What are you doing exactly?

Sometimes we are too busy texting people, sometimes one-too many at a time. We switch between so many apps like crazy-players, moving back and forth from first court to third court; trying to land the perfect strike every time, or to return it quickly before adjusting their footing for the next volley.

Thus, we often make a fault.

It takes us quite some time to smooth it out, while the pinging notifications sound war-cries from adjacent apps.

So begins the next set of the match. And the next one, and then the next one. Till we’re tired, disgusted and we throw down the bat, shut off our connectivity, and retire for the time…

… getting just enough rest for the upcoming match.

What do we get out of it?

Have I ever been in such situations? Where the constant socializing slowly eats away at your sanity, where the stream of messages now form a contiguous source- when you can’t even remember whom you’re texting at a certain moment in time: when all that you recollect of her face is the emoticons you receive in the texts.

Oh yes, the emoticons.
Tap. Tap. Tap-tap.

Why does everyone look similar, now that I know she is Harshita and she is Meghna, and it’s Arundhati who’s texting on Facebook, alongwith her  and her

Suddenly, you realise you don’t even know what you’re doing anymore.

Whom are you talking with?

Are you friends with these people?

Why are they replying? Why don’t you even care if you don’t open Snapchat or Instagram for one hour straight yet you are constantly switching between facebook and Whatsapp? Should you care? Should you not? Were you texting someone one Instagram earlier? What about your request to her one hour back- when you asked her to send you those pics?

Which pics? What type of pics were those?

You look away from the screen. The phone keeps beeping in your hands. The light from the fluorescent tube looks garish. The shadows in the room are of a strange texture. Are there shadows at all, you wonder, because everything looks tinted with some weird shade of grey. That’s funny, because you remember having colour vision. Your head seems to spin. Perplexed, you look back at the flashing screen. The facebook messenger’s chat-bubble is bobbing excitedly with a red notification. Your thumb trembles, poised with the precision of a Falcon over the miniscule pane of Gorilla-glass.

It hesitates.

The emoticons.

How long will you play the game?

It’s at times like these when you realise, all the emoticons look the same.

No, you shake your head- they must be different. Why on earth would they be designed then, if not to convey the emotions of the conversant? You get back to texting within a few seconds, and soon you’re running the assembly-line again. Clicking this, downloading that photo, commenting on this one, replying to her, switching, replying to her, switching, liking this status, commenting on this, replying, replying to her chat-window, adding that sticker, switching, replying, choosing emotico-

-what’s this!?

You seem to have seen this smiley somewhere.

You rub your eyes in mild shock. You have no idea which track your train of thought is running on as you keep staring at the string of emojis being sent by her.

They look like.. they’re all the same person.

Which person?

Whom are you talking with?

…Sometimes we are too busy texting people, sometimes one-too many at a time. Sometimes, too busy to even notice that we’re trying our level best to reply to only one person. Too busy to realise we’ve lost that one person. Too busy to notice that years have passed and we haven’t realised we are trying  to look like we’ve changed while others have already changed and moved on. Too busy to notice that there’s no fun in being stupid any more.

It’s then that we realise that we’re out of time; and we’ll never get her back. And that, we were trying to, all this time. Once this realisation dawns over us, it’s Game Over. The sooner it is, the better. For some, this blow from reality gets too tough to handle, while for others it’s a sobering draught. Some break down, while others stand up. Some start howling, while others start walking.

If you’re reading this and you can relate- wake up. You’d been born with time in your hands, and your palms are leaking. Stop waving your hands around then. You have no time to lose. It’s best if you recognize that face within those emoticons, and walk towards her; the sooner you can, the better. Stop showing yourself around, because you see- no-one’s really looking.

Look up. And then, look within.


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