Been away awhile. Yours truly took part in a quiz competition held at work, and won an all-expenses-paid trip to another city. Cost-cutting set in, and our flight was reduced to a bumpy 12-hour overnight bus ride. The roads in India are more potholes than roads, so needless to say the night would be sleepless.
Many folks opted out of the trip, but I took it on as a challenge. Now, this is a city where I spent a few formative years of my career. There are a lot of people who nurtured me back then and made me the person I am today. A bumpy bus ride was a cheap price to pay for a chance to meet them again.
And meet them I did! I stayed with a close friend. Though we were meeting after several years, it was as if we never parted. We picked up where we left off. It was that instant connection we made. The hugs. The laughs. The conversations over cups of hot tea. The gifts we exchanged. The sharing of good and not-so-good news. The home-cooked meal she made for me - it had everything I liked. It wasn't the best meal I've eaten, but it was cooked for me. And that made all the difference.
With each friend, it was a trip through a different alley down memory lane. Many of them are now married and with children. It was wonderful to feel so loved. I have not felt so fully alive in years.
Made me wonder how important those human connections are. In today's world with its overdose of technology and gadgets (a colleague who sits right behind me at work sent me an email today asking if I had a pen to spare) we forget the importance of love towards a fellow human being. We forget that in times of dire need, it is the human who is more helpful than the device. It is incredible how a little quality time spent with loved ones can enhance one's mood and give a sense of purpose.
And like all good things in life, we need to continuously work on improving those skills. Day after day.
I'd do the bumpy bus ride a hundred times over. Just to re-live those moments.