She turned as the sound of the alarm kept ringing in her ears refusing to stop even though she willed it to. Groaning mentally she reached under her pillow for the nth time checking her messages and her Facebook wall , secretly hoping for some news that would cheer her up or make her day better.
No such thing happened of course and she spent the next 15 minutes scrolling mindlessly through stories on Facebook and reading her messages on whats app and checking Instagram updates before her daughter came running through the door…
“Mummy , you woke up “she screamed, “Its 7 pm , what time do you need to go to work today ?”
“ I have a shift at 10 pm darling, come give me a hug ! “
She felt the warm body envelop her in her embrace and felt some of her tiredness leaving her
“Mummy, why do you have to work these night shifts, Angie’s Mom doesn’t work, she spends her entire time with her kids and they all have so much fun !” Ria grumbled..
Smiling “Baby, I work so that I can do my best for you and I can get you the best of everything in the world “
“But all I want is you!!”
Dia smiled some more holding her child closely, there were many days she regretted her decision of working nights in a BPO and sleeping through the day as she was missing out on the best days of her child’s life..But she was blessed she had a supportive family who helped her out while she worked, her husband was a hands on parent and her mother was always around.She was also thankful for the neighborhood aunty who was Ria’s tuition teacher , her maid who took care of her house like it was her own family and all the other people in her life who pitched in to keep her world moving.
Her mother bought her a cup of coffee and came in and started with her usual tales of the day.She told Dia about the pending bank work that was due for quite a few weeks , how the maid yet again made tasteless food and how Ria had been running around not listening to her.
Dia again looked back at her phone screen, trying to ignore what her mother was telling her. She craved for peace and quiet after a long tiring day of work that wasn’t satisfying. She worked for a high pressure sales firm where daily targets were the way of life. Managing a team of youngsters wasn’t easy and getting them to meet their daily goals was a task whilst working long hours at night sapped away her energy.
She called her husband and he said he was on his way home so she went about her daily routine of getting dressed up for work thinking about how she would manage her boss today.
By the time she was ready to leave, her husband rang the bell and they quickly exchanged greetings and off she went .
Her boss was in a bad mood as usual and started firing questions at her the moment she reached – why wasn’t the target met yesterday, what did she do to correct the situation, what was her plan of action for today..And the headaches began.
When on break, she reached out for her phone again, flipping through shopping sites to distract her and didn’t look up to see her team member eagerly waiting to speak to her. She got herself a cup of coffee reading an article on how to cope with workplace stress and the latest gossip on social media.
At 7 Am, she was ready to flee from work and rush back home …Her friend Sara called when she went down her office building
“Dia how have you been, its been so long , and am back in Pune today for the next few days , lets catch up over coffee like old times “
She tried to not sound irritated when she responded “Its so good to hear you’re here but honestly I have no time for anyone darling, I am always trying to get stuff done and am exhausted through the day trying to catch up on some sleep , am working on weekends , I don’t have any time to breathe let alone meet my friends “
Sara heard her out and said “Hey but you did all this and much more a year back and felt so happy you could do everything you wanted, we envied your perfect life and husband and kid and home.You were able to do everything so whats changed love?
“Well, My entire day is so tiring, I wake up and respond to my messages, I rush to work and spend the day with an annoying boss and come home and try to sleep but keep getting interrupted with pings, texts, notifications, my mom waking me up with some thing she wants to remind me of or my daughter trying to wake me and talk to me that by the time I wake up, I am already in a bad mood…I don’t get time to go to the gym or meet my friends or spend time with Ria or Jeet, everything’s about work these days !!!”
“But I see you online lots..I am sure your able to catch up with people Dia!!!”
“Well that’s the only time I feel like I am doing something of my own, checking peoples updates , I respond quickly if people send me a text , and I always have my phone in my hand when am not at work. That’s the only thing that helps me feel connected and sane.”
“Hmmmm”, said Sara “But Dia , have you realized that your so engrossed in your phone that you have stopped interacting with real people and real situations, your being online all the time takes away your rest and sleeping time, keeps you grumpy and tired all day.I am not saying that to you so we meet but you have changed from the real warm person you were to a cranky person that no one wants to be with anymore. Maybe its time you started thinking about keeping your phone away for a few hours every day and working on re-building your relationships.”
Dia listened to her silently and suddenly an image came to her mind.Her mother was trying to tell her something but she wasn’t even listening as she was busy reading about someones latest vacation to Dubai on Facebook, her mothers face dropped and she said “Dia, you never have any time for me anymore !!!! “and slowly walked away..Another image flashed through her mind as she heard her daughter tell her “Mama, your always on whats-app at home and you have no time for me !!”
She just realized that she had become such an addict to the mobile device in her hand that she had forgotten how to live her life without that piece of technology.All her relationships were mostly virtual ones and she had no time or patience to invest in the real people who loved her leaving her unhappy all the time.It wasn’t her job or stress or the lack of time, she had chosen to hide behind her phone rather than work at her life.
She reached home to see her daughter waiting for her with a customary hug and kiss and tears came to her eyes as she told Ria. We are going to spend the evening going to the park , just you and me.She saw her child’s eyes light up as she asked “Promise ?”
She then went up to her mom and told her Ill wake up early and tell me all about the pending work that needs to be taken care of and I will do that over my week offs.Her mother gave her a quick forgiving smile and agreed.
She met her husband and told him about her day and set her alarm and went to sleep.
A few hours later………………………
She turned as the sound of the alarm kept ringing in her ears….She reached out under her pillow to check her phone for notifications as realization hit her of what she had been thinking about all day !!!…And she stopped and switched off her phone and called out to Ria..“Hey Morning, are you ready to go to the park !!!!!!!!!”
Life is waiting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!