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  • It is very nice and interesting to listen to my father-in-law talk
    about the days gone by, in his village, where he has lived all
    his life. He is 90 now. Those were the days of large families.
    Religious functions were times not only of prayers and rituals
    but also for family members and relatives to gather and stay
    connected. Those were the days when there was neither the
    telephone nor the television. People had to meet in person.

    Letter writing was also a very important means of communication.
    Till about fifteen years ago, my father-in-law used to write regularly
    to all his relatives. They loved his letters as they gave them news
    about so many things. He received replies from all of them.
    He was so ‘connected’.
    My grandfather also loved to write to all his near and dear ones. After
    retiring as Headmaster of the school in the small town in the northern
    part of our state, he lived either with us or with my father’s elder brother.
    I remember his nephew writing regularly from his native place, giving
    news about all other relatives and other daily happenings. When my
    grandfather was away from us, he used to write regularly and it was
    a joy to reply. He had been an English and Maths teacher. If we made
    any mistakes in grammar or in spelling he would write about it to us. :))
    Due to him we developed our love for reading and writing. Every time
    he went to his native place, he would visit all his relatives, we too did
    that during our stay with my maternal grandparents all summer
    vacations. It was fun being connected.

    Sometimes I feel in these days of better means of transport, we have
    no time to visit our relatives. We just meet for a short while at some
    social or religious function.

    ‘Being connected’ has taken on a different connotation. The internet
    and mobile phones have opened a whole new world to us. The Facebook
    and other social media network have made it possible to connect with
    so many of our relatives, living in different parts of the country and
    the world. Being connected in this way is so much better than not
    knowing each other at all. We do not meet as strangers.
    Then blogging has brought me into contact with kindred spirits from
    different parts of the world. I am really thankful about it. Sitting at
    home, the whole wide world has come to me.

    But sometimes ‘being connected’ goes to a different extreme. It is sadly
    funny to see people so busy being connected with people far away that
    those who are in the room, in front of them become nonentities,
    part of the background. Physical presence no longer means
    ‘being connected’. The urge to be ‘connected’ at all times has become
    an addiction. It is sad if we reach a stage where we are controlled by
    such addictions. I read about digiholics in today’s newspaper !!

    It is nice to be connected but nicer to be ‘unconnected’ whenever
    I want to be so. There is this beautiful place by the hill side, where
    we sit and watch the river and the sea. It is like being in a different
    world, a world to ourselves, sitting quietly, enjoying the sea breeze
    and watching the sunset.

    My father-in-law always says with wonder that back then no would
    have imagined in their wildest dreams that life would change so much.
    It is true, it has.

    ( This photo is of River Swarna which we can see from our place.
    It connects people and places on its course and flows on to the sea. )
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