Dear Readers, you may notice the dates of the Blog do not match the Flash Post dates which are in real time. The blog was written in 2009 and saw the light of day 6 months back when my younger daughter discovered it and decided to bring it to you here.
The Sky Is Strewn With Ochre Today | Flash Post 386

The Sky Is Strewn With Ochre Today | Flash Post 386

Button, driving home from the airport after a short trip to Kodaikanal and Coimbatore, I gradually watched the sky turn from a shade of purple to pale blue to yellow then pink and finally ochre.

That’s one thing you love doing, I’ve noticed. Looking out as another universe unfolds on the other side. I’ve also noticed you looking through the glass panes at home watching the beautifully strung pearls of light on Marine Drive.

You’re right, Button. I love watching people on the streets, sick and ailing stray dogs who I have found and carried to animal hospitals for treatment, privileged pets being taken for walks on colourful leashes wearing colourful raincoats and matching rubber boots in the rains, healthy trees, trees that have been chopped showing their raw insides, flowers, birds swinging on telephone wires, hoardings, street signs, lamp posts, new stores, stores that have shut down, small and big shops peddling men’s and women’s apparel, footwear, lingerie, jewellery, you name it, magnificent Gothic, Victorian, Art Deco architecture jostling for space beside ugly, monstrously tall brick and mortar buildings, street-side bhelpuri vendors, lovers on Marine Drive stealing a hug or a kiss and, of course, the rising or setting sun, as the case may be. On the way to our destination and back, I was lucky to witness both.

That’s nice. Actually, there’s an entire world out there waiting to be explored and feasted on.

Dost continues to test us till this day, quizzing us on subjects or visuals on hoardings, signboards, bus backs we have just driven past. He continues to observe every little thing that crosses his path and more. The sad part is that the current generation has ceased to observe and draw from it the beautiful and the ugly in things we see around us. There is so much to see, lots that need our attention and tons of things we can do or act upon to feel that we have ended our day selflessly and to our own satisfaction.

You’re right. The young hardly observe. Very few have seen a sunset or sunrise. They don’t make an effort to recognise trees. A dog is just a dog, not a Great Dane, a German  Shepherd or a Labrador. A butterfly is just any butterfly, not a Tiger Swallowtail or a Monarch or a Gulf Fritillary. A flower is just a flower, not bougainvillea, or chrysanthemums or lotus. Sadly, their eyes are trained on their smart phones or iPads almost all the time as if their lives depended on it and there’s nothing to be observed and appreciated.

From using the instrument for communication, checking facts, figures and surfing the Internet for latest fashion trends, new restaurants, matrimonial apps, dating sites, recipes, you name it, the tiny iPhone has become a multi-purpose machine that is central to their existence. Not that I’m saying it’s bad but there’s nothing beyond!

On the other hand, things are bound to undergo change. Your generation had different interests from your parents’, therefore, its not fair to judge the current generation from moving with the flow because, if they don’t, they may lose out. And times are tough. There’s too much competition and the fear of being left behind.

True. But excess can also be harmful. The radiation that is emitted from iPhones and iPads are health hazards. Looking down at your smartphone, with your chin to your chest, can put about 60 pounds of force on the neck. Besides muscle pain, text neck can cause a host of other health concerns. Sitting in a slumped position restricts your lungs’ ability to expand, impairing your lung capacity.

Like everything in life, you have the good and the bad.

Button, do your know that Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, put a cap on screen time when his daughter started developing an unhealthy attachment to a video game? He didn’t give his kids cell phones till they were 14. Steve Jobs did the same. There’s a lesson there.

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