Some joys cannot be felt digitally

The onslaught of corona virus and the resultant lockdown turned life topsy-turvy. The supply of essentials got disrupted initially, but was restored within a couple of days.  However, newspaper remained an issue for quite some time. Holed up in   home, what my husband and I started missing the most was the daily newspaper. Our mornings did not remain the same;  the morning cup of tea lost its charm.

Ever since I remember the newspaper has been a part of my morning ritual. In fact, my reminiscences of newspaper go back to the time when I was just a kid. I remember, my father, an avid newspaper reader, pacing up and down as he waited anxiously for the newspaper every morning. Like a guided missile a newspaper roll used to land with a thud in our balcony. The day the target was missed, the army comprising my younger brother and sister including me, was pressed into search operation. Our father initiated us into reading newspapers at an early age; slowly it became a habit and now an addiction.

Unlike the techno-savvy generation of today that prefers to check news on mobile phones, I don’t enjoy reading news on Google as I miss the insightful editorials, the crisp Middles and many other features in a newspaper. For a technically challenged person like me, reading news digitally is a hassle; E-paper is not my cup of tea. Besides, flipping the pages of a newspaper has a joy of its own that cannot be felt digitally. In the age ‘infodemics’ when there is  an explosion of information without verification on social media, I bank upon traditional media. My inbox may be flooded with all sorts of forwarded messages, but I tend to depend upon the print media which I expect to be more responsible and reliable.

Coming back to the recent disruption in newspaper supply, there was no national daily for close to ten days. At a time when we were trying to get adjusted to the new reality, one fine morning we got a pleasant surprise. My eyes lit up to see a bundle of newspapers lying in the verandah. Excitedly, I rushed out to grab the newspapers, but hesitated for a moment as all those apprehensions crowded my mind. Then an idea, originally my brother’s, flashed across my mind. Picking up the newspapers I marched towards the ironing table, ironed the outer exposed pages with a hot iron and washed my hands thoroughly (full twenty seconds with soap and water). Newspaper and hands sanitized, with a glee on my face I sat down to enjoy my morning-a steaming cup of tea with a crisp copy of the newspaper in hand.

Not that there is much to cheer about these days, corona is everywhere. However, with newspaper back in the morning, a semblance of normalcy has been restored in our life.

(Published in Hindustan Times.Com on Sunday, 2 May, 2020)








17 Replies to “Some joys cannot be felt digitally”

  1. Exactly same condition,I felt when there was no newspaper. Reading newspaper in the morning is part of life. These days I go through these in the afternoon after quarn tining

    1. yes Neelam , we all are addicted to reading newspaper in the morning.How interesting all of us have devised our techniques to ward off our apprehensions!

  2. Excellent write up dear Rama What you have written is very true for both of us We are also addicted and my husband is right at the gate to grab the newspaper Infact Newspaper is so much a part of our life that when I am travelling to Singapore I get their local newspaper to have the satisfaction of going through the newspaper like everyday routine A big applause for very well written article

    1. Thanks dear for your lovely comments . Though the comments are from an anonymous source, my sixth sense tells me that these are from my lovely friend Neena. Lots of love ..

  3. Exactly our mornings were not the same in the absence of newspapers. How imperative it had become to read news paper while sipping the tea Covid 19 has made us feel absence of many things for which we never thought we will cry for Well written and you again took us to our childhood memory lane

    1. Thanks Mrs Chopra .True , newspaper has been our habit, an addiction . There is a feeling of something amiss without a newspaper in hand. The pandemic has actually made us realize the importance of so many things that we have all been taking for granted.

  4. Dear Rama your article in HT is very true.I think we all are of the same nature.This happens with everyone.our younger generation is different in this matter

    1. Nice to hear from you Mrs Kapoor. true , the younger generation doesn’t believe in reading the newspapers. they prefer to check the news on Google but quite clearly that is not our cup of tea.

  5. ‌Rama, we all are slave of our habbits.I can ver well understand your restlessness for Daily news paper . The present generation is not so particular for reading newspaper whereas people of our age are conditioned to have morning tea and news paper together , your article reminds me , when my daughter was a student of world famous Mayo clinic in USA , It was the first time I went to USA. The city was covered with snow , no one was visible on the road and my restless soul uses to wait for newspaper grumbling that U.S being richest and the most advanced country has no arrangements for delivering early News paper, whereas in India before the sunrise news paper is delivered. All Indians have this addiction,even villagers sitting at the chopal discuss poltics and current affairs sharing a nrwpaper amongst themselves.
    ‌we all are taking so many precautions for covid 19 but news paper is an exception and we could not resist.

    1. You are right Mrs Behl. Newspaper seems to have lost its relevance in the developed world, may be because of high labour cost , delivery of papers is not economically viable . Also the younger generation doesn’t seem to have much interest in reading the newspapers, fast generation, quick reference to Google for news.
      Mrs Behl ,I love the way you have expressed our addiction of the newspapers.

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