Trigger

The evening before the new year day, I took a taxi to the railway station. Anticipating heavy traffic on the eve of new celebrations I left home early and that decision was proved right when I saw the traffic restrictions already there on the road. Soon I got settled and my attention turned towards my favorite pastime – My Mobile phone.

I was browsing the WhatsApp messages, then there was a call. My ringtone is a famous Tamil film song of the late ’80s. As the call ended I found the Taxi driver turning nostalgic, and he started to talk – “Sir, I like this song very much (Referring to the ringtone), and I heard it for the first time when I was in Standard Five”.

The Driver should be in his early ’30s now and seeing his excitement I encouraged him to speak more. He started again – “I saw that movie song in a Black and White TV. In those days not only, my family but our entire neighborhood in the village was not rich enough to own a TV. Only the upper-class in the other side of the village had that luxury. They permitted us to watch the TV in their homes at the evenings subject to the condition that we complete some of their household tasks like feeding their cattle’s, cleaning their garden, chopping the firewood’s etc., and we never mind doing those jobs in return for a few hours of TV time every day. The TV was more of interest to me than anything else in the world then”.

“Also at times, they used to give us some Idlis for dinner again another luxury that we never had at our homes. Those days though we didn’t have enough money at home there was always, a lot of happiness, peace, and love. I used to get up in the morning, walk to the nearby farms for morning ablations and as I return home, I used to pluck and chew the freshly grown ladyfingers and sometimes sugarcane with full of morning dew drops. Most of the days it was my breakfast which mother nature served fresh and Chilled”

“Now everything has changed, we have Color TV’s at our home and our sources of income have multiplied. I myself though not good in my studies have learned a lot of life and to survive. Now I have the branded mobile in my hand and anything I want to see is at my fingertips. Despite all this, there is no satisfaction of those black and white days”.

He concluded “Technology has given many comforts today but I don’t know whether it has done good or bad to me. Despite all advancements still, there is something missing of those good old days. I don’t know what is it?”

My destination arrived and I got off. As I paid the fare and bid goodbye to him, I heard him speaking to his Google assistant enabled phone “Google Old Illayaraja Songs”

I started to walk reflecting the experience of ring tone trigger and one’s associated experience. I realized that triggers can be constructive or destructive and we can make the best use, only if we become aware of them in the first place.

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