Having fun is very important for us (our family, I mean). And it is so for many people we know, for almost every child in the world. In fact, it can be argued that it is the purpose of life!
We also enjoy company. Fun can be had within oneself, within the family or with a larger group. All forms of fun are necessary. But ever since we’ve stepped out of the so called ‘mainstream’, our interaction with friends (from the erstwhile mainstream life) has reduced to almost zero. I get a feeling that they don’t want to interact with us. No casual phone calls, no comments on facebook / blog, no replies to e-mails. The initial feeling was that of depression, nearing betrayal. But it is not as simple as that. I've been trying to figure out the reasons for this change.
There may be other reasons, but one reason is that when we moved towards a life into a village most of our friends, colleagues, relatives looked at it as moving away from fun. It is quite obvious. Leading a simple life, being environmentally conscious, inculcating and preserving good human values are not associated with having fun. Monks, social activists, gurus, honest politicians & bureaucrats are not associated with fun. On the contrary, they are seen as people who have renounced fun. Renouncing fun is equal to being boring. Exercising regularly is equal to not being able to sleep late, eating healthy is equal to not eating out, and sleeping on time is equal to no late night hang-outs.
The notion is also supported by the fact that most people, who have moved to such a life are burdened with a host of moral values, which has indeed taken the fun out of their lives. Reducing the use of plastic, using public transport instead of cars, eating red rice instead of white are some common characteristics. These don’t bother me much. What I find alarming is that they don’t watch masala movies, don’t go on treks or vacations, don’t eat sweets even occasionally, and keep pestering their children not to fight, share toys, eat without spilling and talk politely all the time!
So, my friends are behaving inline with the generally accepted norms. It is quite likely that they are missing me as much as I’m missing them.