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With our social media addiction, in a world increasingly connected virtually, how easy is it for us to connect in real life?
We live in a world where sending emoticons is much easier than expressing emotions in real. This truth caught me by surprise in the middle of an ordinary day.
While I was buying vegetables and haggling with the hawker over prices, I felt somebody’s gaze on me, I turned around to see an elderly woman looking at me, and just as I waited for our eyes to meet, she blinked and looked away. She was probably in her seventies, the grey and white in her hair matched the white plaster of an old wall. Her body looked like a building which had been vacated by its inhabitants long time ago.
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She clutched the solitary currency note tightly in her fist, and questioned the hawker about the final amount, with a puzzled look in her eyes. But soon, she handed over the note to him almost as easily as someone surrenders to the battle even before fighting it.
All this time, I stole a glance or two to look at her, and when I turned around, I could see from the corner of my eyes, that she did the same, but with the fear of getting caught.
It was clear that she wanted to catch my eyes and connect. She looked like a lonely soul. Maybe buying vegetables or running a household errand was her only chance at socializing. May be these chance meetings gave her an opportunity to peep out of the window of her soul and reach out to people. Only to think about them in the solitude of her balcony, where she would sit sipping her tea, while the sun shone on her, covering her with an angelic halo.
As I continued with my purchase, I saw her fiddling with her bag, as if she was reluctant to go. As if she wanted to try for one last time to connect.
Being a pro at connecting online and having virtual friends from around the world, I felt amazed at my inability to respond to a human signal coming from such a close proximity. I finally mustered up courage and felt an adrenaline rush akin to proposing someone, before I finally smiled at her.
Instantly her face broke into a splendid smile, as she stretched her lips from ear to ear. No matter how small the stone, it always creates ripples, in the quietest of waters. And so was the case with her.
She slowly moved away, while the smile on her face lingered on. Once she disappeared from my sight, I realized that she had left something back.
It was her smile that was now sitting pretty on my lips.
Image source: social media addiction by Shutterstock.
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