Sunday, May 17, 2009

Touch

I have lost friends, some by death, others through sheer inability to cross the street.
--Virginia Woolf
One cannot stop gaping at how technology has changed our lives, and wondering what it will bring on next. Yeah yeah, we all know we can chat with people sitting half-way around the world, voice chat with them in fact, with video as a matter of fact, while reading their blogs and looking at their picasa web albums, and all this using a phone perhaps. And facebook and youtube and twitter. And a lot more. Add to it the fact that today's World Telecom Day (Purely a coincidence, believe me), I'm sure this is what you've been reading in the newspaper, and news feeds all day long. So easy to stay in touch with friends, from the comforts of your room. Staying in touch...


By the way, when was the last time you actually talked to these people? And I mean talk, not chat (which at one time meant the same thing). Face-to-face. An actual, real conversation. Or saw them, and I mean not on a computer screen. Or looked at their pics, held in your hands. Gave, or received, a gift, brought by a mailman. Or a greeting card, in a colored envelope. Or a letter, in their handwriting, on a piece of paper. When was the last time you actually touched a person?

Now don't slam the typical shut-up-you-oldy-it's-the-21st-century stuff on me. You very well know what I am talking about. Technology may be a boon for those miles away from their loved ones, but has it not sent the loved ones closer home, miles away. Call me old-fashioned, but I am not chatting with you on G-Talk if you're sitting in the next room. I am not sending you an egreeting if I can walk a little and knock on your door at the midnight hour. Or send a card, the paper-type. Or a gift. Which will stay with you forever, or atleast for some time, and about which you'll know took me more than thirty seconds to send. Which you won't delete at that very moment. Which you can always see, and touch. Which will always bring back memories, of that birthday, and of me.


Am I the only one nostalgic about the touch we've lost? Don't you miss meeting friends. The Partying. The mailman. The letterpad. The handshake. The birthday card. The fountain pen. The Touch.

It's cool for friends far apart to stay in touch this way. But when you're close enough, you only lose touch by pinging, scrapping or writing on my wall. No donut for you.

Peace...

14 comments:

Sumeet said...

Well written. :)

Palkush Rai Chawla said...

Instead of blogging this, you could have shared this the-old-fashioned way as well, maybe on a stage? Remember the school assembly ground? You hypocrite :P

Varun said...

Like all the great things in life, this post is early for its time. You may touch an occasional nerve or two, but most of the people we know are too complacent to know the true worth of a memorabilia. My judgment may be biased (I'm accused quite often to be old-fashioned), but what I believe is that nothing can replace the touch of the trembling fingers or the sweet smell of an envelope from a loved one. I do miss the good ol' days

kpowerinfinity said...

Interestingly, I think this happens when our online conversations reach a saturation, and we crave for the real world. I think all of us need to strike a balance between the real and the virtual -- the virtual helps us escape, to connect, to be always on, but the real is, ah well, real!

Nil said...

Quite true.I still remember the days when I used to send postcards to my friends when my dad got transferred and then they would reply.Even though it was time consuming, we eagerly waited for the letters to come. Sometimes the girls would send friendship bands over "sweet" letters. It was perfect. Now i miss the Slovenian chick all the more :(

Mainak said...

Thought provoking indeed. Must read for engineering students all over India (in particular IITians?)

Napster_NXG said...

Well very aptly summarized .... Touch is what well all are lounging for every second.. you may talk to your parents on cell for hours but that one sec when you hold them surpasses all the E things in this world. I have been fortuanate to have met so many people in personal whom I know electronically .But one last line ... Derz No alternetive to a Jadoo Ki Jhappi

Samar R P said...

Gimme your address...i'll send u a post card.

Samar R P said...

@ Varun My GOD!!! you are old fashioned.

ashutosh@iitkgp said...

very well written yar -:)... i think we all miss the touch..the feeling behind it..

xenon said...

Ah! I love this post.

And the "touch" feeling becomes more intense when you, like me, are in a totally different city, miles away from your people.

Well summarized post! :)

NV said...

The beauty of this article lies in the fact that it has been put on a blog. I miss the touch....

Anonymous said...

Besides those two dickheads, Palkush and Samar, everyone agrees. The touch shouldn't get lost.

Samar R P said...

and beside the Anonymous dickhead whos anonymous balls are and will remain minuscule... everyone has written their name.