Thursday, February 04, 2010

We Read Less, We Communicate Even Less

This blog post really made me think. Why don't we read anymore? I mean I read only when I am travelling and am not near a computer or a television. I have set aside my commuting time as my reading time as it uplifts me, transforms me into the multi-layered, multi-faceted world of characters as diverse as Harry Potter (yes, I enjoyed one book of Rowling), Salim Sinai (Midnight's Children), Pierre (War and Peace), Humbert Humbert (Lolita), Humboldt (Humboldt's Gift), and so on. Reading fiction involves deep thinking, analysis, longer memory, better analysis of character. But with television we have become that much more superficial. We have mobile phones, but we communicate less, we have internet, but we write mails without a proper address and even a proper thank you.

In spite of having the latest phones, it's difficult contacting a person. We invent reasons for not answering someone's call. "Left mobile at home," "was driving," "battery ran out," "was in a meeting," etc. We cut off a person in the middle of a call and say "the network is bad," we scream, "hello, hello, hello," when we can hear his/her voice clearly, we have become more inventive and less dependable, we are inspired by foul-mouthed pseudos than genuine characters who fight for justice and fairness.

So, therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when I read this post the Guardian blog. Yes, the very thing I was thinking about, why are we so superficially glamour- and celebrity-oriented, running after mindless and bad-word-filled reality shows, thinking we are gods in our blogging, social networks, and not displaying any qualities of deep introspection from which all works of art are born? Even writers these days depend on quick-success formulas of mango orchards, pickled phrase jugglery, a laugh or a witticism a sentence, and assorted, in Bollywood parlance, dialogue-baazi.

1 comment:

madhulika pachauri said...

yes, it is the age of instant gratification and most people live shallow lives.