Packets!

The light isn’t flashy. It doesn’t blink either. Nor does it light up the darkness. Literally and figuratively; you can take my word for it. Unless you opt to turn on the flashlight. Which you would invariably do when looking for something under your bed or the settee or inside the bonnet, and not in many places else. But there’s no escaping it. Not a chance. For it contains those precious packets of potion to get your life going. But of course, I’m talking about your dear old latest smartphone, silly!

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The Internet is that potion which you, I and all the denizens of this goddamn planet have crowded under a giant tap to drink greedily from. And the very same potion is now available right by your bedside, in packets. Those little colorful apps without which your life refuses to budge. Right from the word go, right from daybreak! Apps to get you out of bed, to help you exercise, to monitor your pulse, to give you company while you take a dump, to jerk off on, to fix a better meal and snack than yesterday, to give you the headlines of the day, to get you to your office as quickly as possible, to remind you to pick up that gift for the family friend on your way  home, to play a flick you could never catch at the movies, to tell you which cinema is playing the latest blockbuster, to relive memories, and among many other Man Friday roles, to even help you drift off to sleep! And did I mention, to communicate with people? Man Friday is a misnomer, man. Man, woman, and the entire cosmos Sunday through Saturday!

A life in the mercy of those little square packets beckoning you from behind that glossy screen, sitting smugly in the reassuring illumination of the backlight. Which is effectively turning into one measurable in packets.  One hour of ‘me time’, measured praises, contained laughter, love separated from marriage, politically correct humility. Random occurrences but connected by packets. Little ones that lead you to believe  you’re leading a sane life.

Technology does inspire metaphors, sure! And these don’t come in packets, do they?

-Metafore

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Happy, but lucky?

What is it like when you feel exhilarated, but the world around you goes about in blissful oblivion? Remember the bowler who sent the stumps flying, only to realize she had stepped over the crease? No madam, I’m not once questioning the validity of your excitement. If anything, the crease is probably an accomplice in conspiracy. No, I meant the feeling of having to swallow your pride along with all that booze, after your invitees do a no-show at your party. The world just doesn’t give a damn about you, does it?

Just in case you thought this little essay is about the virtue of being happy for others, it is not. Of course, one needs to be happy, all the time! If you are of the multitasking kind, as most of us are, you make space for happiness for others while stealing those moments of glee for yourself. Happiness here being, a state of being! It’s more about, shall we say, people syncing to your state of exuberance.

‘But how can you expect that? The world isn’t programmed that way!’ would probably be a standard response. Sure, they got the keyword right. Programmed. Imagine a charade at work where you go about giving hi-fives and back-slaps to every second chap you bumped into. (And please, can we keep Karan Johar out of this?) An observer of slightly higher refinement would whisper to their friend, ‘she must have smoked up some real good shit’ or ‘this is what comes of smoking cheap weed’. The masses would probably mutter among themselves, ‘bhai, bachke rehna usse! She is probably putting on an act’! Bad programming, maybe.

How is it then, that we end up talking zestfully to some people, keeping up with their demeanor? One would think we have a great party coming up, that our lives are a bouquet of pleasant surprises, and that we are perhaps well endowed. They may well be forgiven for assuming that we belong to similar worlds. How lucky! Step back a little and you’ll see that the people whose bearing we match will likely have many such circles of friends or connections. Positive vibes they give, we would like to attribute. Heck, they don’t even need a cause to celebrate. It is they who should be high on something.

So, the next time you got that award at work, or picked up a sexy new car, or even got your book published, make sure some serious overhaul of your facial expression precedes that event. But who’s to say when something big will come your way?