“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
You don’t get to choose them and you most certainly can’t trade them, but they are the ones who cherish you the most, compared to all others put together. In the humdrum routine of life, it’s easy to forget that family is the most important thing in the world. Family could mean, your mother, father, siblings, spouse, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and any other extended family you are connected with.
I have very fond memories of my childhood, where our annual vacations were only meant for visiting family. We stayed at my uncles place for around a month and what followed, was an entire month of enjoyment, entertainment, bonding and more. The women cooked together while the men bonded over reflective issues. And the children? Well, we kept ourselves busy, playing with dolls, board games, house house, stapoo, gallery, gilli danda, pithoo, catch me if you can, dark room and much more. We would visit the zoo, parks, planetarium, run around the water fountain, play with sand, making sand castles, enjoy eating cotton candy, corn cobs and more. Those were the days my friend!
Cousins are family, and the bond that we share is special, having spent our childhood together. We always traveled to different cities to spend time with them, for which reservations by train were made well in advance. There was no other thought or option entertained other than meeting family during holidays. Fast forward- today the scenario is totally opposite. Holidays are treated like precious gems meant to be enjoyed, either with immediate family or friends. Meeting up with extended family and traveling to another city for that, is a thought which is very rare. Being in the same city and yet meeting up only on occasions is the common sight today. People are ready with excuses at the drop of a hat!
Festivals were celebrated together with great enthusiasm. Some cooked, others decorated, and some simply reveled in the joyous occasion of familial bonding. The result? Even though we live far off today, there is that strong bond, that exists, which has kept the relationship alive and this shall remain so.
If you ask me, this is one of the main things, I feel, which my children are missing out on. The fast paced world that we live in today, has ensured that , children work double the time in order to sustain in this competitive world. Whatever little time left, is spent in attending classes like music, dance, drawing, sports etc. Weekends are allotted for weekly errands, chores and the like. It has become increasingly difficult to make time for meeting up with the extended family. But, personally, I feel that, where there is a will, there’s a way. Priorities have changed and with that perceptions too.
How nice would it be, to just land up impromptu, with a prepared dish for a potluck with the family, when in the same city. Such meets have to be scheduled with prior notice, these days. Though one may feel more comfortable with friends, but a family is for life, while friends may come and go. Listening to the stories of grandparents with the full family huddled up together, has it’s own charm.
Another matter of concern is that siblings meeting up with families has also decreased to a large extent. The avenues and resources have broadened leading to specific choices of a holiday. My children have not felt this bond with their extended family as yet, but I am making all possible efforts to ensure that we meet up, as much as possible. However, the reality stares deep into our eyes, depicting the fact that ” the unbreakable bond”, which was a normal thing in the past, is a distant dream today.
Image Credits- google Images