We live in a world that has been spiraling towards digitization at a maddening pace. Out on the roads or indeed inside the homes or even the schools and colleges, wherever we cast a glance all we can see is people of all ages and genders immersed in their mobiles or laptops. School children, instead of playing on the streets or playgrounds are spending more time with their heads immersed in a mobile phone. College students, when they should be enjoying their best days talking and interacting with their friends in real time are instead wasting time 'Liking or Re-Tweeting or Updating their Status' on various social media sites. Colleagues in offices are submerged in either writing long drawn e-mails or worthless chatting.
Two of my very close friend's celebrated their birthdays just last week. The best that I could do for them on this special occasion was WhatsApp them a 'Happy Birthday' message. Throughout the day, I thought about calling them and wishing them but office work had consumed me so much that I kept putting it for later. By night I thought it was too late to call anyway and dropped the idea finally. And they were my very close friends, people with whom I have practically lived in a single room for 4 straight years.
Last night, I remembered what birthdays meant to us in those heady engineering days when we lived in a hostel and when upcoming birthdays meant an almost festive like atmosphere amongst us. I remembered those Birthday bumps where the Birthday boy co-operated with a large heart. Those dinner parties where the amount of cake applied on the faces was much more than what was left to eat by the end. Those short trips to a beach where we would spend time playing cricket or just sit on the warm sand, watching the sunset and saying nothing as if silence and nature was everything that was needed to magically transfer our thoughts to each other. Ah!! How I miss those beautiful days, when we connected with each other by talking to one other and by being there physically in times of both joy and sadness or indeed madness!!!
Today I feel both, the warmth of happiness and the pang of sadness inside me - happiness because I have been lucky enough to have lived a life when we were not slaves of technology and sadness because I know that however hard I may try I will never be able to replicate those good old days again.
It is imperative that we give more importance to face to face communication, where we spend time with our family and friends and where we laugh and cry together, where we increase our happiness by sharing them and reduce our sadness, where we discuss our problems and try to lend a helping hand to others. We must live a life where we are still connected to people around us as indeed with our own selves!
Do watch this beautiful video of Kissanpur that talks of bringing back the 'Real Joy of Togetherness' :