Monday, March 3, 2014

Just breathe


A couple of days back, my laptop charger suddenly decided to stop working. It said ‘the battery was unrecognized’ and I would have to buy a new one. My first reaction was a loud gasp ensued by a panic attack. I could not afford to have even a temporarily dead laptop because it has EVERYTHING. Literally, everything. My books, my ongoing dissertation work, my movies, my songs, internet, everything. It’s my connection to everything important in my life right now. Then I thought to myself how pathetic that was. I mean, if I can’t use my laptop, I’m practically handicapped. I won’t be able to work, to watch anything, read anything, or chat with anyone. I mean, what about the days when your books were physical, your notes were written on actual notebooks and you spent more time outside talking to people for real, and not typing out words with a poker face infested with ‘LOLs’ when you don’t actually ‘LOL’.  

I thought to myself it won’t be so bad. I’d order another charger and in the meantime I can go out more, read a book or talk to people. But I knew I would be restless till I get my hands on my laptop again. This is what we do, every single day after our classes get over. It’s unnerving, and disconcerting to think of the amount of information that is shoved into our faces as soon as we sign into our Twitter accounts or read all those feeds on our Facebook walls. The relentless ‘Which Game of Thrones character are you?’ quizzes, or innumerable reports and analysis of the same events, or opinion pieces on politics and how so and so affects your so and so. It makes me think, do we need so much information after all? Is it even healthy?  

Everything and everyone is crying out for your attention. But not everything and everyone deserves your attention. Imagine if a person living in the 1930s time-travelled into the future and observed us. He’d be befuddled and appalled to see how everyone is so obsessed with these square-shaped gadgets of various sizes emitting light on people’s faces. He might think human beings are possessed by some sort of bewitching objects, and we have no choice but to follow their orders. Because more often than not, it is us following their orders, than giving them. ‘Read me! Read me!’ ‘Click me because my headline is really inviting and once you open it you’ll realize that it is actually completely useless.’ ‘Watch this video and waste several minutes of your life which you could have spent stargazing or getting some exercise.’ They make us lazy, complacent and totally dependent on them. People can be dumb today, because they know they just have to whip out their black mirrors and get all the answers they want. Don’t know a song? Shazam it! Forgot the name of a movie? Google it! Eating something, or absolutely anything at all? Instagram it! Came across something nobody cares about? Tweet it!

Want to know what’s the worst part? We have all fallen prey to it. Including me. Though I might not be as bad as some of my friends, who hold their cell phones as if they’re an actual extension of their hands, I do it too. I do it because I’m a media student, and I have to ‘keep up.’ I need to be up to date with facts, and sometimes I do admit, I enjoy it. There is a vicarious thrill in 'checking someone out' or 'stalking' them or make fun of what they write. But I wish we had not reached a stage where we all go out and spend half the time with our eyes fixed on our tiny screens. Where everyone can be whoever they want to be, by projecting who they want to be, and not who they really are.

I miss the time when I used to listen to music on my Walkman and rewind it over and over to try to figure out what the singer with the heavy American accent was trying to say. I miss playing board games and cards and the anticipation of getting glossy printed photographs. I just wish we were not so reliant on it, you know? Too much of anything can’t be good.

Anyway, today is March 4th. Know what that means? We have exactly one month before college gets over. One month to finish the dissertation, classes, assignments and exams. We just attended a college fest. Our last one. We had a band called Swarathma that played in college. They were great! Entertaining, good and kind of crazy. Plus, Amitabh Bachchan visited our campus today! Yep, we saw him in flesh and blood. His voice is amazing. It was pretty unbelievable to see the not so 'angry young man' for real. So, good stuff. 

I’ve been discovering lots of new music and Fleet Foxes is one of my most favourite bands currently. Please listen to them. My top two songs are ‘Blue Ridge Mountains’ and ‘Your Protector’. I’ve also been listening to this song called 'Breathe' since I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I like the lyrics.

Went to Bombay to give an interview, and once again, was shocked at the number of people scurrying about. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get used to that.

We spent the entire time playing Taboo after dinner today. God, it can be so much fun. Really keeps you on your toes. The breeze was beautiful tonight, like always. I’m trying not to get increasingly sentimental about leaving college over the next few days.

My sister completed two years of marriage today. TWO WHOLE YEARS. I was kind of freaking out about it. I had thought I would be sorted by the time I’m 23. But I guess you can never be ‘sorted’ in your life, ever. One of the things Big B said in his speech today was, “Agar mann ka ho to achcha hai. Aur agar mann ka na ho to zyaada achcha hai.” Translation: “If something you want happens, it’s good. If something you want doesn’t happen, it’s even better.” It just put a smile on my face. It’s okay if things are not turning out as I wanted them to. It will all be okay.

Like the song says, breathe. Just breathe. 


  1. Everything you have written is an echo of our generation. Unfortunately enough, we are plagued by addictions to gadgets and the internet. But I am glad that once in a while we always look up from those shiny display screens and into the sunset, at least we on this hill do. Will surely keep in mind to be less dependent on my phone now. It's such a great irony how a smartphone can actually make you dumb!

    Anyway, will listen to the songs you wrote about! Cheerios! :D

    PS: Happy Anniversary to your sister!


    1. Thank you :D

      Yes, that's the best thing about being here. It gives you perspective and makes you realize that there is more to life.

  2. The world gets busier. I wish we can go back to the time when TDK cassettes and Sony walkman could keep us happy and occupied. The hills are just as beautiful, only, we look at them less often.

    Thought provoking write.

    1. Thank you :) Ah, I miss those cassettes :')

    I just played that other day :/
    Seriously so much information we truly do not need is thrown on us and as time goes we become totally dependent on these silly gadgets.


    1. I've also played! I'm Jon Snow :P

      I need a new phone too actually. But only because my battery has gone for a toss :/

  4. Ahh, laptop problems :/ that sucks!
    Seems like our whole lives are on computers now, which is pretty sad :P I was so upset when my internal laptop hardisk crashed and I lost a lot of my work and ebooks and tv shows.

    But yeah I agree, we have become too dependent upon technology.

    Omg you saw Amitabh Bachchan, cool!

    Oooh I like that quote :)

    1. I know that feeling. All my movies, photos, videos, poof! Gone. I'd literally wept :P


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