Social Get Togethers
by Vimala Ramu
India has never lacked for colourful get togethers - be it marriage, thread ceremony, house warming, 13th day wake etc etc. I have always liked to dress up and attend these over the years.
Youngsters might find the elders’ gatherings vastly different from theirs. But, I can assure you that the gatherings of the senior citizens continue with the same zest as they did when they were young. When the crowd is heterogenous, the same adorations, compliments, attractions, flirtations etc etc. are seen; all harmless banter, with no hormones involved seriously. This is because, when people get acquainted, they do not do so with only the physical part. There is a connect at the soul level too. So, when they meet year after year or years later, the talk will not be of receding hair lines, migration of curves or even prostate glands and arthritis. The bonhomie with which they started their lives would continue to exist. That is why people seem to be so rejuvenated during class reunions or alumni meets. This will be present irrespective of what positions they have held in life or retired from.
With the ‘Great Leveller’ waiting to knock on their doors, people will be mature, relaxed and totally rid of their egos and insecurities which perhaps dominated their younger days. The rapport, empathy, understanding, the comfort level - call it what you like - one feels in the company of one’s own contemporaries, is a precious gift to man. So much so, when they are with their own age group, they hardly miss other age groups. This is true of every generation.
I do not know whether the generation older to us experienced this type of bonding. People used to get married early in life with hardly any time to develop individual identities. They would be known as ‘so and so’s son’ or ‘so and so’s wife’ etc.
When the younger generation happens to be around, they might find the talk about ‘good old days’ boring and the behaviour of old fuddy-duddies comical too. But, if the elders are happy to meet each other, it is because they are identified and respected for what they were, irrespective of the demerits brought on by later life.
The younger generation of today becomes the older generation of tomorrow. With the erosion of social values, I do not know what exactly will be the status of future generations.
But for now, I am happy to attend the ‘get together’s and meet all my old chronies-some toothless, some hairless …..!