“The only way to have a friend is to be one…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recently we had a silver jubilee meet of 1990 batch of our engineering college, MITS Gwalior. The preparations started six months back; whatsapp group was formed, messages were sent, extensive plans were being discussed and so on. Everyone was charged up with excitement. It was as if all of us had travelled back in time and were experiencing the youth again. I am sure you will agree with me that the college days are the most memorable days in anyone’s life. It had been two and a half decades, and some of us had not been in touch until the world was blessed with mobile phones and social media networks. However each one of us was superlatively excited. It was as if the 1990 batch of engineering had taken a re-birth and we were back in college again.
From our batch, some had achieved great heights in their career, some were very close to their goals, while others were still struggling to make a mark. But nothing seemed to really affect the close bond we once shared.
I was one of the very few, from my batch who had completely changed the course of life. I was a bit sceptical of how my work and I would be looked at and accepted by my alumni. Of course, some of them knew what I was doing.
I was deeply touched and pleasantly surprised, when one of my dear friends, got the 60 copies of my first book KEYS to be distributed amongst everyone present as a gift from him. My friends said that they were so happy for me and that they proudly tell their children about my achievements and what I am doing.
Those two days of the reunion we had, happened to be the most precious moments of my life. Each one of us connected at the same level where we had left. Some of the batch-mates who did not interact during the college days met each other like the best buddies. There was so much of love and respect we all shared for each other.
Everyone present there had clearly dropped their respective status, their accomplishments and their egos the moment they boarded the flight/train to Gwalior. It was a home-coming moment for all us, as if the whole big family had united once again. We were in a space which was totally non-judgemental and non-threatening. We could be our true selves, make fun of each other, share silly jokes and burst out laughing.
I realized that I had not had a laugh from my belly since ages. Those two days of our reunion were a totally healing, empowering and enriching experience for me. We all parted from Gwalior with a strengthened bond, with a promise to be there for each other and to meet again soon.
We get so absorbed in our day to day lives, that we lose connection with ourselves. We may be connected to the whole world through the electronic media, but they also come with lot of ‘Terms & Conditions’. Most of those relationships are formal or superficial. Though the social media grants the biggest advantage of re-establishing the connections that are lost in the sands of time, it does not necessarily assure authentic relationships. I remember, when we were children, we would just barge in our friend’s house at any time and also share a meal. Needless to say, those relations have really stood strong through all the adversities. In today’s scenario, even the best friends have to plan and meet. Sometimes we don’t even meet them for ages giving the excuse of being connected electronically. But let me tell you it is highly important to meet in person. It is important to share the space and energy with people who mean a lot to you and with the people you love. It is a soulful experience.
Since we are all emotional beings, it is the need of the soul to connect to the authentic relationships. And when we do that we automatically connect to our inner core. These relationships give us the space to just be; which is important for the nourishment of the soul. As they say, no man is a failure who has friends…
Let us resolve to build and nurture such authentic relationships this year onwards…..