Thursday, June 5, 2014

Is it all so pointless ???

My high school classmates have been interacting over a whatsapp group, which I avoided joining initially... till I got nostalgic due to a IIIrd std group snap. As a group we looked cutely awkward, and I got tempted to join everybody.

Interestingly, these are a bunch of adults, with spouses and children, (and bosses too), busy chatting in the group almost 24X7, or as they say 24X6 (because sunday is the day when most of them are supposed to be in the service of their spouses). Like usual Indian high/ higher secondary classes (and friendships), these connections are generally non-complicated types. (There were only few romantic pairs, and break-ups were especially hard on boys ... but thats another story). 
All of it is present here… affectionate chiding, friendly bickering, keeping a track of each other's lives and locations, discussions (at times heated) over current affairs (usually political) and flirting (amidst rising concerns & eyebrows) !
But within 2 days of being in this group, reading hundreds of messages exchanged per day, and contributing a few myself, I'm getting a nagging feeling about the epidemic scale of meaninglessness in modern life.
My classmates/friends are prototypically upwardly-mobile, educated middle class Indians, spread across the globe, mostly working outside, and a few homemakers. I don't know much about their lives personally, individually. Except those few who candidly shared with me their pain and emptiness. These friendly exchanges might be their primary distraction on a daily basis, bringing smile to their dreary lives. Who knows, probably all of them have it ... why engage in such online interactions when you can do something else. I know some of their spouses too are busy with their own whatsapp group, or TV. This much for intimacy!
Closer home, my work place also seems to be burdened by mundane issues and trivial conversations. Just for a little bit of intellectual stimulation I go online, and for some authentic conversations we try to reach out to our psychotherapist circle (suddenly acknowledging that we lived in an utopian world as trainees ... that level of conversation which we took for granted then, is actually rare).

Somewhere today I read about the importance of having a non-demanding adult in the life of a child, someone who doesn't even need demands to be made. Such a presence creates an inner space leading to exploration and creativity. How true it is... I have experienced it, not only we are burdened by other's demands, but also about their requirements for us to be demanding. So many times loved ones feel invisible, invalidated, rejected, unless we place demands over them.

My personal distress arises from the fact that I do not fit into these frames fully. I am far away from the other shore, but somewhere sometime I did leave this one... so now it is a daily struggle just to keep afloat. I wept as I tried to give words to this feeling ... I love my work and find it meaningful. But I'm acutely aware that no matter what I do actually, and how I conceptualize things mentally, it will all be an attempt to construct meaning in life. I doesn't dismiss its usefulness, but is it the full story ? No! doesn't seem to be so... for I yearn for another transcendental meaning.
Even to survive on a daily basis I need a constant series of miracles and its after glow... miracles need not happen just to me, but I want to see it around me, in this world, to make me feel it is worth living this life, on this planet, in this solar system, in this galaxy....
Otherwise the earth has been whirling-moving, seemingly senselessly, since ages... and we are just passing specks of dust on the windshield of this spaceship... it is audacious to say 'rahne do he dev yeh mera mar mitne ka adikar ...' but it gives back some agency, if not in birth, then at least in death!!!

(PS: I left the group... my ever present existential crisis was worsening)


  1. You are no exception! I have been in and out of many such Whatsapp groups, and have currently been watching with amusement a new group of my college batch (30 years ago!) suddenly explode on my phone.
    I think all the social networking platforms ought to be named "superficial networking platforms", because that is all that one does on these networks. There is the initial euphoria of connecting with old pals, then a disillusionment about "what do I talk to them about? I have come so far away!" Then with college groups, there is the usual sharing of old photographs and funny memories.....
    And then, inexorably as they seem, come the usual meaningless shares. Photos of sunrise and sunset (to accompany gm and gn messages), photos of birds, squirrels, flowers, mountains, deserts, polar bears....ANY damn good-looking photos. Then come the silly quotes, even sillier puzzles, and completely nonsensical jokes. That's when one decides to leave the group.

  2. Lol! you have summarized it very well.
    These technologies seems to be doing both, bringing people together and taking them apart ... making everyone equidistant ??? ;) Na kahu se (deep) dosti, na kahu se bair (or long distance)!!!
    Personally I notice, only those groups work, where people are already close emotionally, and distant geographically. If they are not close emotionally to start with, then it leads to superficiality. And if they are close, both emotionally and geographically, then it paradoxically increases their mind-space!!!

  3. I never leave these groups - I just distance myself. I think that it is rude to leave and so I remain - now and then wishing a birthday or congratulating on some achievement. I delete the messages without a second glance but somewhere deep down I know that I share or rather shared a part of my life with them. I remain inspite of being absent.