I feel blessed to have had a wonderful childhood. Memories of those carefree days are deeply etched in the mind. My parents always laid stress on inculcating good habits and values in us for which they devoted a lot of quality as well as quantity time with my brother and me. Every night after dinner the four of us would go for a walk – a time we all looked forward to and eagerly waited for. My father would do mental maths with us, there would be spelling and word meaning sessions and then he would tell us about the books he was reading and would narrate stories from them. What a delightful togetherness!
Life had fewer distractions. Absence of computers, mobile phones and video games meant more family time together. Of the numerous things that I learnt from my parents, one was letter writing. Communication at that time was only through letters which we received regularly from my aunts and uncles who resided in various parts of the country. Letters kept us informed about their well being and new developments in their lives. My parents encouraged us to write to them. Gradually, on seeing my parents corresponding with our relatives regularly, I also got interesed. I think this was a great thing to learn as it kept me connected to everyone in the family.
Later on when I got married, I started writing lettes to my husband’s family as well. One of his aunts was very thrilled with this beginning and would always reply as soon as my letter reached her and thus the chain of letters would continue. Others always acknowlegded and appreciated and while not everyone would write back, I still kept writing to them. Letters from my family came regularly. Rajiv used to joke that all they have written is – we are fine, how are you – and now you would respond with the same questions. Little realizing that those few sentences meant such a lot – that we cared for and thought about each other – and that is why we wrote.
In today’s times landlines / mobile phones / internet / e-mail have become popular and very affordable. Letter writing has almost vanished. Now each one is just a phone call away, no matter where he or she lives on this planet. I make it a point to pick up the phone and stay connected with my relatives, calling them on their birthdays, wedding anniversaries, when the are unwell or even otherwise whenever I feel like chatting with them. It gives me immense pleasure in doing so because I actually visualize the smile on their faces (specially the family elders) as we speak. In a way it keeps me connected to my roots and allows me to refresh my cherished memories.
I feel that it is very important to stay connected with our immediate as well as extended family members to share our thoughts and ideas and stay bonded as they are such an important and integral part of the fabric of our life.
The means of communication might have changed over the years but the feeling of connection remains the same — to convey a sense of thoughtful care!
happy connecting – dil se!