Changing redundancies…

We live in a world where redundancies are far too many and far too quick.

Last night, I was at the Mumbai airport, ready to catch a flight to New York, and I was reminded of my first trip to US back in 2004. Back then, I had taken a flight from Delhi. I did not have an iPOD then, I did have a cellphone which I used fairly sparingly. I  had borrowed a Discman from Moron with a few MP3 CDs adding to the weight of my bag.

Back then, people used to reach the airport 3 hours before the flight departure and there used to be chaos reigning everywhere. Now, even 2 hours gives you a 30-45 minute wait at the airport.

Anyway, back then, I had no idea how to kill my time, because Dad had ensured that I don’t have to go through the usual immigration queues. I was on the other side in about 15 minutes flat, and I was left with about 2 hours to kill.

Back then, I spent 2 hours just looking at people around me. I tried reading a book. I was a voracious reader back then. But my idea of enjoying a book is not sitting in a large hall where every minute someone is making an announcement about some flight leaving, and some boarding happening, and someone having lost his mobile phone. Back then, there weren’t too many people listening to pods or talking to girlfriends. In fact, those who hogged that solitary free phone (for local calls) talking to their girlfriends or their entire clan (yeah, the time required for both might actually be the same) invited hateful glances from those waiting in the queue. Back then, there were a lot of people like me. Looking around at faces. Eager to strike a conversation. Back then, there were laptops, but wi-fi was not the in-thing. Back then, Air India had television screens dropping from the plane ceiling showing movies that Indians and foreigners took turns at not being able to understand. People with nice CD players were given envious looks. People carried 2-3 books. And a whole lot of people looked bored. Dead bored.

Last night, I just noticed that things were different. People had cellphone, IPods, PSPs, and laptops with wi-fi connections keeping them busy. But these are gadgets that kept them busy while they were at the airport. Once you are inside the flight, the interactive TV takes over. There are 20-odd movies and several TV serials and music videos to choose from. Suddenly, the pod becomes redundant. The laptop is not needed unless you have some work that needs attention. Discman is history. Every seat has its own console. You can play some games too. These days, there are less people looking bored. Even on flights that keep you meaninglessly engaged for 16 hours at a go.  There are television screens with beaming newsreaders, several coffee and snack joints. There is free internet from Airtel for wifi enabled laptops. There aer sophisticated blackberries that people use to check their emails. There are English speaking Indians at the airport, a greater queue at the duty free, and a different kind of chaos. 80% of the young travelers have some variant of an iPod.

However, everything has a short-lived utility. Even relationships.

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

2 Responses to Changing redundancies…

  1. Amit says:

    naah… back then, there used to be a journal or a diary 😉

    and I insist.. times are changing.. you dont know what you should expect 3 years down the line… at least in India! 🙂

  2. Sreejith says:

    all this in 3 years!? also.. 3 years ago, did you think about blogging what you saw while you whiling away time at the airport? 🙂

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