In one such science documentary, they showed how the planets in our solar system are moving away from each others. The entire solar system one day will fade away, the planets including our very own earth will end up. A strange comparison came to my mind all of a sudden that day. Just like our solar system are we humans not moving far away from each others? The people to people contact is grossly reduced, we’ve become more tech savvy, try to be in touch with each others over chat or sms. But are these medium as powerful as a simple smile that comes on our face when we see or meet our near & near ones? I wonder, no. These used to be days, prior to the internet & telephone revolution, when, sending & receiving inland letters and postcards was in practice. When we would await eagerly for letters from our relatives and when a letter was read aloud in the household and all the family members glued to listen the reader. Not anymore..
I guess the economic growth that we saw in the last two decades, the ushering of newer technologies, have resulted in reduction of people to people contact. As the middle class came to the fore, the advent of Flat Culture in place of old chawl systems in metropolitan areas further alienated us. I still recall those few years in my childhood days when we used to stay in a chawl after my dad’s retirement. There were two chawls facing each other and had 24 tenements. The entire chawls was like a whole big family. The happiness was celebrated together, the sorrows alike. I vividly recall one incident, when I was having terrible fever that night, and the local doctor that visited my house gave me an injection. It was around 11.45 in the night and the entire chawl was waking. May be the injection did some side effect on me and I started shivering all the more. The neighbours rushed again to the Doctor and told him that they would not let him go till the patient recovered. And the Doctor had to sit in his clinic aptly guarded by 3-4 neighbours till around 1.30 am in the morning by the time I became normal.
It was this kind of camaraderie that saw that all the families were happy, they were not rich, but they were contented. They enjoyed life. One actor, who is now a big name in Marathi stage and television, was our neighbor in his struggling days. He too blended well in that chawl culture. Now that he is a big name, he has turned his back, is a different story altogether.
I never fail to contradict the above story with another incident, that happened in our building a couple of years ago. The Flat Culture as I always say, have created isles of privacy, and the residents of these buildings never care to be in touch with each others. They are contended with their “flat” and are atmost of the times oblivious or careless of what happens in their neighbourhood. One old man used to reside alone in our building in one such flat. Nobody really cared whether he was doing good or whether he ate or had his medicines. One fine day some foul smell started coming from the floor the old man was residing. This brought the neighbours together and they discovered the smell was coming from the house of the old man, they knocked his door. However, nobody responded. The police was called and the door was broken into to find that the old man was dead and his body was rotting, he must have died three four days ago!!!
No wonder that I still long for my old days, days of simplicity of uncomplexed ways of life.
Will we all like the planets moving away from each others, continue to just move away from each others? Will our society stay united in such circumstances ? Will we be same ever again ? Is money or economic growth inversely proportional to human sensitivities ??
Few days back I got a very beautiful mail from one of my friend, on how friends depart. The wording of the mail ignoring the funny cartoons in between are as under :
HOW FRIENDSHIPS BREAK?
Both friends will think the other is busy.
And will not contact thinking it may be disturbing.
As time passes …
Both will think let the other contact.
After that each will think, why should I contact first ?
Here your love will be converted to hate.
Finally without contact the memory becomes weak .
They forget each other.
So friends..keep in touch with all and pass this to all your friends…. for we are not as dead as planets, we are living beings with emotions and feelings.