There was a time in families in earlier days, when space was something unheard of. Space in vacant plots, space in pollution free, less populated roads and places maybe, but certainly not in relationships. Today, it is the in-thing. In fact, many a relationship is decided on the basis of the space available between two people.
“See, I love my job. I have been working for a very long time, so don’t expect me to take time out for your friends’ children’s birthday parties and stuff. I need my space Man!”
“ It’s nice that you help me out at home at times. But when I go shopping or visiting old friends, I’d rather do it with my own group of friends. After all, I have been doing this for ages. Marriage cannot change it all suddenly. I need my space to chill out just like you!”
And it goes on. People – spouses and friends want to have the cake and eat it too it seems. It’s like, “let’s get together okay, but let’s leave some gap between us for us to feel comfortable. Let’s live a life together but not necessarily share everything. After all, we might have our own a(venues) to relax and feel better in life!
When we see it from the angle of the bygone era when people lived in joint families, sharing everything, joy, sorrow, money, friendship, food, etc….. when space in relationships was sometimes craved for but not got then, this space seems necessary. Because many a relationship has been destroyed for want of space. We find in-laws eating up the space of young brides and their husbands. Too many children are drowning the space of mothers and fathers. Bosses were/are dominating the space time of employees, etc. Lovely relationships which could have materialized into lovely journeys and experiences were/are cut down mid way for want of simple space.
Today however, we live in an age of extremes. Either there is no space at all or there is just too much space. There are parents who believe that space (read freedom) given to young couples is indulging them too much and building a road to reckless habits. Some more prejudice-free parents believe that it is when a couple is young that they can enjoy life, later, the responsibilities of job, family, etc will bend them down too much to even give them moments to think about living life to the full. True isn’t it?
But, I somehow seem to wonder how a family can live in either extreme. I would feel claustrophobic in both kinds of relationships. I would feel like a prisoner if I had just no time at all to do what I wanted (little joys). In the same manner, I would feel as if I was a cast-away on a lonely island without a soul in sight if I was given too much space. I believe in communication. I believe in space too but not so much that I get alienated. Just roti, kapda and makaan will not suffice. Just the freedom to spend as one wanted is not sufficient. I’d rather have little money and stay communicated casting aside that space funda over the fence! So many couples have it all, money, status, friends, parties so much so that they have no time to even sit down and reflect at leisure. But, there comes a stage in life when none of the above seems to appease the soul. Something seems empty within. One even starts getting scared of being with oneself alone! And that’s where too much space seems just too much. I know of an acquaintance who kept jumping from one relationship to another maybe to prove to himself that he was great and attractive but there were moments when things would go wrong and I could sense that he felt that he was only trying to get away from himself all the time. Every time, a friend trespassed into his space he would get be on red alert and then slowly let go and move on. I remember asking him once and he said, “I am a modern man. I believe one should give space to another.”
Finally, he was left with no one, all alone. That too much space had brought about a wide space within himself.
I know there are moments we rather be left alone than sharing it with our friends or spouses. I know there are moments we love to be in solitude like the solitary reaper. There are moments when we need to connect with ourselves. During those times, space seems necessary. But then, who would like to be left that way most of the time? At least, nor ordinary souls like us! Wouldn’t sharing make our tiny worlds happier, more meaningful?
What do you think?