Can you cut through this 360 social-media-connected life?
Friday night, and I was out with ze husband and a friend who is also a passionate foodie (aka chef for the purposes for this post.) While I had spent most of the evening chained to my work desk —fuelled I might add by the prosecco fizzing next to my laptop screen, spraying my line of sight with rainbow colours—they had spent the hours fruitfully conjuring up a menu of delights. Head buzzing from the week’s treadmill as well from bubbles on an empty stomach—good for a quick high; bad for the next morning’s can the ground swallow me up so I can die, drums beating behind my eyes, white smoke spewing from my ears—feeling, I sat resting an already sore head against the cool glass pane, afforded by my favourite edge-of-the-row seat on the tube.
As I began to sink into the welcome darkness, a voice cackling out Queen’s We Will Rock You, shook me awake. Turned out to be a cheery nine year old, who insisted on breaking through the wall of work-till-we-drop, returning for the weekend sinking into oblivion pose of those around me.
So, were the classics well and alive then, skipping past the Bieberised generation to those coming after? I thought no more of it and proceeded to meet up with the chef and ze husband as we walked to our destination, another friend’s place where the evening’s festivities were about to commence.
It emerged that our host was a well-known music video—remember them? —director of music video classics, such as Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean and AHA’s Take on Me and the creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In fact the chef and I had been at the Michael Jackson concert held at the Andheri Sports Complex, on November 1, 1996. Me five rows and she just one row from the front among the hordes screaming M-I-KKKK-A-EEE-L in a rush of fevered delight which had swept over the crows in a ululation wave of tsunamic proportions, and which I was about to add had been too much for someone who had fainted that night, when chef turned to me “I didn’t recognise my own sister that night as she screamed out his name and promptly fainted.”
What? That was she? That was us then, and this is us,here and now, having met only a few months ago. Gaaah! My head whirled at the coincidence of life. You could brush past someone on the street, on the bus, at a rock concert, and then they are in your life a lifetime later as a good friend…? Coool.
Cut to 48 hours later. After recovering from the predictable hangover, thanks to some dependably greasy Indian food, and having slept like one of the undead from MJ’s Thriller no less, I am standing on my porch, drinking chai, happy to have finally regained clear vision. I admire the pampas grass nodding at the far end of the garden and shut my eyes, feeling inside with a tentative touch, to see if that well of stillness, which is a preamble to an actual writing binge, is yet alive. Take oooon mmmmee, takonme! Taaakk mmmeee on. Takonme.
My eyes flew open to see kids in the neighbouring garden, bouncing on a trampoline and singing aloud in glee. They must have been what five—six? I turned to ze husband in surprise, “some classics survive, despite all the clutter out there, they endure, perhaps skipping across a few lives, and they are still sung by the young?” “Probably because their parents listen to the songs… wait till they grow up,” was his sage reply.
Perhaps, and probably because of the uber-connected, 24-7 plugged into the virtual word, social networking, media whore that I am, I realised what I really wanted was to simplify my life. To cut through the clutter, through all the chatter of the real and virtual world which surrounds my everyday life, zoom in on only that which was most important to me; those few lighthouse beams which beckon, that mean something, just like those classic pop songs once did. To tune into my own top ten hits of all time, so that perhaps my words too would endure long after my time was gone.