He was typing furiously on his laptop with a continuous frown, which was visible on his forehead. I could see the reflection of his laptop on his glasses and the glow on his face by the light of the screen. I was sitting there for an hour now, having snacks and watching movie in the lowest possible volume. Today he has specifically asked me to be a little quite because he is doing something very crucial. It needs to be done by tonight or else he is “screwed”. I do not really know what this word means, but I assume this means he will be in a deep neck problem…
The television screen is flickering now, the voices of the characters are trailing and I could see the rainbow colors coming up just like earlier. Then, within a second the characters vanished and were replaced by a string of words on the black screen. I blinked and tried to read what was written on it, but my 75 years old eyes failed to recognize those words. I took my spectacle out and cleaned it softly with my new white t-shirt; this was a gift to me from my son last week. He asked me to come to South City with him but I declined, actually my legs do not cooperate anymore with me now. So, I prefer to stay at home and watch my television set which has so many features I have no idea about. I read it in the T.V manual that this can be connected to Twitter. I asked my son what was it about he said Twitter is a platform where you can write messages within 140 character and convey what you feel. This confused me high time, 1-4-0 characters are very less and how do people manage to communicate via that? I wrote three pages long letters to my friends sealed with red stamps specially purchased from the post office and then dropped it inside the heavy red-metal box, which is called postbox. I kept my question to myself and did not bother him.
So, let me come back to my t-shirt now, as I declined his proposal I saw him quickly pulling out his phone from the back pocket of his pant and started scrolling down the device. This looks so astonishing; in my time I had only landlines, which my parents used to contact our relatives and office members. It was just restricted to important and emergency call as dictated by him; I never had the courage to use it before I got a Central Government job. He showed me some pictures of young lads wearing some plain t-shirts and I pointed out to the one I liked and then the order was placed. Few days after the package arrived from Jabong and my wife opened it with her feeble hands and a scissor. As soon as she saw the t-shirt a smile appeared on her face.
“Amar shona chele, dekhecho ki bhalo jama kineche tomar jonno” she said and I nodded.
(My lovely son he got such an amazing t-shirt for you)
The clock stuck 10 pm; he stretched his hand and yawned, looking considerably tired after working for four hours straight and I finally asked him to see what was wrong with the television.
“For how long were you sitting like this? Why didn’t you tell me the television is not working?” He asked
“Because it is not more important than your work,” I replied back.
“Baba, not again. You do not disturb me, do you understand?” He said with affection in his eyes. I nodded and then he quickly used the Freecharge application on his mobile to recharge the digital box and Dadagiri show came back. The bell rang and I knew my daughter-in-law is back home along with Rekha, my wife. They went to Dakhineshwar to visit Kali Ma’s mandir, it is our favorite place, where we went and spent time talking about life by the river. It was a serene place, which took away all the anxiety I had in me, it cleared my mind like nothing else and then we often had Puri,Chola and Jalebi in the small stalls near by and took the taxi back home.
“How was it, did you get to see Kali thakur?” I asked my daughter-in-law.
“Yes Baba, we did but you know what happened? A teenage boy was trying to take a selfie near the river and his mobile slipped from his hand. He freaked out so bad” She laugher as she said.
“He could have asked his friends to take a picture of his” I said.
“I know, but you know now a days no one depends on anyone, they do their own work and selfie is a huge thing” she replied.
“I know I know”
In our days we had to develop the films to get the pictures, you know it was a different kind of thrill altogether, more happiness was attached to it and we valued it. It was not like the three-step process which includes snap, don’t –like-it and delete. Everything was so different, almost like those black and white pictures you see. We met our friends and had an actual conversation; we did not need a screen in front of us to feel content or to communicate. We went to the Coffee house and talked about politics, now it seems like until and unless people put their thoughts on facebook wall, their knowledge does not count.
“But Baba, India is progressing so they have to adopt technology” My son said.
“Yes ofcourse, we are developing quite well but technology can never replace humans and their emotions. Everyone needs to move ahead of it and have a close bonding with his or her family, because at the end everyone wants to be loved, and love does not come from technology; it comes from the person who cares about you and will be there for you no matter what. You may use Whatsapp or Facebook or your Twitter to your heart’s content but then one night when you just sit with your friend watching the stars and let nature engulf you and you will find yourself talking about your life and listen how the other person feels. You will know what I am talking about and how good it feels to keep aside your mobile for a while”
“I hope that day comes soon Baba” He replied and then we had dinner together.