Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lessons from life

Life our greatest teacher---

Saying goodbye is never easy. No amount of earlier experience prepares you for it. It is an unpleasant fact, a bitter medicine that has to be consumed. Recently, a very dear friend left for a different shore. I had promised myself that this time I'd be strong. I should have known better. We bid farewell to each other in between emotional embraces, sobs and promises to be in touch via net, Skype and Facebook. Yes, the electronic media today is omnipresent and all pervasive. It has brought the world so much closer. We can search and find our long lost childhood friends on Facebook and simply add them to our lives by a click. We are aware of their moods, their whereabouts, their vacations, their kids' birthdays through constant status updates and photos. Today we are more connected- but are we actually close.

Sharing your thoughts or even thoughtless gossip with a friend over a cup of tea cannot be substituted by banging fingers on an impersonal machine while chatting. Thanks to video conferencing, friends and family are able to visit homes through virtual space. However, physical proximity counts a lot. I still miss the feel of my mother's fingers on my hair as I rest my head on her lap. I miss sharing the daily tit bits and worries. I know our parents just ease out their creases and worries and put their best foot forward, during such conversations. The inconsequential details are either never shared or put out for a more appropriate time when we meet. The buzz at the back of mind -Why trouble them unnecessarily?

With friends, we end up discussing endless other topics. Most time I have a feeling of having gained some insight or a different perspective about certain things. At all times meeting up with friends elevates our mood. Meeting friends makes us feel better about ourselves. So perhaps when I said goodbye my melancholic mood was triggered by a selfish motive. It was as if I was losing part of my own self. At the same time, our friends like many other people we bid goodbyes to make a place for themselves - in our life and heart. Their reaction, their antics, their perspective and above all their presence is dearly missed. As an expatriate, we build a world for our self, a home away from home. We extend the concept of family and friends become part of it. However, we soon realize that change is part of modern day life. I know there are more heart breaking farewells than the one I am facing now. The more permanent goodbyes like demise of a loved one. Farewells when nothing but the pain is real. When kids grow and fly away from the nest we call home. That is reality and it bites. It boils down to just one thing: letting go and accepting that only change is constant.

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