- Nandini Sengupta
Two slices of Life
"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."
-William Henry Davies
I consider myself immensely blessed to have been born during a time when there were no mobile phones, leave alone smartphones. No Facebook, no Instagram, no Whatsapp. We had a landline where few neighbourhood aunties would queue up often to talk to their loved ones( who were they? I would often wonder). The only source of visual entertainment was television. Only two channels of Doordarshan used to pop up on the screen to enliven our childlike spirits. On weekends, films were telecasted which were like the icing on the cake for us.
Nowadays, people are so hooked up to their phones that they miss the simple workings of life around them. They have no time to listen or pay attention to their near ones. Technology has distanced us in ways, incomprehensible to the common human psyche. Children are so fascinated and awed by this new toy that they don't find much spirit in actual conversations with real people. The current situation has further put out the matter to an optimum level. Reading is downplayed and often overlooked. They don't cherish the freshness of a new book as its pages are turned enthusiastically. Skimming new apps are more viable.
When I was a child, I would always stare outside the window as I sat down to study (Well, I, sometimes, even zoomed towards my books as well). My eyes oscillated, watching moving folks on the street, some going to fish markets early in the morning; tingling of cycle bells as young boys moved around in them; scratching sounds of utensils as someone prepared early morning meals; office goers scurrying off to catch buses or trains and even some sparrows sitting on the wall discussing some exigent issues. There were houses and not stalwart buildings where strangers peek from their balconies towards other strangers. I lived in one such house and had actually experienced a neighbourhood where people knew each other in person. In those fleeting moments of observation and rumination, maybe a poet was already born inside me which surfaced much later in life, in real form.
In spite of all the changes around us, still, grasses grow, birds sing, the sun rises to herald a new beginning and still, people fall in love...
Let's hum a song
Let's relive the moments
Lost in hurry days,
Both sweet and bitter
Are to be savoured,
Life is a medley
Served in varied flavours...