Often people say that the rise of internet has killed social relations. Thousands of jokes and stories have been published till date how gadgets have limited the lives of people into their small rooms and how people have become couch-potatoes forgetting their friends-families and foes. Thousands of rims of papers have been used till date to explain how internet has killed personal relations, how people prefer facebook over face to face chats, how all the discussions and gossiping now happens on twitter and how e-mails have orphaned the vintage letters. But I do feel that by doing this, we are just trying to blame internet for our failure to maintain and preserve our relationships. Anyway, whatever people may feel or say, actually Internet has changed my life forever, that too in a really positive way!
Have you ever heard that someone travelled a distance of 1100+ kilometres just to attend the marriage of a person whom he has never ever met! And that too with people whom too he was meeting for the first time!! Well for me it was a fascinating experience and that too the sweetest one since I boarded the aircraft to go to Nagpur to attend the wedding of a dear friend Suraj Dhariya.
On the 24th December, when I boarded that GoAir flight from Delhi for Nagpur, it was a strange experience to say least. I was going for marriage of a guy whom I have actually never met! And the strongest reason to be there was his urge that I should join his wedding festivities. When I landed in Nagpur, the same guy, Suraj @Suraj_Dhariya was there on the airport waiting for me to come. We had talked a number of times over phone but still it was the first time that we were actually standing in front of each other and both actually were silent! What to talk now!! We generally talk a lot over phones but standing there in front of him was a strange experience. Generally we meet so many people on social media here and there from all parts of country and world, how many of them does one actually meet! Rightwingers have indeed actually brought social media on ground but still, generally there is a long standing perception that nobody on SM is worth your trust. But in my case, I was in a city 1100 kms far from my town to attend marriage of someone I met on social media without any other reference. Also the second guy who came on airport to receive me was Gunjan Mathur @hellogunj who also, like me had come from Mumbai to attend Suraj’s wedding in Nagpur.
We all till date had only talked over phone without any face to face contact. From there, we reached Suraj’s home, met his family, stayed there for 4 days, I really don’t think there would be even a single person who would have imagined this! Next day, 2 more tweeps Chandrabhushan and Abhishelk arrived from Pune & Sholapur respectively.
For next 4 days we roamed around in lanes and by-lanes of Nagpur on Suraj’s bike as well as attended all his marriage functions. We danced, laughed drank together, sat together and yes, slept together too! In the whole Nagpur city of all the persons I had met, there was only one person Akshay Deo whom I had met earlier during my RSS Trutiya Varsh in 2009, except whom most were strangers. But today when I look back, I find that I have indeed got some of the most awesome people as friends – Tejas, Shreyas, Sanjay, Amit, Akshay, Anurag, Vicky .. as well as such memories that I will cherish throughout my life! Those 4-5 days have left a inerasable impression on my heart.
As I mentioned above, people often say internet has actually killed social relationships but my experience has been an amazing one since very beginning. Since the day I became active on Social Media platforms, it has given me amazing friends. The list is so long that If I start writing about each and everyone, thousands of sheets of paper will get used but still not end. It is this strength of our relationships, that we have actually created threat and fear in the hearts of many so-called media big-wigs and political honchos. Anyway, politics will go on, from Nagpur we 4 moved to Pune to attend marriage of the elder sister of Ashutosh Kulkarni @PrachinVaani where another mind-blowing experience was actually waiting to happen. While we were searching for a hotel to get ready for a marriage, I got reminded of Raghav Jain @raghavjn whom I had met once in Delhi and I knew that he was working in Pune. I called him to ask if he knows some good hotel anywhere near the marriage hall where I can get a room. He was leaving on a weekend tour to Mahabaleswar but still told me that he will give me keys of his room and scooty which I can use till the time I am in the city!! Now can you believe it!! A person with whom I have just talked twice in my life is giving keys of his flat as well as two-wheeler in a time when people don ‘t give them even to their long-standing neighbours! That reminded me of a similar incident Gunjan shared where a twitter friend brought home-cooked food for him at Sholapur railway station while he was travelling from Mumbai to Hyderabad some months back!
Many people say that relations are losing their sheen in society but I think otherwise. Actually we are changing and blaming it on society. We only make this society no! If we will keep warmth in our relationship, who can remove it from society!!
This Delhi-Nagpur-Pune-Delhi journey is an amazingly beautiful part of my life which I will definitely cherish forever! An experience which has really taught me a lot. I always had an opinion that dedication and seriousness about relationship is the only factor by which one can actually maintain it. If you have it in your heart, what may come, no one can disturb them sirji!