Josna Rege

297. Metamorphosis?

In Stories on April 16, 2021 at 2:45 pm

I have owned a so-called smartphone—or, perhaps more accurately, it has owned me—for more than six years now. I wrote this piece soon afterwards.

Tell Me Another

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The other morning I woke up from a vivid but fragmentary nightmare which faded out of reach almost immediately, as dreams are wont to do. I tried to recover it so that I could set it down in words, but in vain, and so gave up on the effort; until now, when its implications have returned to me with renewed force.

In the dream I had awakened, like Gregor in Kafka’s haunting story, The Metamorphosis, to find my human body hardened into, or possibly, cocooned in, a non-human shell. But exactly a century after the publication of Kafka’s story, the horror was taking a new form. My non-human carapace was not the exoskeleton of an insect, but the casing of a so-called smartphone.

It had only been a month since my simple cell (mobile) phone had finally conked out and, after years of resistance, I had finally capitulated and joined…

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  1. Lovely sketch of where we are. Tools like smartphone are nothing new in human civilization. But I think we are still evolving with this device. Unlike earlier, we are evolving at a much faster pace.
    Like every other device, there are many sides to it, and I think it’s up to us to ensure that we make the best use of it.

  2. Hari OM
    I enjoyed this ‘flashback’… I still use only a flipfone and will resist the ‘toocleverbyhalfone’ for as long as possible! Not merely the ‘big brother’ aspects – but the antisocial nature of the things is what gets my goat. Even my own family, not to mention friends cannot seem to face life without permanently checking…

    I was so pleased to see your blog appear in my reader – you have been on my mind… I have read randomly through some of your archives and connected with one where you talk of Advaita Vedanta… you may not have explored further on my links, but I am a Vedantaacharya! After a gap of 14 months (not just COVID, but parental cares) I have revived my Aatmaavrajanam blog, with this year’s AtoZ and feel it may interest you. YAM xx

    • Thank you, O many-faceted Yamini! I will certainly check out your Aatmaavrajanam blog. And thank you for reading beyond A-Z on mine. You’ve passed the halfway point–good going!

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