“Ma there is something I would like to talk to you about.”
“Yes, sure do tell me what you want I’m all ears.”
I wish it was that easy to confide everything in you Ma, blurted out that irksome inner voice hovering around in the back of my head but it’s true. Yes mother it’s true. I wish I could speak my woeful heart out to you. I wish I could so articulately confide in you the darkness that has inundated every nook and corner of my once blazing consciousness like the moon eclipsing the earth, completely engulfing the vivifying earth, brimming with life, in its dark, callous shadow. How do I confide in you those misty castles of my colourful dreams fortified during the dazzling dawn of my existence seem to be debilitating, withering away in the sirocco of oblivion.
“Ma I feel like I am loosing myself. Do you remember those days when I had big goals and ambitions, when I used to talk about achieving something colossal, something that would sweep the world of its feet? Ma I don’t feel so anymore. I feel like I am being rendered numb, transfixed by some vicious force, I feel like I’m drowning in a dark eternal abyss of despair. I want to put an end to this feeling but I don’t know what to do”
“Oh! Enough of this preposterously dreamy explanation of your ‘deplorable’ condition.” Said an extremely infuriated Ma, her voice rising on several octaves,” As if I am going to feel sorry for you even for a slightest bit. You are solely responsible for the condition that you are in and most importantly do you have time to spare on introspecting on where your life is going because i see you immersed in your phone. I see you constantly watching those unnecessary, vacuous videos on YouTube, scrolling through face book and instagram posting the most irrelevant things you can possibly find. You seem so busy in living that virtual life why are you even trying to contemplate on the reality?” I felt my mother’s word like the sarcastic ravaging shower of arrows piercing through my heart, making it bleed more than it already is but I can’t deny the raw and bitter truth in her words. Indeed I feel imprisoned, I feel poignantly clutched, strangulated by the very jaws of the virtual life which had seemed like an elixir to me, a euphoric means of escape from the dull, bland reality.
“Ma I do realise the truth in your words. I do realise my transgression. This is the reason why I guilt gnawing at me. But Ma I tried. I desperately tried to shun the virtual life as you say but I could never succeed. I could successfully stay away from my phone for a day or two but in the long run my addiction for the phone always triumphs over me. I am unable to resist the momentary pleasure from it, the momentary escape from the dull reality of my life but then I am dashed down to the same reality and the realisation comes crashing down upon me that I’ve wasted my precious time which could have been used to achieve a milestone towards my goal. I feel helpless, deplorable. I don’t want it yet can’t get myself to get rid of it. How to put an end to this dilemma”
“Well it is a serious problem indeed” said Ma with a sigh. “I remember those days when you had been a voracious reader. Books had been your best friend but now that malevolent phone seems to have ruined you. I need to figure something out. By the way have you packed your stuff, if you haven’t then do it now, we will be leaving early in the morning tomorrow” Oh dear! How could I have forgotten about the trip to Sonapur village to visit grandma and grandpa? We’ll be having a family get together. All of my relatives, my cousins will be there too. I better start packing.
Sonapur village is indeed nature’s paradise. I can’t wait to be there. I’ll click numerous pictures and post them on Facebook and Instagram. Oh I can’t wait to make Tik Tok videos in the lap of nature! I felt giddy at the very thought but should I?
Time flies indeed and so did last night. Here I am now comfortably seated at the backseat of the car with my aunt and my uncle, my mother at the passenger seat and my father behind the wheel. Even under the tyranny of sleep i couldn’t ignore the excited anticipation bubbling in me. I would get to meet my grandparents after ages, oh how dearly I have missed them! I can’t wait to be in the enormous garden filled with colourful flowers. I can already imagine myself lying down on the smooth grassy earth with my earphones plugged in, a soothing relaxing music inundating every nerve and fibre of my body and relaxing without a care in the world. I’ll click numerous photos of the beautiful village and post them on social media. Might as well start clicking pictures of the aesthetic road that’s taking us there. My hands are itching to grab the phone.
“Ma do you know where is my phone?”
“How am I supposed to know where your phone is?”
“Of course Ma only you are supposed to know where my phone is as it was you who used it to make a call to grandma probably just a couple of minutes before leaving” I said, my voice coming of more as a whine than an accusation, trying to muster as much politeness as I possibly could in order to cling on to the reputation of the docile, obedient, good girl in front of my aunt and uncle who were watching me in a scrutinizing gaze. “Don’t worry child.” I heard the saccharine tone of my aunt “She must have kept your phone in one of the bags, she must have forgotten about it don’t panic child enjoy the view outside” How solacing aunt!
“Have you already forgotten about the conversation we had yesterday” came out the bellowing voice of Ma “Don’t worry about her Didi Staying without the phone might knock some senses in her” My mother and her word blows always manage to knock me out, seal my mouth shut. I had no other option but to abide by the words of my mother and aunt. Staring out of the window, my mind started brewing up all sorts of unsettling thoughts creating a ripple of restlessness and anxiety in me. What if I never get to see my phone again? What if it is lost, stolen? Surely Ma can’t be so irresponsible as to lose it can she? She surely won’t be buying me another phone, she has never been too glad about me clinging on to my phone like the very source of life. Of course she would want to get rid of it. But I should be happy and glad about it too, my phone is the crux of all my miseries but the very thought of being away from the phone seems to be plunging me in a new pit of darkness. I found these anxiety inducing thoughts callously assailing me. I felt my whole being quiver with restlessness and the inability to voice my restlessness seemed to add fuel to my already burning agony. I had no other option but to seek refuge in my only path of escape. I dozed off.
“Wake up child we are here already”
My eyes fluttered open to that distant voice but the sublime beauty of the sight that greeted my eyes had rendered me dumbstruck with awe and wonder. I saw vast fields of endless sublime verdure, the mist in the air seem to veil its beauty accentuating its already exalted beauty. I wish I had my camera with me, I would beautifully capture this unparalleled aesthetic beauty. You don’t need a camera silly! Came out the chastising voice of my inner self, all you need to do is behold this grandeur of nature’s beauty and capture it in your heart. I ran neat the fields brimming with greenery, a mystical vivacity. I felt overwhelmed with an ineffable emotion. I felt so after ages.
“You will have a lot of time to stare at the fields let’s go inside now and meet grandma and everyone else.” The voice of my father broke my blissful reverie.
“yes I cant wait to see them”
On going inside, we were greeted by the sounds of carefree chattering and laughter. I could see my grandma talking to one of my aunts. I could also see my cousins laughing and carelessly chatting with each other. I could my uncles’ rumbling laughter. This commotion this cacophony of laughter and chattering filled me with excitement. Everything around me seems so vivacious, so colourful so full of life. ‘Grandma’ I screamed chirpily and ran towards her and hug her like there is no tomorrow “oh I missed you so much dear!” said my grandmother hugging me tightly. The next few hours flew by laughing and chatting with all my relatives. I felt exhilarated throughout. The shade of twilight seemed to be promulgating in the entire sky casting a gloomy shadow all around but still ambience seemed to be brimming with life. I could not help but voice out my overpowering urge to go out.
“Grandma I want to go out for a walk.”
“Alright dear but don’t go too far and do come back before it’s too dark.”
I didn’t waste a single moment. I ran to the dirt track leading to the house. I felt the intoxicating smell of the earth hit my nostrils sending waves of euphoria throughout my body. I felt as if the air around me rejoiced too dancing gleefully around me. I ran towards the green fields. I felt the sneaky grasses tickling the bare skin of my feet. I didn’t want this ineffable gaiety in me to ebb away. The twilight around me seemed to make me e forget about the twilight in my life. I ran around the field laughing and giggling to myself. The very reality which had seemed so bland, so colourless, the very reality from which I had sought an escape reinvigorated me with the new wave exhilaration and ecstasy. The virtual world which was supposed to be my escape had imprisoned me in its jaws of despair and helplessness. I felt the soft breeze sneakily tickling, lovingly caressing my face. I could see every being quivering with life. At that very moment I felt something I had not felt in so long. I felt alive. I don’t know whether I will be able to break free from the jaws of my Smartphone addiction but I know one thing, I never wanted this feeling, the sublime ecstasy to end. I never wanted to go back to that cage which renders me lifeless with its facade of superficial pleasure. Everything seemed to be falling in the right places. At that moment my only thought was the desire to immerse myself in the myriad colours of the ebullient real world.
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