Each one of us has a tendency to compare old to the new. Living and interacting with parents and grandparents builds up that tendency in all of us. Especially when you face tough times, you often look to your elders (whom we often call old-fashioned) for ideas to face troubles.
Power outage is not something unconventional in Pakistan. But in Islamabad, it is less likely to happen that you spend days without getting electricity supply. Fortunately (No it’s not a typo), yesterday evening there was a serious electrical glitch in our area due to which we had to stay up all night. I never knew karma hits back that quickly because just a few hours back, I mocked my bhabhi, who recently went to Karachi to spend her Eid holidays, after she told me that power supply had gone haywire since three days due to the rain.
You all must be thinking what was so fortunate about staying up all night. It was the conversation I had with my parents last night about their childhood, which took me to a completely different dreamy world. The world where families were more connected to each other than to the world. Where loved ones used to interact with each other personally and not through social media. When relationships were much more than just a ‘Facebook Status’. When people understood each other through facial expressions and as Baba put it ‘Jab makaan kachay aur loag sachay hua kartay thay’
I wish I could put it like Baba did. He recalled how they used to sleep on a damp chattayi, which felt better than an air conditioner, in summer nights. He loved dropping oil drops in rain water to produce colored clouds. They used to sit in row and have food together while ‘Bismillah’ and ‘Alhamdulilah’ was considered the most important part of their meals. He seemed nostalgic explaining how Daadi (My Grandma) used to apply talcum powder on him every time he took bath. Baba Sain (My Grand Father) used to give them each 50 paisas daily as their pocket money. Bedtime stories, slingshotting, gulli danda, paper boats racing, hide and seek and what not! All these little moments of happiness sounded so much valuable and exciting to me.
Last night I realized that ‘electricity’ is no doubt a blessing but it has distanced us from our family in a way that we don’t even have time to sit and have face to face interaction anymore. It made me wonder that we have so much to explore and learn from our parents and grandparents but too little time to do that. Everybody is in a rush. Life is speeding up and so is our inner angst. We want to be more and more productive and cram in as much as we can but at what cost? We are just focused on getting things done losing all the little valuable moments we could live in between.
So let’s try to let go of the inner rush and allow yourself to experience joy, connection and love so that you have something to cherish as you age. Let’s inhabit this very moment and make it valuable with our loved ones. Let’s not just survive. Let’s live! Like the old-fashioned used to.