Saturday 1 PM:
I enter the big, nicely lit phone store.
I am here because I accidentally laundry-washed my phone. A day without a phone really is a bliss. I know it. I have felt it numerous times. I wish my parents were living with me. I wish they did not have to feel anxiety and worries that were six thousand miles long when my phone died.
I wish the world was not bigger than my little happy home.
But in reality this world is big and faster than anything around me.
In the store, the person in bright colored smart clothes appears, looks at my Asian face, cotton jacket and Lucky jeans [ I meant the brand you know.. nowadays brand makes us good human beings!] and finally smiles: You have to take a new phone because this phone cannot be repaired. It’s water damaged.
I: That’s okay. I need an replacement handset urgently.
He: Do you want a new model because this model is old? You have to pay extra a few bucks. [ Extra means another 99 to 199 dollars. Not a few. Not for me.]
I: Old? I got it ..umm in late 2012? It’s not that old.
He: This is 2014. That model is more than 2 years old. In this modern world things change fast.
A few eyes stare at me right there.
This is modern world, I know, I am also one of the crafters of that technologically speeding world. But sometimes I vividly try to know what “modern” means..
I take exactly the same model, color and version of my old phone. No matter how fast we run, nostalgia and emotions are still my most favorite things. I hold on to things that help me to preserve good memories and that very phone camera tops that list.
Sunday 10 PM
“That’s not a selfie” I almost yell.
“But it looks like a nice selfie. Didn’t you click this yourself? ” She writes, about the picture I posted on Facebook after a year of hibernation. A picture of my husband and myself inside a store.
I close the book I was reading and ask my husband: Have you seen in past one month, at least 5 out of 10 people post selfie on Facebook every day? That word itself is so awkward. What is a selfie? Can’t they call it self-photography or self-portrait at least? What different photographs people were posting on their profiles anyway?
Husband: People are so self-obsessed nowadays that very soon they will date themselves. Read this amazing article.
I read that article and many more about the social selfie syndrome that night and end up wondering where all of us are heading.
Friday 8 PM
“ You don’t stay in touch. Where have you vanished?” She complains.
I know I stay in a cocoon when I work on more important things. I focus more on things that matter at that point – which include a career, a few books, blogs, a happy home, close family and friends. In this world if I sprint to avoid something then that is gossip [ Not “Gossip Girls” though..I loved that TV series!]
I stay away from many people. People who don’t do things, just judge others. People who damage other lives to strengthen their low self-esteem. People who I ended up marking as hypocrites after knowing them.
It’s not easy for me too, to make myself comfortable in a creatively busy world; all alone and uninspired at times.
“You don’t have WhatsApp? But you have a smart phone.” She gives my phone a strange look.
“No. I didn’t download it. It takes away too much time.” I answer softly.
“Hey! You should have WhatsApp. Nowadays everyone uses it. It makes communication easier. I can share my pictures with you within a second, you know.” She emphasizes everyone the most.
I think of telling her many things, like the life I live, the aspirations I hold, the lack of time in my life that I fight with, about distractions that those pop-ups of WhatsApp and FB apps create…and maybe I don’t want her pictures to be delivered to me within seconds..and maybe I don’t act crazy after seeing other’s craziness. But I know, in this world there’s still value for one old wisdom: silence – my silence is the best solution so many times.
“Okay! I will see you on WhatsApp then, if I download.” I try to end the conversation.
“It’s very modern. You have to see it.” She says.
That evening, in that Indian party where parents were making their children dance to an ex- Porn star’s vulgar Hindi song “Baby doll”, my husband and I chuckled – Maybe we are growing up very fast in this modern world! Maybe growing apart was the best solution we found for our happy lifestyle in this strange era. Maybe one life, many books and a technically sound mind are not enough to know the meaning of the phrase “modern world” anymore…..