Relationships of every sort have always intrigued me and lately, I have begun to flirt with this idea, nurture and groom it. So, when TM Rani had asked me to write about it, I thought “Why not?!” and my excitement grew as I was informed that this would be published in the maiden newsletter which has been her brain child for some time now. I was given the freedom to come up with a piece that did not focus solely on a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship, thank goodness for that (I decided to stay off relationship involving siblings, parents, and lovers, in this column.)
I was in myriad relationships since I was born (and no, I am not exaggerating). I believe, each time we get passionately involved in something we tend to enter into a relationship - be it with your books, your job - how many of you are not married to your jobs?, your favorite cartoon strip, your love for color yellow, your cooking apron, your paintbrush, your jukebox, or your passion for traveling, and what-not? (Am sure many would agree that your stint with Toastmasters club has gotten you into a unique relationship with your fellow TMs.) You tend to leave behind a trace of such relationships wherever you go.
With the advent of social networking sites and messengers, relationships have undergone a paradigm shift of sorts. We have started living around Wi-Fi hotspots, meddling with our smart phones and with exposure to so much technology, the boundaries have began to blur. Yet, there are many relationships which cannot be updated on social networking sites. You have relationships you tend to relish secretly, or flaunt (#photos, #statusmessage, #tag, #likepage, #follow). All the avid readers who devour the literature tend to fall in love with the characters in the book and weave a story around them; secretly relish everything about that book. All the wanderlusts would flaunt their backpacks and travel shoes by posting colorful postcards on facebook, instagram, etc. giving live feed of their itinerary.
Whatsapp (I am not endorsing the brand, but sharing my experiences post Whatsapp phase of my life) has been a blessing in disguise for me. It not only helped me connect with dozens of friends (whom I would not have called, like ever!), but also helped me explore and discover little joys of life. I connected with friends on food, books, cinema, art, music, travel; you name it.. and lo! there started a new angle to the whole relationship thingy. My relationships with a zillion things helped me keep myself occupied. I am living in parallel universes on the various groups, forums and one-on-one conversations that I am holding with my friends. I have been exposed to genres of music in a group full of music buffs, tried new cuisines and discovered new places with a wanderlust, started painting Lord Krishna after chatting up with a painter friend, read books, drank coffee at new places, experimented with my cooking, made an impromptu trip to visit a long lost friend, wrote a poem for a long lost friend, mended broken promises and relationships while connecting with friends on our love for shopping.
"Each relationship nurtures a strength or weakness within you", Mike Murdock
Be it a real or a virtual one, go explore the relationship(s) that will nurture the strength(s) or weakness(es) which has been lurking within you all this while. And as you unleash and discover things in your new found love, and wait to brag about the relationship from the top of world, stay rooted to the real relationships which make you tick and have been your fuel and fire whenever you have set out to conquer the world.
(TM - Toastmaster; Vision Toastmasters is an orators club, wherein members refer each other as TM#name)
(This piece was published in Vision Toastmaster's bi-monthly newsletter Vantage's maiden issue)