The frigidity of online networks

Last Saturday, we ran a wedding marathon. You could take the ‘running’ literally as we moved between 3 corners of the city (traveling 75kms) in 8 hours. No doubt it was fun, meeting all the people you otherwise don’t see between their & their kids’ marriages. There is very little left to be written about weddings – each one sets a higher benchmark for the next. When one of my colleagues woke up to the fact that a marriage could cost anywhere between 8-12 lakhs, I choose to sleep again – alone! But there was something different about that day I want to share.

We were munching snacks at one of the venues when my mother pointed to a lady she thought she knew. It was a short, fair lady with curly hair; none that we had seen before. My mom insisted that she was almost sure, and ignoring our plea to rethink, went on to ask her. My brother escorted her as if she would’ve been executed for a wrong guess. As I watched from a distance, ma asked her a few questions that confirmed her suspicion, but it was little help for the lady. The moment she heard ma’s maiden name, she was struck awestruck! This was her best friend, whom she shared the bench with for 12 years in school & college, and last each other at my parent’s marriage – 25 years back!

For the next 20 mins, they activated all layers of the brain that held archives from the 70’s. It was only after all this that they looked outside their conversation & thought of introducing their families. Aunty told us she still remembers the canvas of a circus ma had drawn – it was in her words a beauty. They both kept re-iterating how fruitful it was for them to attend the wedding. As they laughed, they accumulated enough tears of joy.

At the end I thought, we spend endless hours on social networks, trying to feed our emotional appetite. But will social networking online ever mature to provide the warmth of deep rooted relationships? Or have we changed ourselves to remain content with the frigidity of online communication?

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