The frenzied pace of construction has seen the birth of modern-day colonies which specialize in community living. High-rise buildings with a common lawn house as many as 1000 families in one area. As a result, all the residents start considering themselves to be a part of one big family. The children grow-up together and the bonds that are created in the early years stay for life.
New colonies, today, have a swimming pool, a club house and many other facilities for the residents to enjoy together and above all safety and security for the residents and their families. As festivals are celebrated together and other special occasions too, the colonies have more to offer than simply boarding and lodging.
Harsh and Kabir are best of friends. They stay in one colony, go to the same school and play together every evening. Except for going to their separate homes in the night they are together for most of the time. Of course, they have their fights and ego clashes. At times you would not see them playing together or even talking with each other. But, that is the magic of wonder years. They patch-up sooner than you would expect them to and would be roaming around their colony with arms around each other.
Esha and Kaavya are in the same class. As they live in the same colony, each day after school they do their homework together and also prepare for exams together. On weekends they have sleepovers in each other’s house where other friends of their colony also join them.
With the advent of smart phones, ipads and other gadgets people do not have time or inclination for a one-to-one interaction. Facebook friends outnumber friends one meets physically. Socializing has no meaning and the art of conversation is virtually dead. Housing societies these days play a large role in bonding and interacting. The common area, the in-house club facilities and planned group activities give ample time for social interaction between the residents of the colony. The residential clubs are meeting points for spouses and children to pursue their special interests like music, dance, reading, movies and sports.
Children who live in colonies grow up with a lot of rich experiences. They get to interact with several children of their own age group. It teaches them social skills as they learn to accept and appreciate different types of people and their different lifestyles. They learn a lot from their peer group. They become worldly-wise. They develop a spirit of competitiveness too as they play and grow together. Five-years-old Saurabh and Gaurav bought their cycles together. Every evening they would cycle around their colony with the support wheels on. One day Saurabh’s dad removed the support wheels from his cycle. Gaurav got the support wheels removed from his cycle too. After a brief struggle the two friends began to pedal their cycles independently. As children grow older and move out, these incidents of the past remain etched in the corridors of our memories.
To quote William Shakespeare:
So we grew together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But, yet an union in partition.
Growing up together is fun. It creates life-long bond of caring and sharing. And when two friends live close to each other, they grow like branches of a tree in different directions, with their roots being the same. Each of them has a special place in his heart for the other.