The trap of luxuries that come free of cost when the old is thrown out

Sep 26, 2022

Our excitement over amazing things is waning because we get them free and effortlessly to over-use or abuse them. The gap between childhood memories and accessibility to those wonders speaks about how we have closed the distance between a safe zone and a risky zone. It also speaks of how mercilessly we abandon the possession that we were once proud of. As the world is shrinking, we have compressed our luxuries on a device that we carry in our pocket. Nonetheless, that is a trap on which we have pawned our privacy and secrecy.  

Sometimes we feel regret over some of our past experiences. Just like homesickness. The memory of childhood with a fascination for something new brings inexplicable joy. The fabulous Kotak camera still flashes the memory of the 80-90s. The brilliant tape recorder still reverberates aloud in the mind. The legendary ambassador car continues to occupy the space of the memory of the 80-90s.

Though change is what amuses us, the great memories about the threshold of change are more amusing. I used to save money to buy some music cassettes to make my small Walkman be of big use. In those days, I was crazy about it. Videocassette players had only a short life.

The emergence of compact disc (CD) players outdated the cassettes. A huge collection of cassettes became a heap of waste. By the time, the predecessor, the gramophone, which ruled the music media for three decades, retired to become an artefact and an imperial vestige to decorate the interior of royal mansions. Gramophone now carries a vintage impression.

When the old ones become burdens, cute ones cheer us. That is how the pen drive has become our next preference, thanks to IBM’s ThinkPad line launched in 1998. Lasting microchips with huge memory became popular and “value for money”. Cellular phones equipped with memory condensed everything from cameras to cassettes. The larger spectrums and change in the generation of communication could handle huge bandwidths. You don’t need anything, but to pay some bucks to recharge the data. You will have the entire world in your pocket. What is next? No idea!

The gadget in your pocket is everything. Your secrets, your wealth, your business, your bank, your friends, your entertainment, your friend and foe. The mobile phone takes all responsibilities, taking care of your needs and serving you obediently.

If we have reached unimaginably and unexpectedly thus far, what is next is unanswerable, because the change is endless. We can only ask what is next? What may be the shape of the system in the store? No idea, we need to wait until it comes to us.

A camera was new to rural India until a few years ago. Kotak was a generic name to camera, like Bisleri to bottled water in the Indian market. Thirty years or so ago the Kotak camera was a luxury item in the hands of an individual. That was stately and valuable. Only the urban settled rich had this camera, which used to grace the owner with nobility. The ordinary people used to see it only on special occasions like a marriage ceremony. Today, the camera has no class of customers. It is used even for funerals.

The craze over the camera has gone. There was a time we used to have an excitement to see our pictures copied by the camera, a kind of hypnotic device. With time, it brought innovations to add to the amazement of its users. But for ordinary people phones meet their limited purposes. Professional photographers and photoholics still “worship” the device.

Come the mid-90s. The legendary Ambassador, called the King of Indian roads, began to lose the sheen of its crown. The British origin salon met with the fate of dinosaurs by the storm of new-gen cars. Ambassador virtually ruled the roads with no rivals. The sedan of rich families and rulers had unmatched comfort and feeling of netter safety. But new generation cars with astounding technology features redefined the travelling comfort. At the same time, the car has become a common piece within the affordability of a commoner. We are enjoying the features, overlooking what we have lost over the years.

A modern car provides incredible features and facilities. Without being inside or nearby, we see on our smartphone where its wheels are turning and where it stops. We track our car on a real-time basis. Today, a car is not just an automobile product, but an intelligent fun-filled electronic product with floating wheels that reduces our driving efforts. We don’t need music to enjoy our driving. A car gives you enough fun.

Our excitement over the tape recorder, camera, passenger car, etc is on the wane. These have become ordinary parts of our life, ebbing the special feelings over them that once we used to nurse. Social media like FB and YouTube, smartphones and passenger cars with sophisticated features have made all the excitement just ordinary parts of our daily life. Everything comes to us effortlessly. We do not enjoy something that comes to us effortlessly. When we move fast to access newer facilities we kill the old ones, which we enjoyed for decades. But we forget, anything that comes to us so easily, which once used to amaze us, also brings with it a trap.

Before embracing amazing things that come to us, following sweet bits of advice, moving by even friendly guidance let us think twice. Often, we run for it only by risking our lives, killing our fond memories and pawning ourselves in the hands of devious brains. Worse, we are killing something we have been friendly with for a long time and running after something to soothe our irrational craze. What we bought for our lifetime is abandoned mid-way as we see another one, burning our money and the heart that we had set on it once. No value for money, but, above it, our ingratitude to our heart! Brutally we throw out our once-darling possessions. Still no regret!!

Everything that glitters is not gold. We have done enough damage for ourselves and fallen into an inescapable trap. The more we enjoy the facilities that fascinated us in the 80s and 90s, that too freely until they are made ordinary experiences, the more we are feeding the big data with our privacy and secrecy.