I was sipping chai with Vishal, my entrepreneur friend. Vishal and I go back since 2015 when we first met at a Startup summit. He was the summit leader and I a participant. He is a reticent and we did not talk much during that meeting but exchanged our numbers. Post that meeting, we started talking and exchanged our verses. What I liked in him is he always remained on cordial terms with me, never digressing the interaction to off limits. It made me meet him more often.
Together, we tried zafrani paan; smoked mint flavored cigarettes; slurped Keventers milkshakes; and strolled around regale Connaught Place blocks. Unforgettable, soul fulfilling evenings. That day, I was sitting with Vishal at Chayos and sipping my favorite and economical gud chai. As usual, we both were deep immersed in some discussion on life and relationships when suddenly an idea clicked in my mind. I told Vishal that we always plan our meetings through chat or phone. How would it be if we meet each other without the help of a mobile phone? Think of this! I lured him on the thrill of this task.
“See! When we meet with the help of chat or a phone call, we are relatively laid-back on the importance of that meeting. There’s a record, a transcript of conversation that we can always refer to, in case we forget. Like, if we decide to meet on 27th of next month then I will drop you a chat and you know that. So between 1st and 27th, in case you forget the meeting date; you can always refer back to that chat. So in this way you are not relying on your memory or our past conversations but a meager snippet of a chat : ( That’s my importance in your life.
But turn around the situation and think. If we decided today we are to meet on 27th of the next month, which is 45 days from now, without a mobile phone. Without any documented conversation on chat, phone call and without the scope of checking again with a chat or phone call, all you have is your memory and our past conversation. Now, it is not an emotion-dead mobile phone that reminds you to meet me, but your past memory and emotions attached to me. So in the absence of a mobile, for the next 45 days, either you have to mark it down on some paper notebook or calendar and read it often or you have to keep reminding yourself about this date.
Not only that, when we will meet, we will meet at a set location. Say exit gate no. 4 of Sikanderpur metro station. We will not use our mobile phones to locate the other but meet at the precise location so that we don’t miss finding out each other.”
“Can you see the difference. Just because you have to emphasize in your mind and heart so much about the meeting date with me, you will do this for me only when I’m special. Consequently, because of this added hassle of remembering in memory and not preset through mobile, you will not go on a repetitive meeting spree with random women. How many such dates will you remember?”
I managed to convince Vishal for this and also that we will not talk in between for the next 45 days. I also put this term that in case one has to cancel the meeting, he or she has to courier a letter to the other’s residential address.We scribbled each other’s address on our mobile phones.
Sounds weird? It might be now but this was how we carried our interactions in the past years preceding mobile phone advent. We remembered each other often and without the help of a recorded, lifeless document. That other person gets impressioned vivid in our memory with intact emotions, facial expressions, and behavior of that person.
I and Vishal agreed on this unconventional looking meeting arrangement and left. In the next 30 days I did not speak to him, but recalled about that promised on a daily basis. On his front, at the end of 44th day, just one day before our meeting I got a call from Vishal.
‘Listen I did not have enough time to drop you a letter to your address but sorry to inform you that I won’t be able to make it as I have a business meeting tomorrow.’
I was slightly disappointed but was curious enough to ask him, how was this experience like. And he said, he did not remember me as much in the last 3 years as he did in the last 43 days.
That’s the difference, absence of technology can make to pickle your relationship. Why don’t you try this : )