Old Telephone
Why do you ring no more?Creative Commons

What have we done to ourselves? From being joyously connected to once; to slowly snapping the real world ties. We moved from real life meetings to telephones, mobiles to speaking 'more often' yet gradually lost touch. Enter; WhatsApp, Skype and now we can be virtually present in real time yet are just as disinterested and disconnected as ever.

Gloating and ranting on Facebook, venting frustrations and upping the one-upmanship on Twitter, painting Instagram with our selfies, crafting the delusions-of-grandeur and pumping iron into our egos.

Sharing success and happiness became less of a genuine effort to inform and more of a 'rubbing-it-in' regimen. With the rat-race of the corporate world or the mad-rush of the society, even I lost myself somewhere and forgot the 'human connections'.

This teacher's day, I decided not to pull a 'Thank You Teacher' on my Facebook wall. I resolved to call each one of my teachers, convey my gratitude and seek their blessings. I called one, called another, called a few more. One common element emerged; no response.

Checked their social media handles only to find them active as recently as "2 minutes ago" (subtle stalking?). Dawned upon me, that it wasn't only I who had "moved-on" but others did too. Not so surprisingly, I was attempting to go back to a time and space where only a few had stayed back.

But then, even the ones still there, simply ignored the wired landline phone ringing. Why? Presumably, they just don't want to believe someone would actually bother call on that 'ancient' instrument/number.

This happened in my case at least. When I rang up my old school principal, he answered only after my 10 (yes, 10. And I was resilient) consecutive attempts. The excitement in his voice was so telling that I could picture him almost breaking into a chuckle (in disbelief). We exchanged pleasantries, he was happy to hear my voice, he exclaimed and instantly remembered me as "Gadbad-Shah" (the king of trouble makers. That's another story) and our conversation continued for over 45-good-minutes.

"I heard the phone ring multiple times. Nobody calls on this number anymore so I thought it must be someone's mobile phone with a tring-tring ringtone (laughs). But when it just kept on ringing, I got up to check. Good, you called on this number. I haven't used this handset in a long time. Nobody calls on this number anymore."

"Nobody calls on this number anymore".

How many such landline numbers do you have hidden in some 'telephone diary' somewhere? Do yourself a favour. Ring up a few, and thank me later.

Remember, you might not find all the numbers (still) active. Some of those people must have moved to newer places. But the ones you manage to get in touch with, the joy will be priceless.

Let's stay 'connected' in this profoundly disconnected space.