I read this article in the newspaper supplement this morning which triggered this thought. The article was about a concept called the ‘pop up shop’ through which home cooks are finding a way to invite absolute strangers to their homes and give them a taste of their culture, of course for a price (don’t you know, nothing is free in this world?). They open their doors to like-minded people, allowing them to dive in their specially home-cooked delicacies making the ambiance warm with personal stories and small chats.
Well…I love the idea. But what makes me uncomfortable about the whole thing is, we are at an age where most of us live in nuclear families, far away from our”homes”. We might have some relatives in the same city–siblings, first-cousins, aunts, grandparents, and yet, we find no time to visit them even once a month to say the least. Even if on a certain day, we are reminded of them or get nostalgic and want to spend the day in a relative’s house rather than whiling away time in a mall, we are hesitant to ask them if we could drop in. Perhaps they have other plans? How can we suddenly visit them without prior notice? Will they like it? They just get one day off in a week; perhaps they don’t their “family time” to be wasted. These are just some of the reasons that ultimately keep us away from those we know intimately. However, when we do pick up the phone to chat once in a while, we do keep asking the other to drop in, though secretly we might be dreading the whole idea. At the same time, at some corner of the mind, we do know for sure that asking is just a formality, the cousin/aunt at the other end might(hopefully) never oblige.
So, given the situation we are placed in currently, we don’t mind planning and inviting strangers to our house to experience our culinary skills and hospitality. Apparently this is another way of socializing and networking these days. It is as if we are more interested in making new friends rather than maintaining ties that are far essential and intricately linked than these? The questions that immediately come to my mind is, has networking become so important these days? Do you HAVE to find new ways to “make” new friends? And of course, you don’t mind that you shell out extra bucks on the way.
I’m sure many will think that I am outdated and skeptical to move with the times. No, that’s not true. I appreciate innovation and thinking out of the box. But if a thought and the consequent action makes you take two steps ahead, but once step behind….well…I don’t think I like it too much. Why can’t we instead plan a day in a month or may be once in a quarter, to spend time with extended family– showcase our culinary strength along with collective strength? Cook together, eat together, enjoy and chat of childhood days when life was more free and less complicated. Don’t our children need to meet their extended families outside social networking sites and know how they actually look and feel?
It’s quite unfortunate that technology is taking us closer to the moon, but moving us away from our own people. I shudder to think what the future holds in store…