With the advent of Internet, while some argue that this has bridged the gap and helped us stay connected and re kindle the friendships which were once forgotten – I think it has made us distant and aloof in a way. Like being too lazy to call someone or show up on their birthday , rather a Facebook wish or What’s App message and a gift bought online is what we prefer.
When I look back at my life – I have always been a person with a few close friends. In school we were a group of 4 feisty young girls who were in our own little world and that irked many others who were not a part of this world. We fought, danced, laughed, gossiped, did crazy stuff like trimming our hair Kajol style after being completely smitten by “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”. We laugh even today remembering those good old days and the crazy memories.
Time passed, we went to college and our lives took different directions. Few of us got married, had kids. I moved to a different city and we were hardly in touch. With the advent of What’s app we got in touch again, enthusiastically formed our what’s app group. By now we all were married. 2 of them were expecting their 2nd child, I was having my first. The timing was perfect. All discussions centered around babies and morning sickness. 2 of us delivered baby girls and one had a boy. We got busy taking care of our babies and the group remained silent.
We do connect now mostly on whatsapp and seldom on calls, we also met up when I moved to Pune, but somewhere I feel that we have moved ahead, each in her own way. While I laugh as I fondly recollect those school days and those memories of teachers, school mates and so many other moments, somewhere my life is very different from them and beyond those memories, we don’t share much. Its sad but true. I am a working woman, someone who is passionate about growing in her career. I love reading books and writing blogs and connecting with people who share similar interests. My school friends , none of whom work are usually interested in talking about the dishes they cook and festivals they religiously celebrate. While I listen to them and love to drool over the pics of dishes cooked that they share, the connect is missing.
Moving from school, I made some very good friends in the course of my CA internship where we spent 3 years in a CA firm. One of them was my closest and whom I regarded as my soul sister, we got along so well, but as we moved out of that firm after qualifying as CA’s, took up different career paths, things began changing slowly. Though we still stayed in touch over phone and met occasionally as our offices were nearby, we still shared a bond and common issues- like reaching the so called marriageable age and facing the dilemma every girl does about choosing your partner. We ended up finding our life partners around the same time. We always swore that we will attend each other’s wedding come what may, but we got married just one day apart from each other in 2 different cities and missed each other’s wedding.
After marriage we continued staying in touch but we were busier now- juggling our jobs and family responsibilities. She called me as she was facing issues with her MIL and somehow all our conversations always centered around this topic. I knew it was tough for her and all she wanted was for someone to hear her out, being her bestie I wanted to lend her that support but it always left me feeling high and dry. Like we had met for 1 hour, one precious hour we got after such a long time where I hardly spoke about myself, my life, what was going on well, what wasn’t. All we spoke about was her MIL. Somewhere over a period of time, I started feeling like the person whom you want to unload all your troubles unto and feel lighter but when things are going well in your life, you don’t seem to need that person any longer. Gradually we drifted apart. We are still in touch but have come to terms with the fact that times have changed, we have changed.
There were a few others – some who were close and later as we moved ahead it became a ritual of just calling up for birthdays. Over years- some of them stopped whereas I continued following the ritual religiously – but one fine day I decided it was not worth it and stopped.
There are a a handful who have still stuck around. They make efforts to keep in touch despite their busy schedule and at times I have been guilty of not responding but I shake myself up and tell this “these are a few precious gems, don’t lose them”.
And then out of nowhere I meet some new ones. My blogging interests have opened up avenues to meet people , especially Mommies with similar interests, quite a few of them have become close friends. We talk not only about our common love for books and blogs but about our life, dreams, issues and many other things. And the best part is we have never met each other in person ever yet we share this bond.
I realised that life moves on, we all do. Times change, situations do. People who once seemed so close become distant, sometimes for no particular reason but just that the connect is missing. Nurturing friendships is not easy, it requires a lot of time and effort to be invested which becomes a challenge as we grow older. Not everyone is willing to walk that extra mile.
Some friendships turn toxic over a period of time, its better to pull the rein as you realise you are only giving and then giving more.
One thing that remains – just like the fragrance of a rose which was kept between the pages of a book- is the memories we create. Those beautiful moments are forever etched in our heart and may they remain so.