This weekend, I was at home with my grandparents. My grandma took out an old photo album, dusted it and laid it in front of us. We spent the next 3 hours, reminiscing old memories, sharing jokes about the fun we had, and shedding a tear or two on realizing that the good old times might never come again. To just touch and feel the texture of a printed photograph is divine . . . memories come flooding back to you. There is an inexplicable sense of nostalgia. I lost myself in the love that flowed unbridled through the photos that I held in my hand.
Most of the photos in the album were shambolic. Clicked at the most inappropriate moments, when my hair was skewed, or my smile looked funny, or when I was looking elsewhere. I looked horrible in most of the photos, but . . . that is what made me shed a tear. I was natural. In each and every one of those photos. I wasn’t posing. I wasn’t faking. I was myself. And, I had had the best time of my life.
I have been guilty of it plenty of times, and am sure that you have been victim to it at some point in your online lives. Being addicted. So many times, I realized that the social networks bound me to an alter-ego, that is strangely not me.
I look for the best photos of myself to go into my albums, my best poems to go into my notes, and my best jokes to become my new status update. Who am I ultimately kidding here? Is life all about looking good for someone else? Why must I exaggerate my importance to the world? Can’t I merely live my life my way, instead of worrying about looking good for the cameras?
Why do I care so much about my public image? Does having 5000 friends mean that you are famous? Does having a 100 likes for your photo mean that you are sought after? All the compliments that I give to the people I care about, are through comments. All the interactions that I have, are through pokes and pings. All the great conversations that I have, are through messages.
I have a life outside of FB, Twitter, and Google +. And, that is my real life. The real life, where I’m in love with myself, with my grandparents, parents, friends and relatives. Self-worth, I realized, is not through the hyped up exaggerated image of yourself that we project, but, what you do about your dreams and passions . . . in real life.
We spend money on clothes, matching earrings, matching coolers, shoes, socks so that we can click that one ‘perfect’ profile picture of ourselves. Why? Simply to please the many unimportant people on our friend list? Our alter-ego has become our identity.
I have written about my grandparents, and my love for them, but, I felt it was time that I showed them how much I care.
Most of the times, I take them for granted, I take my friends for granted, my parents for granted, my relatives for granted . . . but, who knows? Today we are alive, tomorrow we might be dead and gone. Time will not wait for us.
So, the entire day I spent with my grandparents, cracking jokes, reliving memories, laughing, crying and making dosas and kozhukattais together.
In the night, when I had to leave for Bangalore, my grandma gave me a hug, her eyes were moist and she asked me a very simple question “Laddaiya, Who will make dosas for you after I die?”
Tears were my only answer. I have been crying ever since.
Don’t let relationships die. Make time for your offline friends, family, and relatives . . . before they log out of life.
This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club’s CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG. The color theme for the post was Red.
Red signifies the color of blood. Blood relationships. Friends, Relatives, and Families. Connected by one common bond. The heart.