JournalismPakistan.com November 7, 2013
Abs fascinating exercise. In the past six days I have written exactly 178 words with a pen. These include a poorly executed crossword, half a dozen signatures scrawled on courier consignments and two cheques, a small list to the grocery and ‘Buscopan’ for the pharmacist to treat an upset stomach. Sum total of penmanship using a half dried ball point pen.
Mounted on this awesome platform I then wrote ‘Happy Anniversary to so and so and many more to come’ and two similar Diwali cards. And I got cramps in my hand.
Isn’t incredible? Isn’t that also frightening in that there will come a time when longhand, like shorthand, will go out of fashion and all we will be doing is pressing buttons. We haven’t noticed it, it’s already happening.
When did you last write a letter to someone using pen and paper, like not three words but a whole letter? That took time and effort and imagination and we did it all the time. You get tired filling in the disembarkation form at the airport…columns to go.
Remember how we used to admire some people’s handwriting and envied them that style. Obsolete now.
Is it progress or one more indicator of regression into the butterball state where our limbs will shrink and our manual capabilities vanish? Little round figures with appendages for arms and legs bouncing about the place…welcome to the new world.
Think about it. If you are over 35 could you even contemplate the agony of writing a three-hour test paper like we used to do? We will be in pain after page one.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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