Rediscovering Joy- A Day Sans Screens


Shruti was exhausted after a hectic day’s work. She wrapped her last call, placed her phone on the bedside table, and soon drifted into a deep slumber.

The doorbell rang at 6:30 am, jolting her awake. Shruti gathered her hair into a bun and opened the door. The milk packets were staring at her, their presence a reminder of the responsibilities of the present day.

At around 8 a.m., Shruti’s mother called.

“Hi Amma. Is everything ok?” Shruti asked, as her mother generally didn’t call so early.

“Shruti, you are so lost in your world that you forgot your dad’s birthday. He is quite upset.” Shruti’s mom expressed her anger.

“I apologize. Yesterday was a busy day for me,” Shruti said, promising to meet them.

Shruti decided to take a day off to be with her family. She hurried to the living room and draped a cloth over the television screen. She then placed the tablet and her mobile in the drawer.

“Mom, what’s going on? Why are you covering the TV? I can’t find my tablet either.” Anu yelled upon waking.

“Mumma has taken a holiday to spend time with you. So, no gadgets today. Alright? Post lunch, we will go to meet your grandparents,” Shruti replied.

“No. I want my tablet back. Besides, it’s my vacation,” Anu insisted and scowled.

“But all the year round, you are glued to these gadgets. Life can be good even sans screen. Come on, wear your shoes. Let’s go down to play hopscotch.” Shruti ordered.

Anu eventually agreed and inquired, “Hopscotch? What’s that?”

Shruti grabbed a piece of chalk and drew boxes on the ground. Placing a stone in the box and hopping on a single leg, she said, “This is hopscotch.”

When Anu’s turn came, she replicated the action. Both skipped, hopped and played for two hours, and Anu didn’t miss her electronic devices.

Later in the day, Shruti visited her parents, who were thrilled to see them. Anu played a few indoor games with her grandmother. Her heart leapt with joy. She felt these games were much better than being in the room with a hanging headphone.

Shruti placed her head on her mom’s lap and said, “Amma, how I wish there were no televisions, tablets and telephones.”

“Hmm…The days without televisions and phones were a true blessing. I understand the importance of moving with the times and acknowledging the benefits of modern conveniences, but I also believe that self-discipline is essential. The child in us can still transact with the world much better and preserve the essence of life if we don’t get overly attached to these gadgets. Anu, play these games more often. Convincing friends might be arduous, but trust me, they’ll find it interesting. These games lost their charm due to technology. Revive them and set a trend. Use your time writing poems like you did a year ago, before you got your tablet.” Shruti’s mom explained.

“Yes Amma, you are right.” Both said in unison and smiled.

Sheela Iyer