Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Socially (dis)Connected

It was almost 3pm when my phone rang. Out of lethargy, I was not feeling like waking up from the couch to pick up the phone. However, I stood up to reach the phone which was ringing relentlessly. On the other side was one of the guys whom I was to meet in the evening over a dinner. He's from our group of five friends. We have been friends for around six years now, actually, I was introduced to the group six years ago, otherwise the others have been friends for quite long. a couple of them have been friends since they were in primary. Anyways, he told me that he won't be able to make it up in the evening. All of a sudden I woke up and the slumber went by. I was now brimming with anger. "How can you do this?" I asked him? "It was you because of whom we had to reschedule this get together for today, and again you have this excuse?" The poor guy was now on the receiving corner. For the most part of our journey, I have been the one who incubates plans, and as it happens, it is quite a task to get all the guys on one boat at one time for such get togethers. Someone or the other always gives it a miss for a trivial reasons. I told him that it's been two years since we all met and had a good time. He just couldn't see the reason to meet beyond his "important task", given the new ways our smartphones and all the social networking applications provide us to be "socially connected". Still, I wouldn't give up. I told him that whether he comes up or not, we are meeting. Even if everyone gives it a miss, I will still go there the venue, and anyone who has a change of plans can catch up with me there, and hung up the phone.

Still somewhere down the heart, I still wanted to meet all the friends together, after so much of being socially connected, far far away from our places, homes, and offices. So, I let all the guys, including this guy know about his unavailability, over the social networking app we used to get together, and along with that, I shared this cute video that I had recently stumbled upon.

Minutes passed by, some guys responded, some didn't. Three turned to Four, Four to Five, and Five to Six. I reached the place we had decided to meet at 6:30 in the evening. As usual, being the planner, I almost always reached before anyone else in the group. Usually I gave them all a call asking about their whereabouts, but today, I was disappointed, so chose not to call anyone, and just wait there for an hour, or anyone's call before leaving. It was just about five minutes that a known voice came from behind. "Abe tu ke kar riya tha?" A line we picked up from a conversation of two guys in the washroom in the hostel we overheard while two of us were there. I responded with the reply the second guy in the responded with, and ofcourse, one which I can't put here (for reasons you might have guessed by now owing to conversations of two guys in a hostel washroom). Here was the first guy (or rather the second one) of the group. And the one whom I had least expected to be there. I enquired about the phone call he made earlier in the day. He said, "Yaar, woh video dekh kar apne purane din yaad aa gaye. Let's enjoy this evening together. What about the other guys?"

He was very right, the old days, when we were still studying, and when these "Socially connecting" applications hadn't taken over the feel of the real togetherness. The days when we could just scream our hearts out for no one had any valid reason to be missing from get togethers. Then came these apps which, though connected us with the people we knew, disconnected us from our "FRIENDS"! As usual, the other three came late by around half an hour, and as a norm we had, they had to pay a fine for that.

This post has been written for Kissan's Kissanpur – Discovering Real Togetherness campaign on IndiBlogger.

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