Abutani’s Speaking Tree

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging ]

‘Son Takang and daughter Yapi; how are you both? How is life on mother earth?’ Abu Tani asked his children.
‘Abu, life is good. We have good houses, vehicles, TVs, schools, and even hospitals to treat diseases’, Takang replied.
‘Abu, we have good clothes to wear, beauty parlours to make up and bazaars to go shopping’, Yapi replied.
‘I am happy for you both, but how about quality of life? Is your life on earth peaceful and contented?’ Abu Tani asked.
‘Hmmm…Abu, we are so busy with our jobs that we do not get adequate time with family members. We are laughing less and getting angry more’, Takang said and continued, ‘When we are not in office, we are either at a traffic jam or busy with mobiles and computers…it seems everyone is in a rush, irritable, short tempered and foul mouthed’.
‘Abu…everyone is so busy with mobiles, computers, internet and TV that there is no time for each other. Even when we are sitting together, every member of the family is busy with mobiles, busy with Whatsapp, Facebook or playing games…no one talks to one another; even my husband rarely talks to me!’ Yapi complained.
‘And since we hardly talk to each other, there is a communication gap between all members. Parents misunderstand children, brothers misunderstand sisters, husbands do not understand wives and grandparents do not understand anyone…’ Yapi continued.
‘See children, gadgets and appliances are meant to increase your efficiency so that you can spare some quality time with near and dear ones. Computers are supposed to make work easier and faster, thus, affording more time for other works. Internet is meant to get accurate data instantly instead of searching for hours. Mobiles are supposed to give instant connectivity; it is humans that have started exploiting these gadgets in the wrong ways’, Abu Tani said.
‘Children, earlier your parents and grandparents lived in simple kutcha houses which had no locks; hardly any clothes to wear, no TVs, mobiles and computers; yet they were happy and content. They ate what they grew; to reach places they walked or ran; they spent more time with family members and were happy and peaceful’ Abu Tani continued.
‘Happiness and peace is not dictated by gadgets, appliances, equipment and modernity. Happiness and peace are a state of mind and under one’s own control. Mobiles cannot give you happiness, and if used for long durations, it can give you harmful radiations. Computers cannot give you peace of mind; prolonged use may spoil your eye sight, etc!’
‘Oh! Children, decide for yourself what kind of life do you want -a busy, well connected, well informed but hectic, unhealthy and chaotic life, or a slower, efficient, healthy, peaceful and content life’, Abu Tani said.
‘You are right Abu! We will change our lifestyles to be more happy and content’, replied Takang and Yapi in a chorus. (The writer is a retired Group Captain of the Indian Air Force)