I am one of those who has lived substantial years of my life before 2000s. We weren’t clearly the generation born with the world on our fingertips and phones in our hands. Hand written letters, trunk calls and telephone booths were how communication worked.
Meeting in person or sending letters if not in the same physical location were the common means of saying hello as opposed to texting and even calling each other by phone was a rarity. During that pre-cell phone era of my school, I had a good friend. Someone who would qualify to be a BFF in my 10 year old daughter’s language today.
We were in the high school together for two years and then she left for a different school. Initially we kept in touch. We wrote letters to each other and called each other few times a year. I would give ourselves credit for keeping in touch off and on till about the time we graduated college. We even managed to meet in person while staying in different cities. And then quite unintentionally we fell off each other’s radar for several years. No letters, no phone calls, no news and no clues where we were, our connection was lost.
It is almost unthinkable in this era of Whatsapp, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook but such things happened very often back then. It was not as easy as typing someone’s name on Google and finding them in the vastness of this world.
To wonder is what we do when we are not connected. We remember the person among the hustles and bustles of our own life And if you have wish and will, you find ways to make and keep friendships in your lives.
By the year 2009, Facebook had made its way into our lives. I was still getting used to it when one day a Facebook message popped on my screen.
“Hope you still remember me. Will wait to hear from you. Wanted to add you to my Facebook.”
I was then, as I admit now, “social networking delayed” and responded to the message if you will fast forward to 2011, exactly two years later. Yes for some odd reason, it took me two years to respond to her. It actually took me two years to get used to social media.
Being friends in a funny way is like cycling or swimming, you never forget being friends. We connected over FB and then picked up the phone. 15 years later and 2800 miles apart, there was still no gap. We did not pick up from where we left. We did not catch up on the long lost years either. We just fitted our friendship into the context of our current lines seamlessly.
This summer, we covered the distances in years and miles. Much awaited and yet I would say there was bit of anxiety. We were going to meet not just as friends but along with our families. The men whom we had fallen for and married, the children we had bore. We were not little schoolgirls any more. We had assumed many other roles in life.
Thankfully we really did not change too much, still quite crazy as we were always. It was just like someone had used a clear tape to paste the life before and after so many years as far as our friendship goes.
Our kids were surprised at the 15 years gone missing in our years of friendship, a concept too alien to them. They heard our stories with reference to the “Walkmans” and “Cassette Players” with wide eyes and amusement. The fact that their mothers did not have any digital pictures from their school days made them giggle. Sitting with them and talking about our old life was wonderful yet we felt like cavemen at times.
Our spouses connected too and found something of a common interest. We were happy to lose them to that. The kids played together and found their own things to do. Everyone just fitted in as if we had all known each other all our lives. The house was enveloped in chatter, laughter, happy noises, late nights, good food and overwhelming portions of love and affection. It was like early Christmas with family.
Coincidentally, Facebook reminded me on the last day of my stay with my friend that it was Friendship day. Yes, it was social media again. Nothing of this sort existed in our old days. Every day was pretty much a friendship day.
Still we felt it a wonderful coincidence. I could wish my long lost friend in person and not through a letter, a message, a text, phone or even Facebook. So like old times we gave each other a hug and a silent ‘Thank you’ to the revolution called “Social Media”. It certainly has its own perks.
Picture: Google Images