Thursday, 9 June 2016

Birthday calls or birthday pings?

Birthdays are meant to be special whether you are a year old or a hundred. If you look at it that way, the days before the birthday are the ones more exciting that the birthday itself. The birthday comes and before you know it its gone. For me, one of the many things that I have looked forward to on my birthday are the numerous birthday calls one after another. It feels like birthday only when the phone starts buzzing and doesn't stop for a very long time. The sheer excitement of being on a call and having five more on wait is what has always made the birthday kick in for me. 
This ritual has however, unfortunately for me, changed a great deal over the years. While we get used to new and newer forms of technology or communication, we often leave behind the old methods. So, before Facebook and Whatsapp came people used to wish each other generally over calls and sometimes over a text message. Now people ping each other on Facebook and Whatsapp instead of wasting balance on a call. If you ask me why people do that, well, to begin with, you save balance, its easier, faster, also it often saves awkward conversation with people you do not like a lot but have to wish. However, if you look beyond these merits, it has a dark side like everything else. The personal touch and the little chit-chat which used to happen while calling and wishing a person is completely lost with the system of pings. For instance, you cannot call up a person, wish her and hang up. You have to talk for a bit and then politely hang up. Even though you might not always want to have a conversation with a person, that wish might have made a person's birthday a wish more special, an extra call on wait. Those of you who, like me, have counted the people who have called and who have texted etc. at the end of the day will understand what exactly I mean when I say "a wish more special". I accept that often I have taken the benefit of pinging people on their birthdays as well just like you. But that was probably because until now I had not realized what a call might be worth. It is okay to ping each other for every other thing, but I hope after reading this, some of you would try and keep the old system of calling and wishing going. These are the small little gestures that matter, that one remembers, that we should try to preserve against the force of time.


  1. No doubt in the old days there were similar complaints when people started calling rather than sending thoughtfully-composed letters :D