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SR/JeRan Unbreakable Bond:TumheRaatKoDarrTohNahiLagega? (Page 129)

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Friends With Benefits

Sunday, 20 March 2011 17:07 Muniza Article+com - comment

 

Telly Tadka takes a look at how internet friendships have blossomed over fan-sites

and how they go on to become more than just a space to discuss shows.

 

We haven't met in the three years of knowing one another, but we have to talk to each other every day. Infact our day is incomplete without our customary hi's and occasional wassups. I met Navya on a fan forum of a popular show Dill Mill Gayye and our association continues. Over these years of knowing one another, our relationship has only gotten better as we have now connected beyond the show. The best part of our friendship is that we do not find the need to meet one another. A recent trip to her city, where I was there to attend a wedding, we still continued with our texting and blackberry messaging like always.Its like an unsaid and unconditional understanding we have.

 

Internet friendships even today are not very sought after, as they come with a tag of risk. But I have been very lucky in that respect, since, I have bonded with loads of people over Television shows. Yes it starts with the discussion of a show, and sometimes goes beyond that like in the case I just mentioned above. I just don't speak for myself but lots of others that have found a common ground to meet and bond. That common ground is a television show. People of different age groups, nations, linguistic backgrounds sit down to discuss a particular scene or a track, and the conversation more often than not goes beyond it.

 

For some if it's a venting space, for others it a respite after a hard days work, for another it's just a way to while away time and to others it could even be a part of their work. But fan- forums of shows have today become a hub of bonding and friendships. Some associations go beyond the show as well, with people sharing their personal problems, sometimes co-relating it to the show. It is also an outlet to their creativityand imagination that was perhaps hidden and never acknowledged thanks to various run of the mill problems. I do fall in the last category.I know for a fact that my creativity surfaced and was acknowledged thanks to the friends I made here. It's a family away from a family.

 

"In colleges and schools or workplaces you meet people by chance and since you are put in a group you are at times compelled to befriend or socialise. A forum like this is however a place, you visit by choice, and the associations you make are also a matter of choice" says Ratna a middle aged working woman. She goes on to add, " There is already a common ground, and the expectations from the other person are least when you start off with. You could talk about a show, and walk off and do not have the obligation to come back the next day".  

 

But what about phrases like friends for life and a friend in need is a friend in deed? Is this a thing of the past?

Another fan says, "That is not true. A fan forum is only a medium through which we interact. Once it is established, we exchange numbers and other details based on the comfort zone we develop and it becomes like any other friendship. And in associations like this, it has most often been seen that people never out grow each other, since there is always something to talk about, if nothing else we end up talking about the show. Our favourite topic is bashing it up and discussing why things don't go the way we want.

 

Swati Ghosh, who is a regular writer on the GEET Facebook page, shares "Two of my best friends are from the GEET page. I have already met one of them in Calcutta and the other one will be flying down to Calcutta this July from California. We talk everyday over the Phone and its amazing how the three of us have connected. You will be surprised to know that I celebrated my birthday with my GEET friends this year.  Swati is not the only one.

 

This has happened to me as well. My friends from the forum, who hail from different countries of the world got together on a conference call and made sure they all wished me on my birthday together. They even planned a beautiful surprise for me by sending one of them to visit me in person as a birthday gesture. This was one of the most beautiful birthdays I have ever celebrated.

 

Swati goes on to add in another context "Geet as a show has had a great impact on my life n I wanted to meet the cast n crew of the show becoz i wanted to let them know how a fictional story n character had impacted a real life person n her life. I never thought that i could bond so strongly with people through a social networking site of a daily soap...it still seems like a dream." If it was "Geet " for her , it was "Dill mill gayye " for me , which brought me so much happiness and also made me realise life in a way I never thought I would.

So where does that leave the so called real or non-virtual friendships? Are they a thing of yesterday? Do we have to talk to someone on a day to day basis to call it friendship? Well it need not always be. These days even the closest of friends, resort to keeping in touch with you over a text or a message on your Facebook wall. That's what the internet has done to most of us. We know getting in touch with people is just a click away, and hence at times, take it easy. Despite all this the connect is always with the heart while everything else becomes a via media of interaction.

 

What is it that makes these friendships tick? From observation, it is generally the show that brings them together. When people find a common ground to share certain sentiments and emotions, they feel happy. When this happens more than often, you automatically develop an affinity towards the person. But doesn't familiarity breed contempt? Well not in the case of these friends, since here the more we talk, the more there is to talk.

 

 "We now have our own Skype group now, where we make it a point to talk to one another once or twice in a day says Lavanya Menon from Sharjah Dubai. So is that all you talk about? A show? Many would call that unproductive. " No, defends Lavanya, we talk about the show only once in a day when it airs, the rest of the time goes into discussing our day, our personal issues, interests, likes, dislikeslike in the case of any friendship."

 

There are so many reports everywhere about abuse, misuse, exploitation, cheating on the internet that we get to read. Doesn't that make one apprehensive while making friends on the web? After all, how much of a person would you know from a chat or a conversation?

 

 For me personally, these internet associations have only been beneficial. If there is a best friend you have never met, and don't find the need to meet, since it would be a formality, there is another that I now work with, and there is another that I bond with over songs and perhaps another that only likes what I write and thinks she connects to my writing only. It feels like a complete picture though a virtual one.

 

I still am in touch with my other friends, and hang out with them as and when I get a chance to. But it is these friends that I relate to. When I am sad, they say things that comfort me, when I am happy, I know I get to share my joys with them, if I want to yell they let me rant, and when I want to do something mad, they encourage me to do it and also moral police me when I need it. It is a complete package.

 

Navya says, "Online friends are always available, and they provide instant solutions to issues if you have any. On a bad day, I wouldn't want to go explain an entire scenario to someone and seek an advice or anexplanation; I would rather have someone who already knows my state of mind, and be there for me. And at times, these friends let you be when you want to be without pestering you. That's the comfort I find with these friendships and I like that about it."

 

So this is just a wave or a phase like school, college, or a party that last for just a while? I certainly don't think so, since I haven't lost in touch with any of my friends and we connect from where we left, and this is just an addition to that.

 

On that note, we would like to thank all the Television Shows and their forums for bringing and so many of us together.

Na umr ki ho seema, na janmo ka ho bandhan, jab pyar kare koi toh dekhey keval mann. Very true in this case atleast.

 

 

Niharika Vidya Sagar (Telly Tadka)



Edited by sidra2007 - 21 March 2011 at 12:10am

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Good morning to you guys i guess HugHug
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