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    Down The Memory Lane

    When my office receptionist called me to collect my courier, the last thing I expected the courier would contain a New Year's greetings card. Thanks to one of my friend who took the pain in dispatching it along with throwing a big window open down the memory lane. Another decade passed by with blink of an eye. It seems as if it was yesterday when we shook our hand for the first and last time with our college dean while collecting our engineering certificates in the year 2000.

    The decade started with the the famous Y2K problem which gave Mr. Bill Gates few strained wrinkles on his forehead , probably thinking about his organization and his kid's future. When I do a fair analysis on what we gained and what we lost in these 10 years, I somehow tend to give the lost part the benefit of doubt to take the honors. In fact as we are growing day-by-day in terms of technology, global outlook, social reforms, terrorist attacks, diplomatic bull fights, brainwashed Jehadis, we definitely tend to lose more than we gain decade after decade.

    In our school days the approach of new year bring along a whole lot of activities. A list needed to be prepared of all the prospective relatives, distant relatives, who needed to be greeted, at least two weeks prior. Few even used to prepare a parallel list containing individuals likings, hobbies and even favorite colour and movie actor/actress separately. Once the list was duly approved by at least a dozen family members, the process of buying Greeting cards depending on individuals choice was put into action.

    You know Rupen Mama loves dogs so much, so this card with this cute little Poppy would just suit his taste.
    Yeh true, but he likes bull dogs more. 'Bhaya yeh same background main bull dog wala card milega kya?', goes the question with anxiously waiting for a yes nod from the vendor. Never mind if he shakes his head in denial. After all there are so many greetings card stalls in line. We would eventually get a bull dog imprinted card anyway, otherwise would ask Rima didi to fetch it from the market outside her office. Don't you think this picture of the burning fire would disturb Bobly Mausi, as she just lost her 'Mother-in-law's younger sister's, daughter's father-in-law?' Oh yes. Lets send this sunset one rather. We were so meticulous and concerned even when selecting a card. After such efforts of highest magnitude, if we happen to miss someone by mistake, then we would make it a point to call the person on 1st January and wishing him personally along with begging sorry for not sending a card.

    Now I don't see this excitement any more. Forget about the excitement, I even don't see the lines of temporary card stalls selling millions of cards of different taste any more. Where they have gone ? Where this December enthusiasm of sending the greetings to their loved ones evaporated? Few guys in their mid twenties, who would have their own E-Mail IDs long before they even got their 10th grade mark sheet, would term me as old fashioned only comparable to their respective Dadajis and Taujis, but I personally never felt greeting someone was old fashioned or would be old fashioned ever. Don't you think we lost this joy of the enormous feeling of greeting our loved ones with a physical thing, even if it was only a Rs.5/- card. Let me assure you, even thousand virtual greetings with better and customized scenes send via E-Mails can't give the pleasure against the joy of receiving a card via post. This I felt when I got the card from one of my many long forgotten friends.

    Gone is the decade when all current affairs buffs used to wait till 9 P.M in the night to see the news of the day narrated by Salma Aga in our own Doordarshan. Thanks to our current 24 hours news channels, which even show, if a guy is pick pocketed at Palika Bazar for half an hour. The famous Jingle bell sound of DD News program is long been silent and our DD came up with their own 24 hours news channel to meet the current demand. Only sorry part is that there are not enough Pick Pocketing reported everyday to be different in content from other such channels. I Still remember, the effort I had to administer in convincing my father to get the Cable TV connection for watching the ongoing Ashes series in England. So much effort for what : A single transponder airing different channels on time sharing and demand basis. 'Bhaya abhi Amitab Bachhan ka movie dega. Can you air ZEE TV plz?' That was fun trust me.

    No wonder we don't have to call the Cable guy now for our favorite channel, after all now we have Dish Tv, airing at least 200 channels at a time. So 'Wish karo, Dish karo'. We lost the fight among siblings for individuals favorite channel and the extra effort put in our study timings to keep on convincing our parents that we are not getting ruined due to the idiot box. Least to say I still miss the stripe rainbow color signal feed used to appear before the actual airing of the program.

    I feel our unofficial national game Cricket is also loosing it's grip on the viewers demand list. It's no more the curfew imposer as it used to be a decade and half back. I still remember when me and my father drove all the way from Bhubaneswar to Barabati stadium in Cuttack to see a Ranji Match between Orissa and West Bengal. Now the broadcasting channel has to request the organizers to start the match one hour late in Newzeland, so that their could be more viewers as the original timing would be 4:30 in the morning India time and would become too painful for the Indian viewers to get up. No more craze left for India Vs pakistan ties. No more Javed Miadad hitting a six on the last ball of the match to win it and running like a mad cow back to the pavilion and of course the joy in his face which would even put the joy of Julius Caesar, after concurring the world, into back burner.

    The Tring..Tring sound of the postman's cycle bell is getting minimal and minimal. All posts are now being routing via E-Mails. It won't be far off when we wouldn't see the Khaki clad guy distributing letters from door to door so honestly. I feel, if I have to show my kid a Postcard or In-land letter I might have to visit the nearest muesium. Gone are those days when you just needed 15 paisa to send your feelings in writing to your loved ones. Now-a-days nobody would even slap you, if you request him to do the act in exchange of the same 15 Paisa. By the way, where in earth we would get those 10 Paisas and 5 Paisas, which was the cost of a single Golgappa during my school days.

    Let me stop this blabber or else I might give you a feeling as if I am TRex. Extinct. Let me assure you I am not that Old. But the fact is we actually lost so many things as a whole and me few personally. I lost my bachelorhood, as I got married this decade. Lost my innocence as I stepped into the world of corporate and job. Lost my confidence, that I can do anything, as I failed miserably in two of my entrepreneurial adventures. Lost my easy go attitude as life taught me few aspects the hard way. Thankfully I haven't lost one thing that is my sense of humor. Thanks Sambit, for this wonderful gesture of sending the greetings card. I would definitely preserve it as a treasure for the rest of my life. But let me tell you: You just went a bit out of the way. Don't you have an E-Mail ID ?

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