Monday, June 30, 2008

In those days...

“In those days…”
“In my days…”
“Those days are golden. They would never come…”
Are you one of those who often use any of these expressions? Or are you one of those feeling cursed to be there whenever you are on the receiving end of such sentences?
I am from the first group. I am nostalgic. I accept that I live in past memories and I love to do it. Every now and then, I think how I was at a certain period of my life and how I enjoyed during some incidents.

I have this tendency from my childhood. I was constantly remembering my school days during +2, +2 days during engineering, engineering days when I started working; training period is on the extreme end – I have never stopped recollecting them.

Although I enjoy this, sometimes I have felt whether I have been doing this a bit more. I might be living in the past to such extreme that I neglect the present and the future. Once, I felt the wrath of one of my friends for sending a mail with some nostalgic photos and a funny old chain mail.

But I am a bit happy after going through various sites like YouTube, Orkut communities and blogs; that I am not alone and there are many people who like to do so and who miss those days. They feel happy if there is someone else who think the same and share similar feelings and experiences.

It is good to reminisce those days… once in a while; it helps us to refresh ourselves and helps us to get back to the journey revitalized.

Saying this, precaution should be taken that we think about others while being nostalgic; it should not be a routine activity boring the people around us.

It does no harm as long as we do not live in the past forgetting we have a long journey ahead.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

True Friendship 2

Continuing my thoughts on friendship –

1. Does physical separation weaken friendship?

I met 5 guys on my first day in the job, sorry a couple of them the prior day in Hotel where we were given 7 days of accommodation. Yes, they were my trainee batch mates. Later, four of us became roommates and the other guy also stayed near. There, we were 6 strangers – got close so much that 2 months of training has passed by without realizing.

We were posted to different cities, but we have continued the relation – chain mails and group chats. Then, one of us left the company to US, and others have/had been to onsite – we, all remaining five, were never physically at one place at an instant of time except for a planned get together we planned and successfully made on the eve of completing 2 years. That tour inspired 4 of us to enter the corporate Blogs as early as in May/June 2006.

Now, almost 4 years after moving to different locations – we still keep exchanging a group mail at least once in a month against timezones. Currently, we are across the world – US East coast, US West coast, UK, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bhubaneswar.

So, are we still friends? Yes, in my opinion. Is physical presence required to continue friendship ? No.
But, will this relationship not count as friendship, just because we no longer discuss personal or professional challenges in depth?

2. Are common interests required?
When I came to Hyderabad for my posting after training, I had no other option but to share room with the person who would be my first project mate. Interestingly, we were in the same training batch, but we were completely opposite in everything –
- He was known to almost everyone in the batch due to his active participation in the class and events. I was known barely t o anyone except in 2-3 cubicles around me and the Telugu batchmates.
- He is North Indian and I am South Indian.
- We have conflicting habits and opinions when it comes to anything – movies, people, drinking, smoking, music,… the list goes on.

Only reason, we met was because we were the 2 junior SEs joining a 4-member project, our first one. Thus, started our relationship – professionally, then to living under the same roof;
But slowly we got to understand each other, it took him 3 projects and almost a year (yeah, I am a tough guy for people to understand and get a positive opinion) – our friendship flourished for 2 years before he left for onsite.
This makes me think that friends need not have everything or something in common. We have nothing in common except for a few moments when we cribbed against bosses and projects:-D
So, are we still friends? Yes. We still communicate with each other, discussing our careers and professional challenges.

3.Blogger friends

Where do my favorite bloggers fall in all this thought process? I have met so many distinct personalities, liked the views and attitudes of many people here – with some of their thoughts and opinions influencing my thought process. So, can I consider them as my friends – may be or may not be? May be yes, because we have some thought s in common or I like some features of them. May be no, because except for their blogs, I do not know much about them; I chatted perhaps with 3 or 4 bloggers, attended just one blogger’s meet and I read on some blogs that most of the bloggers have two alters - one on blogs and the other in real. This is true, to some extent, for me (not for my thoughts and views on the blog).

The thoughts are still going on.

Monday, June 09, 2008

True Friendship

I have had an interesting conversation recently with two of my friends-cum-engineering classmates recently. Since coming to the US, I have been spending on average of 1-2 hours per week on phone with one of them, with whom I could be only in contact through email generally once in a month or two.
We were discussing on the same thing in that call and questions came up on the friendship; and as usual I have started thinking a lot on this.

What is a true friendship? If I do not spend at least an hour with a person, share feelings, thoughts and occasions – would that make the person no longer a friend of mine?

As the journey of life goes, we meet many people. We simply forget some, while some become just acquaintances whereas a few become our close friends; And only those who have something in common with us would come closer to us and we respond with the same intensity. But, as the journey continues, the paths may split due to interests, goals and other reasons – our priorities might change; our life styles might alter; our way of thinking would definitely change; so, those two persons now living different kinds of life, could they still hold the bond of friendship with same intensity? If they can’t share things as they used to, would that make just acquaintances and not friends?

What has made me ponder over these thoughts is not solely due to the conversation with my engineering friend; I have started thinking on this long time back –
I have a childhood friend – our relationship started in school when we were 10; we went on to study together till +2 – our friendship extended then to our elder brothers and then to two families to such an extent that people think our moms are friends because of which we have become close. Now, once I joined engineering and he joined science graduation – although we met every day, I had started spending more time with my engineering friends, giving more priority to them during academic year. Initially, this turned into a gap between us and some conflicts appeared, but we have sorted them out.

The gap was due to the fact that I couldn’t share all my things in the engineering college with him and that engineering requires more time and effort compared to a normal B.Sc.

When I joined IT industry and moved from my native city, the gap started appearing again – even though I talk with him on phone quite regularly, my priorities have changed. Our friendship still continues – however, I don’t communicate with him so often as I do with some friends of relatively less priority and even some distant acquaintances; This is because, he rarely comes online.
Some of things I can’t share with him because he wouldn’t be able to understand the context.

So, I started thinking has our friendship got diluted? Are we just pretending to be
friends – as we no longer share thoughts and feelings?

I want to say the answer is “No” and I believe that is the answer. But, that doesn’t stop me thinking on what true friendship is; will it require being physically in the same geographical area – seeing each other often;

Still thinking…