RECall 91: A View From Afar

RECall 91: A View From Afar

We live in a world united by communication technology. It was perhaps impossible for the many of us, flung far wide across this globe by fate or choice, to be in touch with each other but for the communication tools available to us now. It is amazing that what one friend feels in a distant corner of the world can now be shared by hundreds of others miles and miles away in a fleeting moment. It has brought us together?..

Or did it? It may also be that every technological revolution has served to distance us. The trains took us to different parts of India. And the planes to different parts of the world. And now thanks to messaging tools, we could even be in a different planet. What if we don?t actually sense what the other person feels? What her eyebrows convey? What her eye lashes hide? We have emoticons! We don?t have to tolerate a flesh, blood and sweat person! We would rather have those emotions delivered as pixels, free of all germs and manipulations.

We have come a long way from the age when we waited days for a letter from our parents. Or from our friends in the hostels from across the road. Today, in times of sensory overload, we don?t have to seek any stimulation. Stimulation is staring at us and our kids from everywhere. Fast foods, fast cars, fast games, speed dating- instant stimulation has overtaken us. But, aren?t we missing something here?

There was a time when our only stimulation was the greenery of the valley outside the college. Or the full glass lemon tea in the MC. Or a game of football or cricket in the evening. Or the smell of flesh and blood and sweat of our friends, while watching TV in the common room. The ?Atha-pookkalam? or the ?Thiruvathira? played out in heavenly white attire in enchanting rhythms provided the occasional flood of stimulation. A whiff of air flowing over the grass en route to the main gate caressing the lilies embellishing the tresses of those earthly goddesses turned out to be one experience worth waiting for day in and day out for the men folk. The wave like morning procession from LH of these angels in tandem would have brought many weak hearts to a crashing stop. And the brain of some of us and the brawn of some of the wrestling and boxing gods amongst us kept the goddesses glued in, if not the wits and charms of many in the country?s heartlands.

Alas, those were the days!

While it appears that we hardly learned anything out there, deep down in our bosom our heartbeats trumpet a different truth: all that we know at a fundamental level is molded from the ore mined from the bottom of the institute?s oceanic wisdom. We have learned that the second law of thermodynamics helped humans build this amazing complexity; we also learned that human activities are however increasing the world?s entropy. We learned that a vastly interconnected network is highly efficient, but also unstable. We learned that resilience gives stability to not only our structures and but to our lives as well.

We learned that often beauty is not in the details, but in what was left out of the details. We know that every bit and byte of information technology revolution was worth it- it gives a lot of us something to bite and for others something to chew on. We learned that machines improve productivity, but it takes real human beings with real feelings and motives to make the outputs productive and meaningful. And we learned that when people act in resonance, we could not only break bridges, but all barriers.

But the best thing we learned from out there stands out: while we would have come very far in our lives and achieved a lot, we know that what makes us truly happier are not the great things that we managed to do. We might feel pride in whatever we did in the years that went by, but what makes the life worth cherishing are the little moments in which we did much little things, in the company of our friends and loved ones. The little things we did in our hostel corridors, in the class rooms, on the way to MC and on the way to LH. Those moments, when we would not have known our true calling in life, but spent in absolute purposelessness, come back haunting us every now and then, rekindling whatever spirits still remain in us, as if to remind us that living in the now and enjoying the little things that life throw at us is the true purpose of life.

Away from the maddening crowds of cities, the mind numbing concrete jungles, the buzzing and booming circus of explosive stimulation bombarding us every moment, from the torrent of minute by minute bites screaming across our screens apparently in the name of communication with our loved ones, let us escape. Escape to an idyllic peace. To sanity. To do the little things once again, to relish and relive those small small things that have turned into our fondest memories. To talk to and to touch each other to know once again what talking and touching means.? To know what real love and humane communication means. It may not tickle our senses as much as an artificial joke on social media could. But it could churn and stir our souls. Once again.

Let us join this ride.

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