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At the (high) risk of sounding (very) old.

 “A white blank page, and a swelling rage.”

You, you and you, out there! You need rehab! I do too! 

A little box that casts a spell over your mind, you are always obsessed with it. Waiting for it to make a little beep, blare out your favourite tune this week or to wink at you. Your main objective throughout your waking and non-waking hours is to keep it dry, warm, charged and safe. So that you may ignore your family and friends to chase trains and hack fruits. So that you may pay 10 times your monthly rent just to hold it in your greedy paws. The bigger, the better. Slimmer is finer. Anything works, as long as it is outrageously ‘cool’. 

I’m scared for my children. Things like pollution and the earth running out of resources don’t worry me as much. Far though the day is, when it comes, I wonder who my kids will ‘play’with? I definitely will throw them out of the house every evening to go outside and play. No wii, tv or whatever gadget has been invented by then. But it occurs to me they won’t have anyone to play with. Maybe I’d be forced to send them to a ‘play-class’ like I’ve seen my neighbours do.

It turns out (research shows) we can only have a maximum of 5 best friends. Then why do we need SO many media to keep in touch with them? Why must we have 3 different messengers on our phones, be on 5 social media sites? Why must each ‘happy day’ be documented and shared? Why must your undying and fast-changing love be plastered in my face every day? At which point do we start living for ourselves, and not for the number of likes we garner? When does our self-worth depend on something we share only with our loved ones, not with every Tom that has ever had the misfortune of crossing our path? Why can’t we stop by the side of the road and ask the paanwala for directions, rather than glue our faces to a google map? 

Doesn’t anyone miss the romantic feeling of writing a letter by hand to your grandmother? Then visiting a post office and licking a stamp and praying it doesn’t fall off. Waiting eagerly for the postman to bring a reply, and receiving a surprise postcard from a friend abroad. The gong of a grandfather clock telling you it’s time for – nothing, because you are on vacation at your grandparents’. 

Making a puzzle or playing ‘Scotland Yard’ with the family. Hours of ‘Monopoly’ and Chess with chaddi buddies. Does that compare with mall-walking? Cycling to school and laughing madly after making it up that slope, rather than switching gears of that cycle that cost more than people’s houses. Dancing to music actually made by people, not computers. Running in the park, not on a treadmill, while cursing and sweating like a pig.

A stinky railway platform, but when you board, it’s heaven. Mom has packed mouth-watering mutton, Dad makes the bed and tucks you in. The gentle motion of the train rocks you to sleep, but not before you read a few pages of that new book. Sharing a 5 buck ice cream with the watchmen’s kid, versus donating 500 bucks online. That’s a memory I can’t tag on any site. 

But gadgets will help us forget this pain. Gadgets will help us take a hundred hi- resolution selfies, of which none will compare to the candid moment caught on a black-and-white picture. Gadgets will help us float through life. 

“Money spent on experiences- an investment that grows with time. That spent on possessions - only erodes in value.”


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