It has been a very long time, my dearest reader (S of course, who else?) since I stepped in here. It was partly because of various justifiable reasons, and partly because I was too lazy to start writing. Sometimes I wish I could just stay put in one place and not have so many things to remember, with deadlines for everything that must be met, so much paperwork to complete and so many bills to be paid – all in time. If they were all a yearly matter, I could just plonk myself down and tick off each item once a year and go about blithely doing other things. Like writing my blogposts!
However! Modern life does not work that way. The assumption is that technology and gadgets have made everything easy and so they have, but there is also so much more to do.
My parents paid the electricity and water bills once a month, and the paperwallah collected his dues in person. Beyond that there was the ration to be purchased every month, in the fair price shop. That was all they had to remember to do. My father had a single savings account with hardly any balance and we lived in a rented house at first, then in our own house, for which the tax collector – a dreaded figure because of the caprice and greed associated with a lowly government official – would collect the annual tax in person. My father earned too little to have to pay income tax.
There was also the occasional fear that the radio license had to be updated in time and my father’s nervousness that a policeman might notice that his cycle’s oil lamp was unlit.
My parents lived in an earlier era and a penalty of five rupees would have seriously dented their finances and therefore they had to tiptoe through life, counting every paisa and keeping out of the sight of officialdom.
We live firmly in the modern-day world, having somehow made the transition from those days of scarcity and want, to the days of unlimited choice and a sense of being ready to choose, demand and fight – for one’s desires and perceived rights. My parents never made it out of their world to the present one mentally, though physically of course they did. Even others who are younger than them prefer to wander like foreigners wanting to be hand-held and walked through a strange landscape that they have determined will never become familiar to them.
We have adapted ourselves willy-nilly to the new world which our children swim in as if born to be fish, while we slowly try to find our way through. Slowly is the operative word here, but the corollary is surely. We cannot afford to be left behind claiming ignorance or inability to learn and negotiate.
So, back to the various bills to be paid online, to the tax return to be submitted and then e-verified, the schedule of maintenance bills, the bank accounts which must be updated and verified regularly and the linking of Aadhar cards to bank accounts and telephone numbers, the wifi to be checked and paid for, apart from telephone bills, the Amazon balance to be topped up and the purchases tracked – all these and more. Is it any wonder that after all this and making sure to eat and sleep and exercise meanwhile, I am just too tired to pen, or rather, to type out my thoughts?
But I have taken that first step (again) and I will be back soon 🙂 S.