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We live in an age of SMS es and emails. WhatsApp has become so popular that we cannot think of a single day without its usage. The scene had been far different even a couple of decades ago. We had that elusive object in abundance in our hands – Time. The quicksilver quality of time has precipitated a sea change in our lifestyles and the way we look at things. Today we do not possess the time to admire a golden sunset or the chirpings of unknown birds in the early morning. We are racing against time. I sometimes wonder: Is Time an adversary, to be fought with tooth and nail?
We resort to emails because it is faster, more in sync with the times and economical. These days almost everybody, with a computer or even a smartphone, has an email account. The language used in these emails is to-the-point, no-nonsense and there’s usually no beating around the bush. You send the mail and within a second, the recipient has received it. Today even contributions to print editions like newspapers and journals, are being submitted via the online mail service. Writing and receiving long letters of yore, are no longer advisable.
The Lingo: Symbolic and Short
The language used in these emails is also symptomatic of our times – no nonsense, and definitely not long. You send it and the recipient receives it within the batting of your eyelid. Grammar and spell-checking have long been blown away in the wind (with sincere apologies to the minstrel, Bob Dylan). On a nice sunny morning, one usually wakes up to check their mails, along with the warmth of their cup of tea or coffee. Now, since time comes at a premium, checking mails on smart phones instead of going through them tediously on the computer, has made life simpler and hassle-free.
Then the question which naturally arises here: Is the world getting slowly unsuitable for older men and women, who’ve little or no access to technology? When the Covid-19 pandemic spread like wildfire all across the globe, I had personally attributed the spread inwardly, to Nature herself. It’s about time that Nature had avenged upon us, for the gross injustices that we met out against her daily. People get old and traditions fade away to pave the way for newer ones. That is also one of the laws of Nature. Traditions and norms are ways of living. They slowly fade away into history. Newer ways of living are thereby created and the process of evolution, following, Darwin, progresses.
Mail vs Mail
These days, when we talk about ‘mails’, it is inevitably about emails, if not about the railway service, that is. If speed and rat-race are the rules by which we spend our days, then who, or more precisely, when do we write? We do write and we do paint. Books and paintings are being created out of the stock of life. As they were or had been before. Only their themes and methods of execution have altered. Today writers no longer write in longhand. They mail their respective manuscripts to prospective publishers and await their nods of approval.
The instant drawback of leading such a racy lifestyle is bound to be a lack of reading. We no longer have the time or the inclination to read really long letters. If shorter ones serve the purpose, then why waste precious time?