As I go about like clockwork with the very boring but constant sequence of actions in life that calls itself routine, I hear the familiar ‘ping’ on the phone.
This should be Mother sending in her good morning message with one question that when answered will quickly be followed by a series of ten or more questions that usually revolve about the general well being of my family here and me.
This ‘ping’ could also be a message from a friend or one more to add to the endless stream of messages from the seemingly polite but consistent banking or business sectors who have shown keen interest in my welfare and prosperity.
In the days of yore, the midday cycle bell that announced the arrival of the postman was one Mother looked forward to and got us children racing one another to bring home heartfelt stories and messages transcribed in flowery handwriting that had travelled far inside sealed inlands and envelopes.
If our postman was the bearer of the dreaded telegram, he waited until the seal was opened to unveil its brief contents. He offered his condolences if the news was bad, but good news ensured a cup of tea or a sweet and a tip.
This was a time when red post boxes dotted every street. A time when we poured our heart, vented our sorrows and shared our joys and woes on paper and when securing a government job was the final destination in every job seeker’s journey.
In a shrinking world where we are under the spell of technology locking our eyes with screens rather than humans and establishing firm relationships with devices rather than people, are we tunnelling our lives into the confines of our digital caves?
Even as we embrace the ease of the technological revolution and social networking, should not we exercise prudence in its use driving home the same to the generation that will follow us? Will robots be the most valuable companions of our future when we wake up from our digitally-induced dream? Will I, like my mother, wait hours to receive a single line of hope from my busy daughter?
Another ‘ping’ and I pick up the phone and smile at Mother’s messages, quickly typing in a sweet response. I know that my answer to one of her queries will balloon into a full-fledged conversation.
But that is what makes a conversation with Mother so special.
Good Morning dear Friends, hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday. This is an extract from my publication in the ‘Off the Cuff’ section of the Gulf News. For the full article please click here.