Free Press Journal

Changing Times, Crumbling Lifestyle: Hope my friend returns to better surroundings and better us



Last year when he left, he had promised to return back soon. He kept his promise. He came sooner than normally he does. Since I knew his arrival date well in advance, I ensured that I did not keep any work pending so that I could be with him almost all the time during his stay. After all, he is the only one with whom I can share my happiness as well sorrows knowing very well that he is always there to give me a patient hearing.

But this time when I went to receive him, things were not the same as before. He looked tensed about something. For the first time I saw a worried look on his face and I knew in coming days as we sit across each other I would be able to find out what was bothering him and in return he would do the same. But right now what really mattered was that he was coming home to spend some days with us.

Days seemed to have passed by faster than I had expected, today he will be returning back to his home. But what he told me the previous night, made me to ponder upon several things that seemed to bother him since he arrived. This is what he had to say:

“Since you have known me, I have been visiting your house every year and staying with you all. So much of joy and happiness we have shared together. At the same time every member of your family, including you, has confided in me their sorrows, worries and few secrets too. Never have I turned my back towards you. Now it’s my turn to share something with you.

When you came to receive me, I was actually feeling suffocated due to the pollution all around. It wasn’t the same air I used to breathe few years ago. Good you came a bit early to receive me; otherwise the honking noise around me would have ruptured my eardrums. Bad state of roads added to my long distance travel fatigue but despite being tired I could hardly sleep. Thanks to the loud music played on the streets way beyond permissible decibels and time limit.

Even in your house, the family members who used to be with me most of the time, came together only during the selfie moment. Once that was done they all got engrossed with their mobile phones. No wonder, they did not get enough time to prepare homemade sweets for me as most of which was bought from the nearest supermarket.

My friend, I know you have not done anything wrong. Despite several things undergoing change, you have remained as loving and caring as before. But honestly, please don’t ask me to come back soon next year. I really do not know whether I will come back or not. I’m scared of the type of change I have experienced this time. I shall try, but I don’t promise.”

Today, when I will be saying goodbye to my dear friend, I won’t be able to look into his eyes. And I’m not even sure whether he will come back next year. Why should he…?

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