Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More than a year away from India

Mixed emotions arise in my heart when I think about the time I have been away from India. Of course, I haven't always been away, as I visited India after 5 months and then, again after 11 months after my shift to Saudi Arabia. In fact, I will be re-visiting India next week. Thus, although I am not totally divorced from my society back home, I do feel detached. The reason is that gradually, one gets used to staying away from the family.

Many years ago, there were no fancy contraptions like smart-phones, laptops and so on. People who went away from their homes had no way to contact their family except through phones. In those times, calling international numbers needed the agency of operators who often took their own sweet time to connect loved ones with each other. These calls often had scratchy quality, got cut off mid-way, and cost a bomb. In India, they were called "trunk calls" and one had to often book their calls hours before the expected connection came through. People stayed at home, often skipping their daily routines because the operator could not connect them with their loved ones in time. In addition, most homes did not have a phone, so often these calls were made from phone booths, neighbours' homes or relatives' place. 

Today, we can dial any number from anywhere, and chances are that you would get connected in a jiffy. In addition, we have other forms of instant communication like Skype, Facebook Chat, Google Chat, Yahoo chat, Whatsapp, and what not. Thus, during these last 14 months that I have been away in Saudi Arabia, I have used one or the other forms of communication to stay in touch with my family, friends, patients, well-wishers etc. 

Usually, I start missing my family every day evening and try and reach them by phone. Once a week, or sometimes, less frequently, we Skype. Most of the days, my daughters and I are in touch through Whatsapp. I try and talk to my mom as often as possible. I also randomly try and reach out to my hundreds of friends by call or chat.

In addition, social networking on Facebook or Google Plus enables me to reach out to my friends, audience, and those I admire but probably will never be able to meet in this lifetime because of their location in relation to mine. I have some excellent friends all over the world thanks to these modern conveniences. 

In conclusion, I want to say that although I have so many ways to stay in touch, and I do so without hesitation, I wrote this post to just say that sometimes, I don't miss my loved ones so much and prefer to be alone.

1 comment:

Shabbir Baldiwala said...

A very tough ask to stay away from the ones you r used to seeing daily.