I was at a party the other day and I noticed something very disturbing... instead of mingling with one another, the guests were busy staring into their phones! Common etiquette tells us that we must not use our cell phones in the company of others unless there is an emergency. It is extremely rude to answer phone calls without excusing oneself, check messages under the table while on a family dinner or surf the net when you have your friends around you who need more of your attention. Our society is becoming increasingly impolite when it comes to social interactions. I really think we should start a revolution to stop this social nuisance.
One way to get everyone to talk to each other face to face is to take their gadgets away - all of those from iPods, tablets and smartphones to smartwatches and bluetooth earphones. I feel that we cannot be together unless we remove all distractions from around us. Once we have all the gadgets out of the way, we should get people to play some games. It could be an outdoor sport such as cricket or football, or just a good old run in the park. Getting outdoors does a lot of good things to us. Nature helps us break silos like nothing else does.
Recently, my bank took us out to the Phasanwadi village, a little away from Mumbai. And we spent most of the time frolicking in the rustic huts, planting saplings of mango, lime and cashew. It gave me a different sense of achievement to dig out earth, clear the stones and finally place the saplings. We were sweating under the sweltering sun, but we all loved every bit of that experience! It felt amazing to realize that we were planting oxygen givers for the villagers.
Playing around trees and plants can be really good for those with respiratory problems. I myself have asthma. When I was a kid, I used to stay cooped up in my house and I hated playing outdoors. This only aggravated by asthmatic attacks. But once I started working, I got outdoors and started running. Today, I find it very easy to ignore my phone and laptop and I only focus on my surroundings when I go on my runs. I have run at several long distance running events, the most recent one being in Rishikesh. This has also won me many new friends, other than the obvious benefit of having great health! At the Rishikesh 15 kilometer run, most of the terrain was on the mountain tail. I even passed some mountain goats on my way! It was amazing to see the lovely Ganga River flowing all along the route.
I like Kissan's latest initiative. How cute of them to have a tomato topped cap for the sauce bottles and to hand out tomato seeds to all! :-) I love tomatoes! My grandmum used to grow them in her garden, and I distinctly remember plucking a ripe tomato one summer. Growing veggies and planting trees is a great way to get together and have a social gathering!