Heraclitus, the Ancient Greek philosopher, got it right all those centuries ago – when he said “The only constant is change.” Everything changes – the physical, the chemical, the metaphysical and even the intangible. Weather changes and so does climate. Physical features change – of the landscape – hiking up a plateau and depressing a mountain, adding or receding of the shoreline, etc – of the body – going out of shape, coming in shape and everything in between, balding, wrinkling and crinkling as we age and so on. Chemical makeup changes – we have a bit of acid in the rain now. 🙂 Most important, our thoughts change, our ideas change and our perceptions change.
All this preamble is for those who have read my previous article on the past and would wonder when they read the current one. Thinking about the past always made me nostalgic until I really started thinking – was it really so great as I projected it in my thoughts or was I giving it too many pink overtones? I wonder and thought of looking at it objectively.
Isn’t life definitely more convenient now that we have the electronic conveniences of mobile phones? Anybody is just a phone call or text away – imagine the waiting period in the earlier days to receive a letter. The evolution of the mobile phone from a clunky, expensive contraption to a sleek affordable handy device is a boon to millions. Hasn’t it singlehandedly brought the world closer just by its sheer convenience and ability of having multiple devices rolled into it? It has the camera, the search engines, social media and much more.
The bigger siblings of the mobile phone, the tablets and the laptops, have literally opened up the world for us. they have brought the theaters and the libraries, the bulky accounting books and the whiteboard and so much more onto our laps. No coding, no rocket science to power it on and get engrossed in – it totally captivates anyone whether it is a toddler or a senior citizen.
The television screens and the plethora of viewer options – there is just no way that we can even remotely compare the fare available to the Doordarshan channels that we watched as kids. From being larger than life to being available as a mobile subscription, the options are just mind boggling.
Where do I even start when I touch upon transport? I remember the train journeys of my childhood in steam engine pulled trains. We would have a fine layer of soot when we disembarked a day or two later. Flights were a distant dream and only for the privileged. Which is definitely not the case now. Two-wheelers and four-wheelers choices were limited – here a Bajaj Chetak and there a Yezdi, an Ambassador here or a Fiat there. Now, we don’t even need to own a vehicle with the options of cab hiring, ride sharing or self driving.
Progress has literally stepped into every domain of life – from the kitchen to the laundry, the work to the commute, from communication to space and so on. It reminds me of an essay during my school days titled “Science is a good servant but a bad master.” If only we could use our thinking capacity and make this progress actually work for us, how much more blessed would we be? If we realized that too much of a good thing is definitely not good and restrained ourself from bingeing? It is also not being a slave to our conveniences and the devices that makes us free. The times when we don’t have the compulsion to constantly check our phones, the times when we don’t tumble into full-panic mode when the washing machine breaks down or the times when we can find alternate activities like board games and a hardback when the power conks off taking the television with it are the times when we are the masters. It is at times like this that I can safely say that this is definitely the best time to live in. 🙂