As kids, we had always been moving from one city to another, and there were towns too.... Transfers are hard especially on growing kids. But at that point of time, there seems less or no options. After I was born, I went to Pune, then Mumbai then Beed and finally coming back to Pune.... So its been twice that I lived in Pune and that itself makes the city a special place to be.
We shifted there when I was in class 5th and I stayed there until my graduation. It was the longest stay we had in any given city. My dad had made this decision that we were going to be stationed in Pune and he would travel on weekends to be with us. We did not realize then, how difficult it was for him to stay away from his wife and kids, so that he could give us a better life. We were happy that we could make new friends finally... Long lasting friendships.......
And that happened too....Me and my brother made great friends who not only were our best buddies but also like extended family. We played with them, fought with them, came home complaining, gossiping, taking trips, going to hotels, celebrations,etc etc. We belonged more to them than to our relatives back here.Staying away from your native makes you like that. But from the time me and my brother were born, we had never stayed in native..just summer vacation visits.....
Time flew by and I shifted to Bangalore. I left behind my friends who remained in Pune, since they were native. So started the long distance friendships...
But my question is like relationships, does a long distance friendship work well?
Daily calls to all the friends, thinking they are as much available as I would be... Daily turned to weekly to cut down the call expenses, weekly to fortnightly and then for long time monthly...........
It was not about money anymore...It was about acceptability fact that no matter how lonely and tired you are at end of the day,how much sad you are that you have not made new friends but also not seeing your old buddies, they are not there at that moment.
Every birthdays, celebrations, friendship days would had to be alone or not at all.. Lack of enthusiasm hovered over. Sending of letters, greeting cards on each occasion stopped. But whose mistake was it anyway? I made a choice to shift to new city for new opportunity in life, and that was the price I had to pay. There came a point where I realized that I had not moved on. I had held my old buddies too close to heart that I did not give any space for new to fit in. I was stuck with memories of my old buddies that I gave none chance to make new impressions. I felt extremely hurt because I had thought that these friends of mine, like me, will not move on. But I realized, they had other friends too.
But in new city, especially a single girl, has to be careful. I had my shares of bad taste friendships when I was new to the place. Mean and calculative friendships began to show up. Friends, in pretense of friendship, would seek opportunities to take help from me financially. As if I was the only person working or a bank to fund their luxuries. But "No" was a very hard word for me to say, especially in case of new friends, whom I did not want to loose, because I feared, what if I lost their friendship too. So these friends came with their price tags and ulterior motives of month-end financial dependence on me. I put an end to such friendships eventually.
I soon realized friendship no longer meant to be there for each other or was non profit oriented. Memories of laughter,sitting endlessly and talking about each and everyone, was completely back up filed. Those came in forefront only on the days when I would go crazy completely to find a thing to do.
When you are new in city, a new sense of freedom is what you get. But being from traditional background and also moved into a city where all my relatives are stationed, it was little more difficult to treat guys and gal friends alike. A fear of who would think what always hovered in my mind. So I had to take care of those people who never ever came to see me, if I was dead or alive, when I shifted to Bangalore.
It is very difficult to find people with whom you can completely loose yourself. Like you don't have to worry, if what you say, do,wear,eat will have any effect on them. You don't need to fear that would they be sensitive enough to understand me? But such friends who create an impression and have a permanent place in your heart, are a dying breed now.Staying away from friends is difficult and no one knows better than me, whose half the time revolved around her friends.
No wonder, the emotion, memories and everything about the friend keeps coming back on your face,as a smile...its tragic but true that long distances do brings its share of bad luck with relations and friendships.It brings in the waiting game, unavailability of the moment, not seeing each other regular pain, forgetting to inform something really important,etc etc.
As my mother always says and I quote "Out of sight is out of mind". For long time, I did want to prove her wrong but ultimately she won. I see so many times, my friends not keeping me in loop or forgetting to tell me important details of life like buying a house, buying a car, getting engaged,etc etc. But I never did that to them. And it kept on bothering me, that was I expecting too much from them? If I would have been in front of them, they definitely would have told us.
One of my childhood friend, after her education shifted to Mumbai. She started working there and lost touch of all us. Where she worked, what she did, no one knew. Somehow she made a call to my friend and from her, we got to know happenings of this Mumbai friend. So, big day of my life, my engagement was nearing by. So I called all my friends immediately on the day, when all elders fixed the date. She answered the call and started speaking to me in Hindi. All our lives, we had been making conversations in Marathi and she spoke in Hindi. I realized that she had changed and a lot. How much possibly can one person change in six months time? She had forgotten about us.
I feel sad sometimes, to see one person have so many friends so much so that they can hang out with one person every day and yet they would not be out of friends. But that type of networking was never for me. Acquaintances, Sure!!! true friends, can count on tip of my finger. But that does not mean I am jealous or unhappy about those who have many friends.
Like love, it is hard to tell when and at what point of life, can you find a true friendship, which you wont forget ever.
But my doubt is; In today's world, can we find true friendship? Acts of kindness, help when needed are all actions based on basic courtesy and humanity. But does true friendship happen only when these are done? Then are these friendships based on pure emotions/needs or motives hidden behind the masks?
Still today, to all my long distanced friends, I wanted to say my love for them had never reduced.
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