Being on several WhatsApp groups (as almost everyone is, these days) I received a longish post in Marathi recently. It was a story of an elderly man who meets a dashing, distant relative.
Any plans for marriage?, the ‘Kaka’ asks and was told by the IT engineer that hehad none.
Where is the time for it?
One day he comes and tells Kaka of his impending marriage. When did he “see the girl” as is the practice in Indian arranged marriages? Oh no. They ‘met’ on the Internet, liked each other’s views and decided to tie the knot. Where is the time to go for ‘mulgi pahayla” (going to see the girl).
How about the wedding card, the purchases, the personal invitations? He came to Kaka only as he was just passing by. All others were invited on WhatsApp. All purchases have been done online. Where is the time for doing all that physically?
Kaka finds just a small group attending the marriage. Where is the priest? No. A recording of the marriage mantras was enough. Where is the time for getting a priest and elaborate rituals?
Gifts were sent to all by courier. Many sent blessings online. Where is the time for anything more?
At a subsequent meeting the youth tells there was no honeymoon trip. With both working, where is the time for it? Do they spend quality time together? Yes, on the internet and through texting and WhatsApp messages.
One day Kaka receives a mail that “the stark would bring the bundle of joy” some months later. Any elders coming to take care of her? Any help needed? What about the ‘bridal shower’ as Westerns call it?
Nothing to worry. She was registered with a maternity home and “package deal” made for all arrangements. Where is the time elaborate rituals?
Around the expected date of delivery, late one night, Kaka receives a phone call from a hospital. The expectant mother was admitted. There was some complications and the doctors asked the father-to-be to call the elders of the family.
Kaka and Kaki rush to the hospital, recalling all these instances on the way. The young man was crying. On Kaka’s shoulder, amidst tears he tells how his wife was declared critical and how the doctors asked him to inform the elders. Now he found the importance of a human touch – the presence of well-wishers who could share both your joy and sorrow. The package deal does not include that.
Tears cannot be wiped through the laptop or on mobile phone.
The story is a reflection of today’s way of life – especially in the cities. The mad rush is unending. We have more means of communication, but spend all the time on Facebook, WhatsApp, TV, mobile phones or net surfing. Where is the time for people?
Lack of time is one of the major problems of most people today. Time management has become a major subject of study in management schools. The Indian time management technique is to put the clock five or ten minutes ahead. And when it shows the time is up, you tell yourself (and others) that the watch is ahead. So you will be late — as usual.
It is time to pause and think. The mad rush will only lead to stress, tension and the ailments brought by blood pressure, to nervous breakdowns and heart attacks.
The blurb of Laura Vanderkam’s book ‘168 Hours‘ (mentioned by my post on New Year resolutions) is “You have more time than you think”. The author (in picture) says “there is time for anything that matters”. Her website www.my168hours.com helps people rearrange their time allotment to realise their dreams and aspirationd.
At the end of the first chapter is an Excel spread-sheet that can help you rearrange your priorities and find the time for what you want without asking “Where is the time?”