Open Page

Days of longing

Our generation walked long distances to school. Scripts and numerals were learnt by inscribing on a Takhati, a wooden plate, with a reed pen. Then black meant the black board, white was a chalk and blue was the colour of ink. Learning meant assimilating from books that were hard-bound, hard to come by and were treasured. News were received on All India Radio as also from newspapers that arrived by post on the second or third day of publication. The young of today will not understand the variety of turmoil that our generation lived through.

Over the years, the newspapers started to arrive daily and as time kept on adding years to life, the reed pen was replaced by a fountain pen and then by a ballpoint pen and as more years rolled by, an overhead projector replaced the black board.

One day we were witness to the arrival of a device much different from any black board, book or notebook. It had a screen on which pictures and written matter appeared in a flash and which could be made to disappear and reappear again just with the click of an attachment named mouse. A computer it was! Even the most sharp of our generation struggled with this new gizmo in the beginning. Soon the black and white screen of it was replaced by a newer one that had all the colours of the rainbow!

However life meant not only computers and smartphones but wheels too. After a bicycle, one wished for a scooter, and to possess one was a moment of having arrived in life. With time, aspirations soared much higher and made us own a four-wheeler. Many of us were driving a second or third generation of our aspirations before the lockdowns happened.

"Fortune turns like a wheel," Tolstoy said. At present, the wheel of fortune has made such a wild spin that we miss the days gone by. Those who enjoy driving miss it; those who want to be home walk in the scorching sun, unable to find the wheels that can carry them.

Normally we take everything for granted and simultaneously want more of new things and better times. Whatever we have is never enough to satiate us.

But after an all-shaking pandemic punishing all, now we yearn to relive the same life we were not satisfied with. Personally, I want to see the children again walking through the school gates. I want the young back in colleges and the dissenting voices in universities in attire they feel comfortable in. I want to have back all the things I was critical of and not very happy with, as early as possible! Why? That I should ask of myself and so should you!

kumarr5803@gmail.com

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 12:11:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/days-of-longing/article33150775.ece

Next Story