04 December, 2020

The Past Is Another Country Song

Ten years later, we “follow” a life measured in social media matrices

Illustration by Manjul
The Past Is Another Country Song
outlookindia.com
2019-03-02T11:04:58+05:30

Ten years ago, life was complicated. If you were working the graveyard shift, you had to go to the General Taxi Service under the peepal tree, kick at the cot on which the driver lay snoring, who would get up swearing and scratching his pajamas and quote a price which at cost-per-kilometre would match what Elon Musk is asking for to take you to Mars. (You, of course, wouldn’t have heard of Elon Musk then). Ten years ago, the first week of the month went in standing in queues to pay bills for electricity, water, MTNL, Garuda, gas cylinder, what have you. If you had to transfer funds to someone, two more days went standing staring at the bank teller. If you were travelling, add another couple of days at the state-of-the-art (fully AC) computerised railway booking counter whose terminal always went on the blink just before your turn.

Fake news perhaps existed from the times of the Mahabharata when Sanjaya reported to Dhritarashtra that the Kauravas were winning, but ten years ago post-truth had a philosophical ring to it. Tweet was a birdcall, only godmen peddling...

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