Deepa (Laji) Bhagnari – Do we communicate well now?

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When we were young students in school, we were taught to read and write. We were taught essay writing, letter writing – which was a means of communicating with our near and distant relatives or friends or even official work related letters. I remember those days vividly when we would write on a postcard a letter to my father who travelled to Calcutta many a times, which was the cheapest means of communication, as trunk calls were expensive…and of course  later when I got married and my husband Moti was in Dubai I would pen long loving letters and post them in an envelope. I still can feel the joy that I felt at that time penning those letters…as the pen moved, it just poured my feelings and emotions into words. That indeed was a different world…and I think a beautiful world..where we would wait eagerly for the reply to come..though it took days for us to receive it..but more the anticipation..more the pleasure which was derived after receiving the reply.


Then penning a letter became a thing of the past…as typewriters now replaced the very versatile pen….still it was ok as we still could put all our emotions into words. Then later typewriters became extinct and the new age computers replaced them..but here also one had to type so it was not so bad. Letters, whether personal or official were drafted and sent by email. One had to wait for a reply..and one got it after some days or just in a day depending from person to person. Still emailing is till today, I think, a good way of communication and one can pen the lengthiest of letters  in an unhurried and relaxed manner with no compromise made on emotions.


Today emailing is still a very important part of our lives but  with the new age phone apps like WhatsApp..and other chat options..texting has nearly or I should say completely taken over…Gone are the days when we wrote long meaningful letters..Now instant messaging has taken over our life..We just message our near and dear ones..our friends or acquaintance, a quick short note or sometimes just a hello or hi and  feel, well we have communicated and then expect an immediate reply..as we know the person has read it or sometimes may not reply immediately and that makes us wonder, why? Why hasn’t the person messaged back..some people go into a frenzy, some feel offended..others think ok so you have read my message and have not replied so tit for tat..I will do the same next time. But of course everyone is not the same..they have patience and feel, yes the other person has read the message and has not replied..maybe the person is busy..maybe the other person is pondering over what reply he or she should give or maybe the other person just doesn’t want to be in touch..simple as that. Sometimes hastily texted messages create misunderstandings..as you write without thinking and your words are misconstrued.


I feel this instant messaging is both a boon and bane in our lives today…it is the quickest way of communication, which is the greatest plus point..we now have personal chats, where we have formed different and innumerable groups of like-minded people..and it has become a family platform where we have families forming groups and in this way people from across the globe are now in touch with each other and have bonded together…so a real blessing.


Then comes the other aspect..we now just drop in a hello or a hi to people or just send forwards (sometimes even without reading them oneself)  And feel well I am staying in touch. Are we really? Is this sufficient to keep our bondage or our love alive?  Nothing can replace face to face communication. Maybe distance and busy schedules and circumstances have lessened this but  the charm has gone off from communication…sometimes we pen hastily made decisions  on WhatsApp and then regret it…but the deed has been done.. sometimes, leading to damaging and souring relationships..and  then we all just send across emojis showing..yes, I liked the message..even just writing a few words are not felt to be necessary. It is after all a fast forward world. Quick actions..quick results..that is the norm today..again both good and bad…messaging is now taken over even the phone..first we used to at least talk on the phone..have leisurely chats or just quick chats but at least they were personal…but now that is also very rare. Now even if a person is sick you get a message, asking hope you are ok..well what can that person say but yes I am fine..thanks a lot for your concern. If you phone that person you may feel the pain..the despair the loneliness of that person..maybe your few comforting words or some advice may help and cheer up the person..Let’s see now what new inventions will come up? I am sure they will make our lives easier but only hope they don’t create a bridge between people that is difficult to cross.


Well, inventions are always welcome..they make our life easier and richer but let us not forget that communication with each other besides an occasional hi or hello is not sufficient to keep our love and feelings alive…the heart always wants more…specially when you are older….or lonely or alone in this world. So instead of messaging, just phone a person…or meet up or visit your ailing or lonely relative and just see the happiness  that you will get from this.

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