The good old busy-buzzy joint family days could never have imagined the near-solitary nuclear family times, specially in big cities, perched on a multi-storey building.
And nuclear families, usually closed and confined, as they were, could not have imagined an unfurling of relations called The Global Families :-)
Like a time when a family of three or four people spread over, say, Asia, Europe, America, and Australia ... !!!
Family conversations over dinner, or watching the good old "Chhaya Geet" together on Thursday evenings, or that lazy Sunday get together over brunch feels like a romantic folklore now.
No regrets though, if one can still keep alive those beautiful feelings within and spend "quality" time with one another whenever possible.
And once in a while even make conscious efforts to plan a holiday together.
Like the river keeps flowing, so do lives ...
And so does Time ...
But Time does not pass without educating and enlightening people.
It leaves its imprint over everything it touches.
So interestingly, over the years, while a family is in many ways the same, yet the individuals comprising it are not entirely the same.
When you have lived away from one another for a few years and then come together for a few days, it could demand a wholehearted effort in understanding and accepting one another.
Go ahead braced with an extra pinch of politeness.
Be ready to reassure your kin with a friendly pat on the back.
Try to light up their lives with shining encouraging smiles ...
And above all, carry a silky sheen of empathy to let the shortcomings of one another slide away smoothly so that time thus spent results in stronger bonds of love and kindness and better family ties in years that follow :-)
May every family be more blessed and healed than before and learn to accept the imperfections of one another without grudges.
May genuine love, peace and mutual respect for one another grow and nurture the family foundation with the passage of time.
In conclusion, I think holidaying together every couple of years is a therapeutic exercise and an invaluable family investment, not just today, but for decades to come, because it would help in initiating, building and fortifying happy and healthy relations in future.
And therefore to imagine secure long innings of togetherness for coming generations would only be a fair desire of the heart whose desires are often unfair too ;-) :-D