Sunday, September 23, 2012

Over communication:: 21 century`s first problem

I was travelling from Bharuch to Baroda on a sunny Saturday. Train was as usual jam pack and there was no place to keep foot. All of a sudden an uncle woke up and recognized his station and jumped out of train making “a seat vacant in general class”. I sat there first so it was mine; after a long time I got a chance to “sit & travel in train” at same time. But as soon as I came out of the moment, I saw a very old age person (in his early 90s) standing near me, reading book “conclusions of Rig veda” (Rig veda ka saar). From his cloths he looked poor but from his book he was richest man to me. I requested him to have the seat and as can be prejudged by his character, he declined. I requested him again and he accepted (considering age factor, I guess!). Now I was standing on his shoulder. Few other people appreciated the gesture and all of a sudden he said “Give me 5 mins. And I will be done”. I didn’t know what so say, And in like 7-8 mins. He turned to me and started casual conversation, name, place occupation etc. Few other travelers joined conversation by introducing themselves. As soon as I said my name and told him that I work in sanitary ware, he said “well someone is working on Gandhi’s dream”. Me a Gandhi`s dream, what the hell was this man talking about. And I turned this question to him and he replied “Gandhi`s dream was to see upper cast working in sanitary and lower cast in governmental or official class; meaning every one and every work is equal”. We both concluded by smile. People all around were listening. Further conversation turned into debate, and as usual I was standing against Gandhi. In between came a topic that stormed out everything.
Now, the man introduced himself as senior person in Army Bhola Pratap – some kind of communication`s department post independence. He was a big fan of “Garam dal” before independence. He explained the importance of communication before independence and reminded me few of examples like “Chapatti & Lotus Flower” (Roti Aur kamal ka fool). He said it was his dream to see communication flourishing in India. It was his dream to watch Congress rule like “a people`s government”. But then everything changed inside the congress and good people were thrown out and bad were becoming more captive. He said “my father use to tell me after all Congress party is a British party as it is started by A.O Humes. It may have Indian faces but its intentions will always try to run things like British”. He told me how angry he use to get when his father use to abuse Congress. TO get him more into deep, I pushed him “Do you think its all Congress`s fault?”. His reflexive answer was “No no - not at all. Congress share is 20%. It’s the people who couldn’t draw the line of their roles and functions post independence. You can blame my generation and my son`s generation (Or your father`s generation) who enjoyed the independent rights without writing their duties. We all abused our available resources and keep them in our house. All family were having 4 kids in 50s and 60s (Your father mother must be a 4 brother or sisters). That’s when family planning was set. Since 1960s population growth fell but we never closed our borders or checked our infiltration from all sides. We never know the cause of this population explosion till date? Why are we 100 Billion?
Post independence when celebration of independence was on going and was taking this face of madeness, there were awareness camps by Swami Vivekananda Societies for society but nothing came concrete. In less than a decade to make matters worse – there came T.V & Ramayan and all. Till radio it was OK. Initially T.V broadcast of 1 Hour of news was also good; but when 24 hrs of Doordarshan came it went to over communication. And the only reason India did it was because world was doing it!! Before independence, the plan was “to lead the world” but the truth was we were far behind the world to lead. And instead of telling this bitter truth “colorful tube-lights were required in Mumbai to make the arrows of Shri Ram and Ravan look real”. I was posted in “Government communication improvement program with Eastern states”, I was good in flying due to war with China and war with Pakistan. In 1980s after making Bangladesh country`s government were in fear that people in favor of calling east Pakistan may attack eastern territories. So to make communication strong I was allotted full Authority of “keeping communication 100% up by any and all means”. In order to maintain such high demand; I asked Army and government to give me any plain so that I can take a stop at Lucknow, Allahbad Kolkata and reach Siliguri (Assam) in Less than 6 Hrs. But our government couldn’t find a single plane out of Army as Army clarified it’s not a war situation and most fighter planes are on Repair. It was this time when TATA handed the Air India fleet and proved its loyalty to nation but in against to their loyalty. Air India was nationalized and merged to Indian airlines. This is how actual communication (the necessary one) was established while country was watching T.V. Its ever since that incidence, I am watching India go mad like anything on any kind of communication and these devices are make people more stupid and lame day by day without giving them the hint.”
A first class bogie silence ran through the whole general compartment.  Another gentleman asked “How is T.V and internet making us lame day by day?”.
He smiled and said “You tell me cause of any invention or discovery?”
Some college kid replied “Need or passion; desire to solve a problem!!”
Agreeing to man uncle again started and said “If everything can be googled or searched or bought over internet; how are you going to inspire the new generation to invent?  If you tell an upcoming generation a story you will feel that they can’t imagine it. My great-granddaughter is lucky to have us, and she may realize this decades later when I am not here; but few of my great granddaughter’s friends leave their children infront of T.V happily claiming that “she likes to hear this song, its his/her favorite”. What does a 4 year know about those songs? What do they like in it, I cant understand.
Let me take you back to our time, Imagine a time when news paper of 22nd September tells us that 24th Sept there is a match says India Pak 1 day and all players are fit and doing their practices. On 23rd September they will tell roughly about who is umpire and how is the pitch? And again player fitness and ticket status. On 24th Sept you have to put your ears on radio and hear the whole commentary or else India-Pak may win or lose but you will definitely loose the joy of match. This use of ears; this use of maintained desire to hear kept us keen in our time. It kept our ears connected to brain continuously for larger period of time and these hearing is to understanding capacities use to be very high. Moreover, Kids use to have aims of life like this “buying tickets and going into stadiums to watch match”. These days’ matches run in offices & hall as a background and work is pretty much affected. The more future generation kid you pick up they think they can more multi-task but in reality; they don’t do a single work upto the mark. A similar example of my experience is the letters I have read for all the family people in the village and the money order notes that I have read. They use to gift us with char-ana and say “write a reply”. How emotional they were; how much relation depth was there due to distance and no-connectivity. They valued their relation because of this. Talk more about it; our “gift” was termed as “bribe” by over communication.
Teach me something; Isn’t MBA colleges teaching “connect to your customer” in various ways? And if your customer is willing to pay an extra penne to stay connected to you; what is the problem with that? You are an MBA tell me?”
After a pause and a gulp of water from his bottle he said “Over communication causes over processing and an extra-load giving lesser time to process in brain and hence lead to defective results and causing bad situations at every part.
Look at the Euro crises; does that group of country needed to Make Euro? Their system was fine Greece was having low value on money, so Rest of Europeans uses to go there as it was cheap and enjoys their weekends and come back. After this political dream of Euro; Greece is too costly to travel for Europeans also. This overly fast communication got them into such a big trouble. People in Europe never wanted Euro – It was just a politician`s dream. A bad dream. It came this far only because over communication and forceful questions asked by media again and again and again. Every time they(media) ask the question got an answer and it become more real day by day.
For us the good thing is; now we are putting signs like “do not talk on mobile phone while driving”. “Keep your mobile on silent”. I wish you all a good luck in coming out of this communication dilemma and actually start acting on issues rather than telling more people and making a heap of not required information.
It was his station!