The latest mode of communication by Deepa (Laji) Bhagnari

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What is communication basically? It is said that there are three ways to communicate..first is verbal communication, in which you listen to a person to understand their meaning…then there is written communication, in which you read their meaning and last is non-verbal communication in which you observe a person and try to understand the meaning.

Verbal communication is when two people or more meet…interact and talk to each other…sometimes laugh…or get angry and infuriated and voice it…or sometimes there are literal verbal fights…but you have the freedom to express yourself…but that is only possible when people meet…now with this pandemic on, there are lesser meetings…so no laughter…no arguments…no animated conversations…you can say the famous Sholay film dialogue here .”Itna Sanaata kyun hai Bhai”?  Really a sad time for everyone.  But what can one do?  We all have to be patient to meet and again have our moments of pleasure…this pandemic has taught us how important meeting your loved ones and friends is…because we humans need social contact. We love to interact.

Now let’s talk about our past…the beautiful days gone by…when at school we were taught to write our first alphabets and from there we progressed to writing essays and answers to questions. I remember what it is to put pen to paper…in fact I was always appreciated by all my teachers for my handwriting…and I am sure during my exams I scored some extra points just for my neat and legible writing.😊…but today it is just the reverse…I just can’t write…my handwriting has gone from bad to worse…well not that I wanted it to be that way but as they say practice makes perfection…where do people write nowadays…everyone is just tapping the keyboards on their computers…laptops…iPads and mobiles. Sad but true…

When I got engaged to Moti…he was settled in Dubai…so after our engagement he would write lovely romantic letters to me every week…which I would eagerly wait for…well we were young and romance is always an integral part of our lives at that age…then after I got married I too went to Dubai where I eagerly waited for my mom’s and my mother in law’s letters updating me all about our beloved families and giving us all the colony news…during those days very few had their own post boxes so we would collect so many people’s letters from our P. O. Box every week and then since my house was centrally located I was never short of people coming on the pretext of collecting their letters…killing time having chai and some snacks and sometimes staying over for dinner too.😃. Well those times were different when there was so much apna-pan that you welcomed everyone with a smile and a warm hug…now we rarely visit people uninvited…people are same but lifestyles have changed with growing families and responsibilities…I guess that is the case everywhere…but really miss the warmth of those days. So, in a way we all communicated through letters as we trunk-called our near and dear ones on special occasions only…but I think those handwritten letters were our lifeline. In fact I still have preserved so many letters of those years gone by and when I read them I always have a smile on my lips and tears in my eyes. I realise now that penned words show more depth of feelings and emotions than a type-written message. Strange but true!!

Besides letters I would read a lot…novels…magazines….journals…as I loved reading…it would take me to another land where I used to be so embroiled in the make believe world of books that I actually felt I was a part of them…and at that time they were all painstakingly handwritten by all the famous authors…isn’t that fascinating…it was their hard labour of love for writing which brought characters to life for us ..no wonder the books of yore were so earnest and appealing to the readers.  Then of course they were sent for printing and publishing. So written words made such an impact in our lives.

Today the scenario is completely changed…writing is a thing of the past…well students do write but even now all that will be gradually replaced by just tapping away on the laptops. Now you send a message via WhatsApp…Facebook…Instagram, etc. and usually you get answers via emojis…either hearts…thumbs-up signs…Namaste signs…GIFs or sometimes you know the message has been read by two blue tick marks…which now you know one can avoid even that. Where is the warmth and emotion in these emojis? They have no soul…it’s absolutely baseless…but we still all like a herd mentality do it…you feel – well the opposite party shows no response so well I too will just pass on a heart emoji showing my appreciation…and sometimes even without reading the message. So communication is becoming lesser and lesser .But I think this tough time where the entire humanity is facing this catastrophe and has come to a standstill has taught us a grave lesson…that how much we love our near and dear ones and our friends and colleagues…how we are all longing to be in touch with each other…to see each other and verbally communicate. I hope that this should also make us realise that instead of wishing someone on their birthdays by sending messages, is not sufficient…one can just pick up the phone and call that person and see the happiness you give that person…as they say nothing can replace just a few words of love and appreciation…not a zillion emojis. So next time just let us all do it…Life is too short…let us leave behind beautiful memories and on the pathway of our life collect beautiful memories.

But alas I always used to love the saying “The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword”.  I wonder if that holds true now…as the pen is replaced by the keyboard. Not that progress is not welcomed but nostalgia of the old always makes you sad…but then one has to move forwards and as they say the old giveth way to the new…so be it. 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent writing Laji. Brings back flood of memories on letters written, received and the thrill of receiving letters and waiting to be received ..
    The frustration on dialing on the rotary phone to get through to talk home and not be able to get through …

  2. Really ,I too feel that these days the personal touch is lacking while communicating. Sending messages via what’s app ,fb does not have the touch of warmth and emotions,as you have stated.
    Agree with you .
    It’s time we get back to communicating with means that keep the human touch alive.
    It is so heartening to talk to a friend /relative on phone.
    Lovely write up. Made me reflect and rethink .

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