I opened my Chrome homepage this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find a GOOGLE graphic in birthday cakes specially wishing me a happy birthday.
While I was thrilled and flattered with this very personalised greeting from Google, I was also a bit disconcerted to realise that nothing is private any more. Having been a terrible victim of a Social Media gaffe ( albeit unknowingly self-inflicted), I know how dangerous it is to have a very public life. For celebrities, lack of privacy is a given but when unknown people like me have their lives exposed for all to see, it does seem that the Orwellian Prophecy is coming true after all!
This morning I found out that a school friend had unknowingly sent a very private WhatsApp message intended for her spouse to all of us in her group. Granted what she had aired were thoughts that we all have, but to think that we were now privy to her problems made me wonder if I should commiserate with her or ignore the message as she’d asked us to do. While many in the group who are actively involved in it actually told her to laugh it off, I chose to ignore it rather than draw her attention to the fact that yet another person in the world now knows that all is not well with her.
A Marathi saying “Gharo gharo maati chya chuli ” which translates as all houses have stoves of mud , a saying that resonates in all cultures and societies – all families and homes have their problems that are universal for as my father’s friend Uncle Joe would say – we are all alike : two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth. Yet, however true this statement may be, our personalities and lives are shaped by events that are unique and that makes us all similar and yet different.
So on this birthday where I’m definitely one year older and perhaps none the wiser, I’ve got to learn one thing – our lives are not private any more and there is a Big Brother watching out there!
But I am Grateful for
- the fact that there are still people out there who think of me : Imagine a cold, lonely existence where you are just by yourself
- the fact that I have weight to lose and things to misplace : I am blessed with abundance of many things some wanted and some not but I’m happy to have them all
- the fact that I am so busy that I don’t have time to think : Imagine a life where nothingness stares at you the whole day?
- the fact that I’m me
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