Corporate Sunsets

Leaving work during the golden hour is a once in a blue moon phenomenon for us working in the hustle bustle of this megacity called Mumbai. There have been times when its raining cats and dogs outside, and we are totally unaware – sitting at our desks, in our cubicles, working away on a laptop, sipping coffee or just “networking” at the workplace..!

As I wrap up my work for the day, leave from office and walk towards the metro station, I’m pleasantly surprised realising that the sun is just about to set, secretly thinking “wow, I’m really early today!”. Continuing the jolly mood, I get into the metro lift, humming the latest Bollywood song, cross the security check, swipe in, and reach the escalator. While on the escalator, I again see some glimpses of the Sun, peeping now and again from behind one or the other tall buildings.

While in the metro, occassionally glancing at the setting sun through the concrete jungle that lies around, I take myself back in time to the last real sunset I saw.. paragliding somewhere in Lonavala almost a year ago, flying above the mountains, where the curvature of the Earth is quite visible, and so are the beaming rays of the Sun… Feeling free, light and carefree… Just opening my arms and flying away, oblivious of the science called Gravity!… The acrobatics in air don’t even seem to take much effort, bet I would’ve sprained an ankle or hurt a knee doing the same on any given surface of the Earth… A train jolt brings me back to reality, and a push on my back makes me realise my destination has arrived! As I alight the metro, I realise the Sun has gone it’s own way in a matter of seconds, just as the crowd around me is rushing to reach their destinations..

From FOMO to JOMO

So my new year 2019 began with a bang, literally. First, the enthrallment of an exciting new opportunity at work. Then, a little mishap at home, that suddenly left me without a phone. WITHOUT a PHONE. Without the instrument that by all means rules us humans these days!

Three days straight. No phone. No social media. No calls either. First day, I must admit I felt a bit uneasy, little anxious, and mostly uncertain about how in the world would I be able to progress throughout the day without a phone! We often don’t give much thought to the fact that our day begins as well as ends with our mobile phones. What with the morning alarm going off waking us, to the final mail/social media check before sleeping at night. Whatever model, old or new, we all tend to hold our mobile phones dear to our hearts!

It was only by the end of the first day that I realised the amount of time one can save and use more constructively instead of being constantly glued to the phone. Every mode of transport taken – bus, metro, auto and local trains – all had one thing in common – almost each and every person travelling was in some way or the other glued to their phones. Some were on calls, some playing games, few surfing some or the other social media platforms, and the remaining ones listening to music on their phones. Personally, it felt a bit weird as I was the odd one out looking here and there, observing the people and surroundings; instead of incessantly glaring into my phone screen.

I wouldn’t shy away from accepting that somewhere deep down I was definitely suffering from FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out. Missing out on the hottest Twitter trends and latest Insta stories. Random pre-wedding shoot pictures on Facebook, and some celebrity’s lavish multiple reception pictures. Really, these are things that actually fill up a big chunk of our social media circle. These are the very same things that keep us hooked to our phones all day. The same things that put simply, spoil our minds and kill our creativity.

Without the devil electronic device in hand 24×7, I genuinely did find more time in hand to do stuff that I like doing, to introspect, to think about things other than routine! Offcourse, I did also miss the morning alarms that ring on the phone, the easy usage of Paytm to make digital payments, the random LinkedIn surfing during free time in office, the constant listening to Gaana.com while travelling, and the Netflix and Chill moments at the end of the day. At the same time, not doing all of these things for two consecutive days made me feel calm and relaxed mentally. I actually started feeling less of a slave to the phone, and more emotionally sound.

By the time the third day arrived, realisation struck that my day will still start and end well without constant need of being glued to the phone. There are so many things to see, observe, hear about in the world that we live in. We can still reach a new destination by just asking around our fellow humans, Google Maps isn’t the only option, you know 😉

Today as I was waiting at the mobile repair shop to get back my device, all I could think about was the Joy Of Missing Out that I experienced first hand, thanks to the mobile mishap. For three days straight, my time was really and fully mine, not shared with any social media platform capturing my attention. This imparted a kind of sense of freedom! A social media detox that was totally worth it!