By Vinati Bhola:
I have often wondered how Albert Einstein could predict the future and also sense the glum reality prevailing in today’s epoch, so well, in one of his very famous quotes, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” It is peculiar. Isn’t it? Not only because there is a lot of substance in the statement but also because it was said by a great physicist, who had, by way of ideas and innovations, immensely aided the technological advancement all over the world.
I may seem typical while diverting your mind to the nth ways in which we are dependent on technology. However, this is something which cannot be ignored under any circumstances. Every way which leads us through a tunnel of scientific advancement also makes us step into a labyrinth of superficial lives and relations. A life where every man is for himself, where materialistic strings are deeply attached to the emotion of love and where if the world crashes upon you, there might not be a single person to shield you, selflessly. This is the kind of life we are walking on.
A couple of days back; I attended a live concert of Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas in New Delhi. While writing on this current topic, I’m reminded of an extremely beautiful composition sung by him, titled ‘Ikisvi Sadi’. The composer with a combination of words, poignantly portrayed four scenarios and traced the progression of life, from simple to complex and in the process, things which were dear to us and which we have lost. Yes, it is true that the world has progressed from the days of riding bicycles to driving luxury cars, from living in mud homes to exquisite residences, from writing letters in black and white to writing emails or Whatsapp messages and so on. But it is also true that to achieve all this we had to give up peace of mind, weaken strong family bonds, and turn our back to sweet gestures of neighbours and memorable interactions with friends. Because yes, one often misses the ethereal smell of old yellowed letters, narrating a small chapter or even a snippet of life shared with a loved one. One often misses the times when there was pure laughter and joy echoing the warmth of relations and when on a family dinner we did not keep ourselves busy with mobile phones and texting.
Very recently, Google officially launched a new technology as Google Glass. It is a wearable computer which works as per the voice commands. No doubt it is a commendable innovation and shall reach new dimensions in the scientific field. One may also say that this would enhance the sharing experience as the person with whom you want to share could look through your eyes. But isn’t the main purpose of sharing imbued in the reaction and that surprised look of your loved one? Perhaps, this is the next thing which we’d have to give up while walking on the road of technological progress.
Through this article, I’m not trying to portray that modern technology is evil and that we should cut-off our dependency as much as possible. Instead we should be smart enough to draw an overt line between science and human life and admire the beauty and simplicity of the latter.
So go out and take a stroll, listen to the song which was once you’re favourite, walk barefoot on the grass and feel the morning dew, put your mobile phone aside and write somebody a letter. And in the end, do what you want to but do not turn into a generation of idiots.