Posted by Aayush Sharma
6:02 PM, Bangalore
I am on holiday, which means that I get to stay at home all day by myself while my wife goes to work. With my parents being out of town, I have no one to spend time with but myself, which as you will see, is annoying.
Being alone led me to being pensive. A recent event (Read here: My experience with Royal Enfield) fueled my thoughts further and I've come to realize that the olden days were better. This new day and age, with life blitzing along at a thousand miles per hour, puts into perspective, how much better life used to be.
Take shopping for instance. In case you managed to read the article posted above, you will see that new-age retail has successfully replaced and at the same time destroyed the art of buying and selling. In years past, a shop-keeper welcomed you into his store and tried his best to ensure that you had a pleasant and happy shopping experience. A Bata dealer would try his hardest to dissuade you from visiting Lakhani. He would offer you tea or cool drinks. He would show you more footwear than you cared for. He would smile.
Today, you walk into a MEGA shopping mall, walk about aimlessly to the tune of weird music, a genre which can best be described as mall-music, pick up the items you need and go home. Is it functional? Yes. Is it fun? Certainly not.
The reason behind all this is simple. Earlier, a shop-keeper and his employees' wages depended on sales. Which meant that each customer was important to them. Now, a salesman could care two hoots about you, since he is assured his pay packet at the end of the month. With regard to incident with Royal Enfield, this is very true.
All is not lost though. The charm of shopping still lives on, albeit only in a few pockets on the country. Karol Bagh in New Delhi for instance, where I had the absolute pleasure of doing my wedding shopping (yes, I am a guy and I said that). We were welcomed to every store with open arms and smile. By the end of the day, we were tired but very very happy! I could have possibly purchased most of the same stuff in a mall, without having to go from store to store, in air-conditioned style. Would it have left me with wonderful memories though? I doubt it.
This trend has crept into other facets of life as well. The small things which used to bring so much pleasure have been replaced by efficient, practical and mind-numbingly boring things. Television, for instance. The old days, we used to wait for the "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast" song from the film Mohra to show up on the telly on a weekly songs countdown program so that we could turn up the sound and dance along with Akshay Kumar and Raveena Tandon. Now, a new song comes along and you hear it so many times in a day that if the song is released in the morning, you hate it by evening. Will that song go on to become a classic? Never.
Communication has reached an offensive stage where you are reachable in seconds no matter where you go. I yearn for the days before the cell phone and email was invented, so I could use a rotary style phone to call people, after 11PM to save on STD charges and enjoy it, rather than be able to call them up at any given moment. Again, is it convenient? Yes. Fun? NO.
I am reminded of a line from the film The Shawshank Redemption, where a man released after 50 years in prison, upon laying eyes on the world outside says: "Seems to me the world went and got itself into one big hurry" or something like that and it rings so true.
I wish the world would slow down. I'm 26 and I have too many worries. I need to buy a house. Start a family. Move up in my job. Earn more so I can spend more time and money in a mall. The list goes on. I want it all to go away. I want my peace. I looked up at the sky today and it was a wonderful, deep shade of blue, a color I had never seen it be before. I want more time to experience these little beauties of the world.
I sometimes do wish I had been born in the different time. A time when people traveled far and slow. A time when we had time for ourselves and for others. A time long gone.
See, I told you it would be annoying.