We say we want to live and yet our world is fixated on tiny, rectangular screens.

I’ve been sitting in this train for quite some time and no one smiles at me. When I smile at them, they nod and quickly look back at the screen in their hands, fiercely typing again.

Everyone has some or the other sort of earphones plugged into their ears. Whatever happened to listening to the soothing pitter-patter of the rain or the hooting of the owl or even the whistle of the train?

They are on their devices, finding out what’s happening on the other side of the world and yet not knowing what’s next to them. The girl with a tear-stained face and a suitcase held close, where is she going? Or the handsome man sitting across from me with the prettiest eyes – how I long to talk to him but he’s content in talking to his phone.

We live in a world where we are told to be kind, to listen to others’ stories and yet no one wants to be the teller anymore. They will listen only if you send it to them through electronic means.

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How can I find love in a world where choosing a filter is more important than the memory captured?

Are we even humans? We are programmed to go through a usual 9-5 in front of a screen, an hour-long travel to reach home where another screen is used to pass time and then finally another device at home after which we finally lie down only to wake up and repeat the cycle all over again.

And when even one of us tries to get out of this closed circle, eyebrows are raised collectively and their story becomes ‘viral’. Why are we not more open to differences?

I’m on the train and yet I cannot see a single person with a newspaper in their hands. Am I too old to expect one? How many of them would know what a tabloid means?

I don’t want to swipe left or right. I want to find love the old-fashioned way. Probably in a park, where our eyes meet and we have a conversation! Is that so out of reach? But how can I find love in a world where choosing a filter is more important than the memory captured?

So I will still smile at the others on this train and I will tell the handsome man across from me that he has the prettiest eyes. Unafraid to be different! Unafraid to look stupid! Because I will be the old, homely-smelling book in a world of Kindles!

 

Love,

A millennial.

 

 

Author: Zainab Haji

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