I was taking my walk in the evening in the neighbourhood park and I saw a group of old women sitting on the benches, talking, singing, laughing. to put it in a nutshell, networking… social networking.
For people like you ( Don’t raise your hackles…if you are reading this, you are very much into social networking) and me, social networking is synonymous with Facebook, email, Twitter, Whatsapp, Pinterest, blah blah blah…
In Indian villages, in the olden days, the men would gather after dinner in a few public places , like the temple or the banks of the river or even their courtyard and talk. The womenfolk would get together separately in somebody’s courtyard and have their own sessions. Even visits to temples to pray would get converted into impromptu gossip sessions.
My mother in law who is zero tech savvy and a group of other ladies are way into social networking. After her ‘walk’ in the evening, she would come home and educate me about all the happenings in the complex, interesting/ uninteresting gossip depending on your taste and views hot off the oven nicely cooked up or spiced up..
When these ladies get together in a park or at a friend’s home, they talk about everything under the sun especially about their daughters in law with great enthusiasm.
In most households, both the husband and wife are employed and the parents/ in laws are at home all alone throughout the day. My mother as well as my mother in law both say that they are not alone but lonely most of the times in spite of living with us. They watch a lot of television (which I am not very fond of) because it keeps them company. Even if you are at home, how long can you sit and carry on a conversation with them? They understand the situation, but would like more interaction with people. The only channel is the gossip sessions with other ladies in the colony. I don’t grudge them. In fact I try and push my mother out in the evenings to go and meet people.
So the next time you turn around and say that these ladies gossip, think about the reason behind it…