Terrific Technology or Terrible Technology??

I strolled the winding road of Crystal Drive, beside the prim young mulberry bushes and flowering moonbeams and ivy snaking around the front doors of the estate of similar whitewashed houses; a dazzling emerald in the stupefying, crisp midsummer sunshine. I swivelled open the weather worn, rusted, ajar gate of old, grime-coated, steel which still bore the faint, italic letterings which spelt “Sunshine on my Pot” . A tommyrot name for a house…
I sauntered towards the back garden, gingerly tiptoed past over trillions of carefully designed clay pots, vases arrayed against the cobblestone path, tipping slightly in the hint of a summer breeze. Harriet, (a clay pot making enthusiast, jovial and sometimes obstinate, with hazel curls and coffee bean tinted eyes) her eyes as round as tomatoes while absorbed in the shaping with serenity, was perfecting the wet clay transforming it to an oblong vase which went wide at the rim and round at the bottom. She was surrounded with loads more pots smothered with wonderful African and Chinese murals. I lingered closer and protruded into Harriet’s vision. “Hello! Do you mind placing this in the oven?” she asked vaguely and motioned me to take the vase from her hardened clay hands. I whisked it away and shoved it gently and swiftly in the oven as a split second later the gradual stuffy, blistering heat clapped over my hands. I gazed hazily at the slowly rotating figure of the clay as the crimson glow of the oven made that figure sturdier and solid.
Meanwhile, Harriet organized a picnic right in the back garden. She spread out an ancient Persian mat, its patterns of fiery red turned magenta with age, and laid out the snacks. The tea was lip-smacking- tuna and cheese sandwiches and toast topped with mulberry jam and freshly picked strawberries with custard and frothy cream. We washed up, splashing beads of water everywhere, watching bubbles fizz up and being a bit peckish we ravenously licked out sugar from dried apricots. Later, we played a fair game of chess and a more challenging game of scrabble in which we didn’t know who won! We peered out of the clear window and noticed the majestic sun, a brilliant orange (the shade of marmalade or like a massive orange marigold), casting its last few strands of gold before sinking down (like Titanic, I thought) through the wispy clouds of the silhouette of an evergreen forest.
A few years later… Harriet had moved to a spacious flat in the city…
I rang the doorbell rapturously, daydreaming about the same amusement, the same tech-free day we had when Harriet was still living in the countryside, in Crystal Drive. “Oh! Hello dear… Come on in, Harriet’s just doing her pottery in the bedroom…” Harriet’s mother said, putting on her best smile. I wondered on the threshold how Harriet can do pottery in a flat- let alone baking the clay. I briskly walked in towards the hall and it was like entering the parlor of the first class. Hanging unflinchingly on the ceiling like a bat in the woodlands, was an ostentatious, gilded chandelier, its counterfeit, diamond-like gems meandering down giving the impression of a winding staircase. A lone, ornate grandfather clock with its golden needles pointed out the time with two needles; a spindly and a squat one. A black, podgy leather couch with down cushions faced a Samsung Curve television glinting in the mellow light from the chandelier. The flat still smelt of the pungent smell of whitewash and of new carpets.
I walked in, finding Harriet’s room at last, the door was festooned with an enormous ‘Keep Out’ written in Harriet’s dirty scrawl. (I did have to search vigorously for it, every nook and corner).
The room was really crammed and cluttered up with all her lovely pots and vases wreathed with exotic designs, I barely could open the door! Harriet helloed and welcomed me in.
“So, where is the wet clay, the firing oven, the new pots and the templates for painting on the pots?” I questioned her.
“There’s nothing a question to ask… Everything is in there…” Harriet responded, pointing discreetly to an iPhone on the mattress.
Obviously an app, she introduced me to a digital pottery world she was fussing over and thinking it awesome how the vases came out of the firing house without a crack in it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not jealous but it was quiet irksome. Harriet grabbed my attention again when she showed me ‘Flappy Bird’ and ‘Temple Run’ and ‘Angry Birds’. I didn’t find it addicting at all but it was fun the first time I played it. After a good half hour of showing me the Samsung Curve, in which it was thrilling to see movies in, we ate a mouth watering meal we chose from Harriet’s iPhone (“Where are our cookbooks? Well, we don’t need those when we have our iPhones, do we? We have cookbooks, dictionaries and even the Holy Bible!” Harriet had exclaimed)
“Let’s go out and play tennis!” I suggested.
“We don’t need to go out! We can simply on my Xbox…” she wavered and then trundled onwards to on it.
We had to have the remote as a makeshift racket. It was a game of mere distraction, as the ‘ting’ of WhatsApp kept reverberating across the room. “Excuse me… I urgently need to reply to this joke.” Said Harriet, hurriedly leaving the room.
I shut down the whole system at once, scurried out of the wretched house as quiet as a church mouse- without anyone knowing, of course. Harriet had lost a friend for good…
Can technology be so addicting? I’ve never given a second thought. Technology can make things more at ease, much faster than manual. Touchscreen the biggest highlight. Can you live without your phone, nowadays? Are books really fading away? True, there are eBooks and Kindle but the smell and the feel of books are going to be missed. Imagine the jolly good old days when family dinners were all about knowing how each ones days were spent, and now everyone is just nibbling their iPhones instead of their food…

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3 thoughts on “Terrific Technology or Terrible Technology??

  1. Without doubt.. terrific technology.. everything in life is a mixture of this and that..when you go to extreme its pain.. Balance is quintessential in everything.. kudos to you alka.. as always well written.. no words to describe..you are simply outstanding

  2. AT the outset, dear sweet Alka, you are excellent. You have a good story telling taste. Keep it up.

    As you rightly observed technology has its advantages. It can not replace many good things in life. And your writing proves that it can not replace written word too. Keep it up my dear.

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