Old Habits Die Hard – et in hoc !

Unless one writes short and crisp, nowadays it is quite uncommon that someone will read it- be it on Facebook or a blog or a book.

Always not because people don’t have time !

We have quite lost our Reading culture as a hobby mostly because we have taken to easier and glittery channels of entertainment, whether or not it is constructive. Trapped in various rat-races, we are more than happy to simply please our worldly senses; we rarely brood on the ‘food for thought’, whether it a write-up, music, dance, painting, theatre or any other form of art.

To add further, you too shall observe and agree that nowadays, an article or a post-on-Facebook which has embedded in it an attractive picture or a short video-clip or catchy phrase-liners, has more chances of being read than one without it. The same tactics is commonly followed in routine journalism and children’s books too.

The concerns run similar to this- when you get a ‘Like’ on such an article in your blog-site or a post-in-Facebook, you don’t really know whether the message in it was appreciated or merely the accompanying colourful picture or video-clip or decorative phrase-liners !! 😦 Sometimes, you can make it out from the comments that follow. Your reply in turn may bother some viewers (I shall not address them as readers ! 🙂 ) who attempt to justify their own jerky opinions since they have not read a single line of your write-up, or it shall leave others unmoved or unembarrassed. The latter group of people seem not to care for anything on Earth, not even in saving their own faces !! 🙂

Such negative trends are not only demotivating factors for a write-up to be well-thought and neatly composed but also aches the heart that values literature and art in all its forms, even if it were not to ever pen down a single composition… Thoughts then appear to quite lose their ‘food’ ! 😦

Very briefly going back to our school days, one definitely remembers this- there used to be a ‘picture composition’. Nowadays, we are more a fan of the reverse of it; that is, where the picture says it all ! Not sure what we call it- a ‘composed picture’ ? 🙂

Well, nothing wrong in that- that is also an all-time great expression of art. But a picture or a video-clip can never convey discrete information or detailed analysis pertaining to the core sections of a subject or topic ! More so, if the subject is a debatable one. Therein comes the necessity for one to be at least a good reader, if not an avid one.

All I mean to highlight is that it would do all of us good if we could go back to our old Reading hobby (at least to some extent), mainly based on the significance of the topics or substance or relevancy therein; and not merely based on pictures or video-clips or colourful, bold phrase-liners. Pictographic representation does not help every time and it may even convey the wrong message at times !!!

Irrespective of age, like writing is a great art, having correct information and gathering vast, good knowledge is a great wealth ! It cannot be accumulated overnight; it has to be done bit by bit. Moreover, only a gradual process of accumulation of such immeasurable wealth is gratifying as we learn about the evolution of the human mind and art over thousands of years. Certain texts that we read may not be at all linked with our profession or even our lifestyle. But we must still learn about it in order to understand mankind or the various facets of the society. And writing is undoubtedly one of the best methods to record our emotional space, spirits and times.

And to keep the process of evolving psyche and the arts in good continuation and truly educate our next-generations, we must inculcate in them this Reading habit or hobby, right in their formative years. As obvious- the earlier it is, the better .

On a lighter note… Look, our fore-fathers started written communication with cave-drawings, the very first pictographic script; and that is still followed in some form in few modern languages and quite preserved across many tribes of the world. Perhaps, this very basic psychological inclination is somehow inherent and therefore, one of the reasons why even a modern day write-up accompanied by “an attractive picture or a short video-clip or colourful, bold phrase-liners” becomes a quick hit affair than one totally devoid of these !!!

Hmmmn, guess…… Old habits die hard – et in hoc !?! 😉 🙂

Aamjunta– what do you say?

 

 

The Communication Dissonance

A guest article by a fellow aamjunta

Dear Friends,

Can we talk to a tree or speak to a mountain? Or,  to the lake or meadow for that matter?

How many of us would answer a yes to this?

Possibly none of us barring those few with firm believe in mysticism and it’s unconventionally respectable powers of extracting information from the lifeless and non-speakers. Again this will be tacit and conditional as the occurrence of such an event defies conventional wisdom that dangerously restricts our limitations.  Those of us who believe in it, they just believe it. No knowing is implied from this belief. For the rest of us, the answer would be a resounding ‘NO’.

It would be premature to get into a conclusion now. Let us probe into a similar question. Can we talk to a fellow human being, our own species? We are doing that every moment, for generations, from unrecorded ancestry and till imaginable posterity. The chorus will agree on that. Your affirmation certainly renders the initial question invalid – we can never talk to a tree or a mountain. No belief works here, as we are convinced that it’s impossible and this is the collective conclusion from continuous conventional wisdom.  Human beings do have a mind; Words, sounds, gestures are so relevant to them to exercise the power of communication. It may sound irrational, but the question is – how often are we able to do that?  Well, we at time in our tortuous journey of self discovery stumble upon the most unconventional truth that it is not always possible to communicate with a fellow human being. We can effortlessly talk to them, but we may not communicate as communication not only does require mind, attention, understanding, language, sounds, gestures and all the rest of it, but also it does require the  conscious presence of the ‘other’.

Communication, as a prerogative, demands the ‘other’ to be present there consciously. Talking is never a problem, but communication is. Only those of us with a required quality of intelligence, at least, recognize this. Akin to that, we can talk to a tree or a mountain. Yes, we can – in fact; we can do so for months and years together, but cannot certainly communicate with those. So talking is possible, and it never has a technical problem. We can talk to anything or anybody in the world as it requires only the ‘one’, not the ‘other’. When it comes to communication, it becomes a problem, a real problem. We share or pass on information, ideas, conclusions, ideologies, theories and so on to others. But we hardly do communicate; to put it more aptly, we hardly require it. In a world that recognizes professionalism, competition, growth and output, what our daily lives require are offices, clubs, canteens, pubs, gyms, playgrounds, malls and all the rest of it those don’t require communication to happen always. What we consider as communication, in fact, doesn’t require the presence of ‘other’.

More so, such condition is absolutely fine at the places when we dwell outside, but to dwell inside communication becomes highly imperative. Because the contents those we find inside are not words or information but the responses, echoes, reactions and reflections that control, guide, motivate us. Communication is not a call to defy our over worked routine, not a call to apply breaks to our fast paced rat raced life, neither a call for revolution or a desire to break relation. It is indispensable though not for pace but for peace, not just for entertainment but for celebration, not for growth but towards the fulfilment of life.

Thankfully, the enormous progress of technology has gifted us with loads of devices of communication but the generation is troubled and confused, as ever, with the painful attempts to flee from the self-erected bar of confinement, constricted conscience and suffocation. How many of us have experienced this horrible trap of self made restrictions? How many of us have come out unscathed and how many of are still healing the wound? What we do –we adhere to all sorts of vicarious means those are gracefully available around us.  But, the ephemeral happiness is no real joy. It is not natural, it is so crudely manufactured.

Do we communicate? How often we are there?

No. We just speak out some words, we just sound. We can communicate even while blasting at someone or hating someone, which also we don’t do most of the times. The moment of anger can be a moment of glory if proper communication can find a place in our expression – the least it can make us aware of the reasons of anger and the persons who receive it; are they the right ones?

Does communication reveal anything regarding the loneliness of a human, even at this state of progress in the technological comfort and privileges? Shockingly the green city of Bangalore, with all its beauty and opportunities, witnesses at least two suicides on daily basis. What propels those tears and agony of solitude and suffocation? Where are those cool dudes and pals whose shoulders are much in need in the moment? To be rested and relieved upon? The shoulder, not the chest on which pseudo emotional intimacies were converted into real eviction of physical desires and then the relation being thrown into the garbage of passing moments to be forgotten and to move on to the next event?

Friends, the essence of human life lies in its expansion towards greater causes and for bigger mass. That is only possible through harmony, mutual respect and acceptance. Let me reiterate, communication holds the key to it.

I hope you are right there. 🙂

Regards,

Chinmaya Nayak

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