Growing Up In Information Age

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–Courtesy Prakash Hegde

WhatsApp has become so much a part of our lives that there is hardly an urban Indian who is not only on the app but also on one or several groups of the messaging service.

Some find WhatsApp a big nuisance with lengthy forwards and data-consuming videos  flowing into the phone every day to consume disk space. Some think checking the phone for posts too frequently takes so much time that it becomes the biggest negative factor affecting productivity.

On the other hand information (often fake news and rumours too) is passed on so quickly and freely that it is fast becoming a major and first source of news. A murder takes place is Ramnagar square of Nagpur, a former Nagpurian staying in Rajasthan gets photos and videos from a friend and forwards them to others – similarly connected to Nagpur– in a country thousands of miles away. He in turn sends them to a relative living near Ramnagar square, seeking some information about the event.

Though almost next-door, the recipient learns of the murder only from the WhatsApp post – from thousands of miles away! A ‘new arrival’ in the family used to be known to others weeks later, after formal letters are written. Now minutes later, you not only get the news but see a picture – or even a video – of the child.

Sometime fake information is also circulated. (See post of January 19 on this blog: ‘Great News, Is It True?)

Some beautiful pieces of writing are sent to you and you are left wondering who wrote them, as only the name (or just the phone number) of the person forwarding appears at the top, with no indication if it was lifted from some book or just a post ‘forwarded as received’. Does the Copyright law apply to such posts? One does not know till some case comes up in court.

Some posts are so well-written – and so obviously not written by the person sending it – that you keep asking:
“Do you know who wrote this?” You get an instant reply” “Don’t know…It is beautiful. so I forwarded it.” Many haunting poems of Gulzar and Harbans Rai Bachhan cam to me this way, so I could mail them to myself and preserve them.

Reproduced here is one such post, received again and again over the months:-

Somewhere between “Crying loudly to seek attention”
and “Crying silently to avoid attention”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Katti!!” and “Blocked”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Believing in happy endings” and “Accepting the reality”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“stealing eclairs of your sis” and “Bringing Silk for her”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Just five more mins Mom” and “Pressing the snooze button”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Broken Pencils” and
“Broken Hearts”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Crying out loud just to get what we want” and
“Holding our tears when we are broken inside”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“We are Best Friends Forever” and “Knowing that nothing truly lasts”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“I want to grow up” and
“I want to be a child again”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Lets meet and plan” and
“Lets plan and meet”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Eagerly waiting” and
“Forever waiting”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Parents fulfilling our wish” and
“We fulfilling our parent’s dream”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“ 7 pani puris for 1 rupee” and
“1 pani puri for 7 rupees”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Ground mai aaja” and
“Online aaja”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Craving for pizza” and
“Craving for home food”,
we grew up!!

Somewhere between
“Waking up at 6 am” and
“Sleeping at 6 am”,
we grew up!!

And as we grew up, we realized how, silently but irretrievably, our lives have changed…!! 🐼

IF YOU (REALLY) KNOW WHO WROTE IT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
May be several thousands who got it would like to know too.

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