children , however grown-up they be or whatever they otherwise do, they would ALWAYS love to do that small vacation with their parents , their one-time and everytime "best buddies".......I have said it all now, haven't I??..........:)