I have always been a big fan and a believer of family gatherings.. There is nothing that can replace all family members getting together in one house, with kids running all around, every one yelling, shouting, laughing and having a good time.
Every discussion comes to fore.. Sports / Politics / Stock markets / Business / Gossip / People.. The list is endless.. People come, meet for a few hours and all go back to their homes.. Value.. Priceless.
Why have I brought it up? I have just had two of them in 48 hours and of course with the same people, but still the thrill of it is unimaginable. In this day and age, where we are all so busy with our lives, with the rat race that we are all in, with the targets / achievements that we need to reach at, with work pressures, family & personal committments, we tend to be so self centered around ourselves, that we either do not have the time to think for others (since we are so busy), or have the energy to meet people.
I have over the years gone through a similar phenomenon.. Work has taken so much of a priority, that one does not travel at family functions when they take place back home. Why.. Work !!! No time !!!! Simply not possible..!!! No Leave !!! When I think of it in hindsight, simply excuses.. Result, I have missed a life time of opportunities of seeing so many of my relatives and their kids grow, that should I bump into some of the kids, I would not even know them.. Nor would they know me and I would not expect them to. After all, the effort was not there.
We have a tendency to say that God, your kids have grown.. but did we take the trouble to see them grow. For that matter, how much time do we spend to see our kids grow. With nuclear families, both parents working, children either grow up with maids or with the Microwave and Television. It is unfortunate that in our zeal to ape the west, we have even taken their negatives.. One often hears people in the West taking the Asian culture and trying to bring family values, however we tend to move away from them.
I do consider myself lucky for the very fact that I get an opportunity to meet my families at least once a month and I believe this is very necessary. This is not just to see each other, but more so in my view, for our future generations to remain connected with their roots and cultures, as we tend to grow more and more apart. After all, if there is no family, there is nothing.