Right from nursery till our college we have support groups of all kinds. We call them friends.They are the first groups who help us during our breakups with boyfriends/girlfriends; they simplify the problematic subjects in school or college. Basically if man has to evolve, he needs a very strong support base. Your caregivers won’t be around all the time so we have our angels who we need for small decisions and guidance.
Later on in life, we start categorizing the various support groups. We have school friends, we have college friends, work buddies, neighbors, co-religionists, friends with benefits, parent groups, jokes groups. The list is endless. Due to the advances in technology we have progressed from an email sent to all, to various interest-specific groups. Within these inner circles also, we have favorites. We have our go-to person in case we want to share or ask them what their point of view is.
I am now a part of school friends’ group who for the first two days reminisced about school days. We caught up with each other’s lives and where each one was located on the third day and after that I guess we had nothing to talk to. I find this a tad to superficial. I mean fifty-two people on a chat box have only jokes or quotes to discuss? Intellectually you want to quit but you hang on because you never know when you will need them.
A few days back while waiting for my son to return from his school, I was eavesdropping on a conversation between some mothers. They were discussing joint families, and how the different dynamics and personalities clash at their respective houses. In a matter of five minutes, two more people joined them and soon it was a circle of woe-sharers. The oppression and frustration was the binding force that this group was sharing. Thankfully our children returned or else we could have had a ready-made script for a television serial.
Over the past few months, I had a family member struggling with a fatal aliment. The frustration, the agony, the helplessness was all shared by us in our close circles. The similarity between various situations helped me cope through difficult situations. If I had shut myself off from everyone and only concentrated on the negative happenings in my life, I would be a different person today. Needless to say, that group is my lifeline. It keeps me balanced through all the uncontrollable things happening in my life. Let’s say I have a 3 AM friend and can share my thoughts with them, and be understood and I would reciprocate the same with them as well.
Every group also has their share of controversies in which you try to remain neutral. You try to explain that in accepting our differences we can still be cordial. Let’s agree to disagree, and we move on hopefully without any malice in our minds.
Sometimes however, I feel that we have lost ourselves. We take long journeys without seeing the sights and sounds and are glued to our phones or computers discussing each trivial detail of our lives. It’s time we smell the roses and get wet in the rain. I see old ladies sitting on park benches sharing the latest gossip, I see the men discussing politics right across from them. They share laughter, frustration as well, only without the modern gadgets. Maybe I’ll just toss my latest smart phone too……Nah! Not just yet.
September, 17th 2013.