I truly feel that we live in tragic times. The biggest tragedy being that all of us are alone. No wait, that’s not it. The biggest tragedy is that we are alone despite being surrounded by those whom we love. We are pariahs of our own making. Don’t believe me? Then just ask yourself this one question,

“When was the last time you had dinner with your loved ones? Together, at one table, as a family?”

There was a time when the dinner table was a lively place. A place of togetherness. And dinner time was not so much about the food as it was about sharing, love and happiness.

But that time is long gone. Don’t let the advertisements fool you. Dinner tables have become relics and living rooms are dying. The concept of family that has defined an Indian family for ages, is under threat. And we have only our own indifference to blame.

People have become guests in their own homes.

Think about it. Most of us only get back home late in the evening after a long hard day of work. We either eat out or hurriedly scarf down what little leftovers we can microwave in under 5 minutes. The next day, it’s back to work. Since when did “Bye” or “Hey, I’m back” become par for course when it comes to speaking to our family?

And when we finally get a weekend, when we are finally together and have an opportunity to gel and interact, we end up watching TV shows or browsing the internet.

Any other time when we actually have nothing do, we’re glued to our phones, derping around on Facebook and Instagram until the day is utterly spent and we’re full of ennui and sadness. Despite the fact that people who love us are around, just a couple of feet away.

Do you remember the way your Mom laid out dish after dish of scrumptious food on the table? Even the humblest of spreads seemed like a feast…

Remember how your Dad would lift up the lid of the casserole, take a whiff of that steaming hot pulao or that epic chicken biryani and say, “Wah?”

But most of all, do you remember the jokes? The stories? Passing food to each other? Praising Mum for her cooking? The teasing, the laughter and the smiles?

Do you know why seek to “drown” our sorrows? Because it is their burden that makes us sink.

We are unable to share our problems with our loved ones because we’re too involved with ourselves. Too pre-occupied with the self. We’re too busy running after things, constantly seeking to gather more than the other guy . But what about the things we already have, what about our family?

It’s easy to distance ourselves from people. It’s easy to burn bridges without meaning to. But that is exactly where your family is different. They will always be there for you and they will always love you. All you need to do is reach out.

Take it from someone who just recently re-discovered the importance of family. Always share your problems with your family. Share your happiness as well. Like they say, your sorrows will be halved and your joys will be increased ten-fold.

For the time your Dad taught you how to ride your bike.

For the time when your Mom was able to console you with just a hug.

For the time your brother took the fall for something you did.

For the time your sister saved up and got you that one thing you really wanted.

And for your grandparents, who dote on you and want nothing but to spend their remaining days seeing you smile,

Cherish your family. Love them. Spend time with them.

And no, I’m not asking you to put your life on hold. All I’m asking is that tonight, have a nice, peaceful dinner with your family . You’ll find a measure of happiness that we all search for, but seldom find.

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