Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Diwali and a little introspection

(Diya at my balcony)

It's the festival of lights. Each year I go out with my friends, have dinner, fire away rockets into the vast open skies and go "Oooh" and "Aaah" at the marvellous display of fireworks that light up the night sky. However, this year I'm stuck in a colony where diwali isn't being celebrated for "technical" reasons, and have no way of going out.

Sucks right?

Well, it did give me a chance to introspect a little bit.

Every festival, be it Deepavali, Holi, Christmas, Eid or Navratri, we never fail to send out a little sms or an email with Warm Regards and Best Wishes for the season. On the receiving end of practically a hundred sms's today, I started finding it weird that I wished for them to stop. They didn't really mean much.
Well, of course they do, you say?
Tell me, when was the last time you wished someone for a festival and really meant it? I mean really really meant it? Long back wasn't it?
In this age of super connectivity and extensive social networking, it seems we've ended up building such an insanely huge "friends" list that we often forget who our friends really are. But no, I'm veering off topic. The Warm Wishes right? Well, let me tell you, out of the hundred messages, most were SMS Forwards....shitty way to wish someone in my opinion. It's utterly impersonal. The only ones that really meant something to me were the simple one liners that said "Hi! Hope you're doing great this festival of lights. May this year bring you lots of luck, blessings and prosperity." It's formal, but written personally by the sender, not just a forward someone else sent out.

Little truly is more.

Introspecting takes you to places within yourself that you never knew even existed, especially when done sitting in the soft flickering light of a diya. With all the partying, hanging out with friends, living life as if there were no tomorrow, a lonely evening with my thoughts suddenly meant more to me.

With a little wish and a poem I shall leave you guys with the same thoughts that got me started at the beginning of this post. Do those forwarded messages hold any value, when sent by an acquaintance, or even by a close friend? Or do they leave you with a feeling of impersonal acceptance of a wish that you would rather not pay much heed to?

Sparklers of varied colors,
or by the humble diya's light,
We celebrate this very day,
for the defeat of wrong by right.
So with this message I pray,
may God's grace shine upon you.
Wish you a happy and safe deepavali,
and a prosperous new year too.

Shubh Deepavali everyone!

29 comments:

mysterg said...

Refreshingly honest!

Amandasaurus said...

That's what I hate about forwards! I have this one friend who always forwards me stuff about how much she values my friendship, but I hardly ever hear from her except when her life starts to really suck. I mean, I still care about her, but it seems skewed to me. I've asked her not to send me forwards. I always welcome and prefer a brief but personal "hey, long time no chat."

Dewdrop said...

Totally agree... there were those days of low connectivity over distances but higher between hearts and today just a fwd sms sent to hundreds and an e-mail forwarded to thousands tries to compensate a personal touch... Very apt at a time when the Production Head from my ol' comapany called me up to personally convey his wishes... made me feel sooo good just talking to him... Nothing can substitute a warm hug, a personal call or a self-composed sms... Refreshing thoughts, as ever!!!

Alisha said...

well said.:)
i was sadofying at home last evening as well...we shud've met up:|

divsi said...

this is wat i wud call a literary beauty...:))
fwds are mechanical...the simplest mode of "replyin" to ppls wishes...n trust me very confusin too:P
the best way is to make up yr own lil couplet [like u did here] n fwd it to evryone..:) its got a personal tuch...n your OWN FEELINGS!!
n chuckle wen u get it frm sumone else after travelling city-wide!hehe!

Abhinav said...

Very right!

but..

at least someone forwarded an SMS... isn't that enough. atleast someone remembers you! isn't that enough!

feelings are rare nowadays.. whataver we can get.. its okay!

Happy Diwali

Insignia said...

I absolutely agree with you on this. Forwards just get onto my nerves. If you really care, is it so difficult to personally compose a simple one-liner? How happy it would make the receiver?
The spirit's lost!!

Shaunak said...

@ Mysterg

Thank you :)

Shaunak said...

@ Amandasaurus

Precisely...forwards are nice, but they never really convey the thought as well as a simple hello.

Shaunak said...

@ Dewdrop

That was really nice of him re!

Shaunak said...

@ Alisha

You guys met up na...traffic doesn't allow me to leave my house if I don't have more than two hours at hand.

Shaunak said...

@ Divsi

Thank you :)
Would you believe that's what happens to me each year?
City-wide round and then back to me sometime the next day or the same night.
I've a good mind to track it down the next time it happens hehe

Shaunak said...

@ Abhinav

I know the feeling, but even so, how long does it take to type a simple sentence? I personally find it more difficult to find the right forward for someone. It's simpler to simply wish.

Shaunak said...

@ Insignia

Let's hope we can keep the spirit alive :)

Umesh Agarwal said...

Excellent post..straight from the heart..! n i agree with u, forwards have no meaning in them..just plain words...keep writing :)

kish said...

I guess these don't mean a thing too- :P :D and other nonsense. A smiley is better if actually imprinted as a 'smile' as opposed to virtual shit on ze phone.

Amrita~Ams said...

forwards...have meaning or not..i dont know...bcoz...this tym i didnt received any..(hey ram..kisi ne muje frwd mess nahi nahi bheja :O)

Shahla Ahsan said...

Grrr >.< Shaun! not all the people just forward or wish without really really really meaning it... T-T
There still are people who are internet addicts but have less than 120 friends+family in social networks *whines*

lolz.. I just got 1 forward msg and that too I guess occidentally as, looong back I was in the group that person sent sms to.. maybe he forgot to remove me from there. LOLz.

Dhanya said...

Shaunakkkkk! Shubh Deepavali! Better late than never eh? :D :D

You know that 'Diya' picture.. it was taking time to load... and I thought you were going to talk about some hot gal who landed up in ur balcony... oh well ;)

Shaunak said...

@ Umesh

Absolutely. But of late as some people have pointed out, it's not the means, but the sentiment that counts. So I guess it kinda counters my argument :P

Shaunak said...

@ Kish

Well, the emots do come close to expressing what we feel better than a lot of words. It sometimes is more efficient as opposed to convenient.

Shaunak said...

@ Shahla

Awww! Happy Diwali dear...Gimme your number, I'll be sure to send out a msg to you :D

Shaunak said...

@ Dhanya

DHAN TE NAN!!! Tada tada!!!
Shubh Deepavali! Was wondering where you disappeared to.
And I wish there were some hot girls in my society. My balcony's pretty accessible y'know. I've climbed in quite a few times :D

Mahesh Sindbandge said...

HI Shaunak,

"Here i am, this is me" am singing the song sung by bryan adams :P

At last....i am here :)

Happy Deepavali :)

I donno why but i have stopped wishing people for festivals long back, may be 2 years i guess.

With time, i realised people feel happy when wished to them on special occasions like birthday, marriage anniversary etc rather than festivals which are same to one and all.
Anyways thats my can , my way :)

You have written this post very beautifully and kudos for that.

See you around dude :)

Cheers
Mahesh

ladytruth said...

I agree. Forwarding a message without a personal touch is just being lazy and shows how much that friendship really means to you. Sometimes a handshake or a hug is worth a thousand forwarded messages.

Shaunak said...

@ Mahesh

Hey! Great to see you here! :)

I've never really got round to thinking of it that way. Wishes to me matter whenever someone gives them, just that there should be some thought behind the wish, be it for a birthday, or a festival or just for exams. To each his own I guess.

Thanks for the visit buddy...Hope to see more of you around here :)

Cheers!

Shaunak said...

@ ladytruth

Absolutely. I'd substitute a smile and a hug for messages any time.

Thousif Raza said...

Love the photo, kya shot hai yaar, and cool poem to go too......


Take care and keep writing............

grace said...

Perhaps a little late for me to be reading this post and I repeat, what I guess, all your blog folks would have told you - I totally agree with what you wrote. Wishing has become so very mechanical.
Even in our daily go of life saying good morning has become a part of our routine just as waking up, brushing eating etc etc. Neither do we realize that there is something good about the morning nor feel like wishing someone the same. But nonetheless we keep on saying Good Morning just like parrots.
I guess the only solution to this lies in being more alive.
A well thought of post.
Cheers!