Thursday, 27 August 2015

Hardik Patel & the doom of India's so called demographic dividend!

Adolf Hitler may have been the world's most deplored tyrant but when it comes to the eligibility of a person to be involved in politics of any kind, his views and his verdict hold absolutely true and they do so till date. In his much touted and much loathed book Mein Kampf he states 30 to be the basic threshold by which an individual may still be a fledgling, but one who has a steady outlook and a basic set of facts and maxims to go by. So over the last couple of days amid the media jamboree on how a paltry 22 year old is going to lead a whopping 25 lacs in a mass revolution, I was from the very beginning led to believe that this is no more than another fatuous filthy propaganda as opposed to being a real revolution seeking some much needed change. And as it has turned out, the revolution has done nothing but torefying the very cities of those who protested. So while a large congregation having a cynical, waspish, truculent, obstreperous, wayward and whimsical leader is itself a little too ridiculous for anyone to believe in. the fact that these people are ready to resort to violence and contravention for a demand whose manifestation the apex court of the country prohibits, is a clear indication of a lack of a final objective. So as the Patel reservation rampage is headed towards a brutal decimation, but only post massive public loss, let us see where this urge to usurp a well functioning system came from. 

So is it this macho Mr. Patel with his reservation spiel the problem. No! So is it the revolting Patels the real issue. Definitely not! So should we attribute the incendiary attitude to their outrageous demands. Nope! Even the demand is right in the real sense. So, what is wrong exactly? Well, while the demand of the Patels is right, in the context of the constitution, it's all wrong. And while the protesting Patels(Most of the patels may not really be protesting in the first place, I believe!) have enunciated their demands knowing they are unconstitutional in the light of decreed provisions of the zenith legal authority, they expect their rights to be enshrined through a constitutional provision itself. This contradiction is the problem! 

In essence, a protest can be termed constitutional only when what it seeks in the end is permitted by the constitution in its current form. Hence protests can seek referendums, debates and what not. But for a protest in demand for something that'll evoke massive amendments in the constitution, it is outright blatant to expect the authorities to capitulate. It takes a long, steady and peaceful struggle for something like that to be accomplished. Cues can be taken from those revolutionaries and renegades who renounced their meals decades ago and who even now are dependent on other modes of nutrient intake for life. Hence a protest that demands something so radical has to be curbed at all costs. So whose fault is it that such a protest was put up at first place. Mr Hardik, the patels, the lethargic administration? Nope, none of them is responsible actually! 

Look a little deep and you'll find that the problem is a little too deep rooted to be ascribed to any one person or entity. The problem is in fact just an innuendo of the doom and debauchery the country's youth is headed towards.While the fact that ours is already the youngest country on the planet is ballyhooed and rhapsodized by almost everyone. The truth is that our growth shall never be able to provide the kind of employment and engagement opportunities that may encompass everyone. No matter how fast we'll grow, our population shall far exceed the rate at which our public infrastructure, our manufacturing and our overall social security nets will expand. So while India grows and the number of riches shall grow, the number of the deprived and depraved shall grow at a much larger rate. And while a slew of new schools and educational institutions may actually provide them education, most of even the educated cohort shall be left jobless tomorrow. And even otherwise, hitherto our growth has been rather fragile, mostly dependent upon smutty growth of services industry, when when left without a manufacturing sector to provide supplementary services for, shall collapse.

Now you'd wonder why I'm effing relating this upheaval to this long litany on the Indian future. Well, see those faces on TV when you see a large section of those protesters pelting stones on the police and getting their bodies withered in the response. You actually believe that someone in the right stead in their life would go on and jeopardize themselves like that. The mob is largely comprised of jobless youth, yet again misdirected by an opportunistic schmuck, who knows his revolution has no viable end, but who knows that using some of the means at his disposal, he can besmirch, malign and castigate a lot of top shots, and someone or the other would finally over a truce which will see him rise to power. This is pretty much what another ombudsman did in Delhi a couple of years ago. So while this newbie has a very bright future in the political realm, the millions who look upon this one single man for some respite in the form of that forlornly hope, topped with Rs 12 and a banana every single day, are tarrying around because even otherwise they had nothing to do! 

Before this post turns into a pleonasm, I'd just reiterate what I've said. This revolt is nothing but the first in a series of similar hapless and haphazard revolutions that we will keep witnessing in the days to come. It is in fact just an exordium of what shall happen. Look all around you even in the big cities. You'll find an umpteen number of able, educated and qualified individuals biting dust because the number of vacancies was too less, and most of them were reserved for some sect. So while this new revolution has demanded yet another reservation, with time there shall be no constitutional way forward for these people to get their catharsis. And we'll see more of such headless monsters that will take on public property and life, and which while on one hand shall give us trenchant and tenebruous politicians, and one the other hand a million unemployed youth who'll make everyone face the heat for their plight! So, let's welcome the future with open hands, because while people will suffer under a tremendous ordeal, who gives a damn now that this post is over?

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Are our institutions really sacrosanct?

Ever since we are small toddlers plodding to the school every single day with huge tomes on our backs, we have been taught to literally revere and exalt a few institutions. The list of these institutions starts with a handful including the very school as a tangible institution, followed by the more intangible institutions of discipline, prayer, the education system, and when we're capable enough to be fed with it, we're inundated with praise and eulogy for the all encompassing institutions enshrined by the constitution. So this includes the more manifested and visible ones like the parliament, the positions, the courts and the civilian institutions enforced by the former. And it also includes the more inhered elements like rights and duties. Hence essentially, we are made replete in terms of our basic allegiance and subservience to all such institutions which we're never even allowed to question the veracity of. Instead, we are being told that they are the gospel truth; completely indispensable and so hallowed that one who doesn't feel their aura, is deemed to be doomed! So after having lived a substantial portion of my life with these beliefs, I suddenly felt a satyriasis to question these institutions, at least in my own mental mausoleum. 

Consider the school and its various tenets. While knowledge and wisdom are all too powerful to even preclude a discourse on whether an institution propounding them could ever be questioned, but are our schools really doing what's expected out of them? The schools do it right in terms of informing the pupils about the glorious past of the country and individuals who really changed the course of history. However, heralding contributions of some individuals as prolific and slandering that of others as heinous is not warranted! That is the job of the pupil, who if he/she is nurtured with proper education to finally possess the quality of objectively viewing any historical information with a valid pretext, substantiated with accurate and unfettered sources of authentic and accurate information, shall be able to form his/her own mental picture. The purpose of our schools is to cultivate a tradition of allowing students to develop an independent thought process and intellect. What our schools end up doing instead, is to force students to gormandize historical facts topped with opinions of a person who penned down the content, with his/her own mental whims and fancies dictating what is being finally said about an event or a person. 

This is in complete disregard of the purpose of schools to promote thought. The schools in fact deter any development of a thought process that may have otherwise bloomed to some extent without schooling if the student was allowed an open atmosphere to breathe, think and contemplate, which schools leave them bereft of. What's worth noting is that this is rather deliberate. Education is under the direct suzerainty and reign of the parliament, which is another institution, the most supreme and apex! And hence it's prudent to look at our education as just an element of sleight, legerdemain, deception and force feeding used by the forerunners of the parliament to protect the validity of their own institution. Because the day the youth of the country is allowed to form an independent opinion on their own, maybe the current parliament would find it a little too difficult to prevent the toppling of it's bulwark - the errant education system that produces minnows and lackeys. 

Now consider the institution of prayer. While praying in schools is all about pleading to the gods for ensconcing and imbibing honesty, virtue and other principles while the student wades through the school and the formative years. This concept in itself fallacious because it demands a default driveling in front of someone, which is once again force feeding the basic concept imbued through all major religions. Hence schools in essence are making pupils ready to accept their own religions subsequently, as opposed to them being provided with that mental acumen to question a faith before adopting it, which otherwise would have been the case when major world religions would have been new.

However, with time major world religions gained prominence and every country went on to have a cornerstone religion, whose maxims and adages became sacrosanct. And as parliaments of these countries became represented largely by members of major religious sects, all having obsequious and unflinching regard for the almighty as one core principle, prayers in the school, became a premise and a necessary precondition for prayers to be carried out in shrines later on. And the latter was absolutely essential for the common people - the proletariat, to believe that their religion is being protected by their own nobles in the parliament, and this made everyone feel sanguine. If the parliament were to pass a decree tomorrow saying no school shall have any prayers in any form, most countries shall find themselves on the brink of the most massive anti incumbency rampage. Hence in reality, the institution of prayer is largely expounded by the institution of parliament, so that the latter can continue to protect it's balustrade. 

Before this post becomes a litany in itself, let's consider the institution of the parliament itself. While we may abhor or aggrandize a particular parliament and a particular cabinet of ministers, we are told to venerate and literally fondle the idea of the institution of the parliament. The parliament in essence decimates the concept of aristocratic hegemony and vexing filial supremacy and even plutocracy, and in that regard the parliament is undoubtedly egalitarian. However, the parliament as an institution in itself is not infallible and all powerful enough not to be viewed as being apocryphal. While the courts can bring sub-judice the conduct of any particular parliament, however even they have to bow and stoop in front of the parliament as an institution. So in essence, the parliament is at the zenith of all institutions, which also directs, decrees and monitors the creation, existence and extirpation of all other institutions. All of this insinuates absolute certitude of the parliament being the all powerful, and a stolid manifestation of the almighty on the planet earth. I find it rather ridiculous. 

The parliament from the very beginning is an esoteric phenomenon full of caveats that allow for the most incendiary hara-kari. So unless someone has the magic wand which ensures that every member elected to the parliament is an able statesman, the parliament is the biggest contradiction which exists. On one hand, majority is mandated for legislation to be passed, and on the other hand, people are expected to elect a parliament that has an apt and just representation which denudes any party the kind of thumping majority that can make everything possible. So this party shall now seek coalition, crookedness and connivance in the same order, till it finally gets its legislation passed. Hence an able and adroit statesman who has one helluva bill in mind has to stoop and grovel first in front of his own party, and then in front of the house, which is largely comprised of similar minions who wouldn't accept any rational view of this bill and provision, because they themselves would have, or would envisage their own bill failing to pass in the house, owing to lack of support from others. 

Hence the parliament as an institution might be full of supposed rectitude, but lacks the fecundity of intellect and rationale which might allow the better provisions to be passed. On the other hand, a powerful and influential crackpot may find himself in a position wherein he can ingratiate the members of the house and get even a phony bill passed. And at the end of the day, the dire and repugnant repercussions of that legislation cannot be attributed to this one single assailant because the house passes the bill. Hence responsibility and accountability have gone for a toss already. So in essence, if the nation is not capable, aware, privy and powerful enough to send the right representatives to the parliament, the house becomes no more than a motley of lunatics and cretins suppressing a handful of zealots, in what becomes a menagerie, a mockery of the very idea of democracy. 

Now while all these institutions have had their place in where the human race is today, we might have as well been many centuries ahead if some of them were not there. It's not about holding grudges against these institutions in particular, but about being allowed to question them from time to time. The premise of the institution being above the individual is absolutely right, but just because an institution was once established does not allude that it will stand the test of time. Man devises institutions and very well possesses the power to decimate and annihilate them. And it's worthy to note that various institutions as are present today were once considered abominable by the opponents who were a larger kindred stock. But sooner than later, opinions polarized and the institutions came into place. So no institution should ever be considered in a rather indispensable light. Any institution can have anomalies which might surface decades and centuries later. By suppressing and castigating any opposition for the institution, we prevent the institution from getting rid of that aberration, causing the rage, anxiety and the final carnage which ruthlessly bring down the institution and produce a cataclysm with the absence of any substitute. While if we had allowed the institution to be questioned, we might have probably got our faith in the same reaffirmed. But alas! Any institution has to be impregnable, unfettered and unsullied, by default, with none expect for a handful of the originators knowing that it may not have been an institution to begin with! 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Her struggle for freedom within.

I've been friends with this girl for quite some time now. Truth be told I was drawn towards her largely because she is pretty attractive and is literally the belle of every ball. However, what mesmerized me the most post I formed acquaintance with her, was the fervent way in which she accommodated yet another lackadaisical shrimp like me in her social circle. So we became pretty good friends and she often shared what was worth sharing. She used to depict this unusual enigma in which no matter how much you stretch a conversation because you were a schmuck, she would steer it in a meaningful direction. In essence, she was happy and confident, full of verve and flair. She has always had these tremendous aspirations regarding what she wants to accomplish in this lifetime. She has big dreams of making it big in the academic avenues she plans to foray into, and then to make strides in the professional realms. She was the most forward looking girl I ever met and she was all set to make it big, primarily for the reason that she was superbly confident and optimistic about the future. And on one fine day, everything changed! 

She became capricious with her mood swings suggesting something specious and serious. She would suddenly become dolorous and then would once again appear to be happy. After a point of time one could ascertain she was wearing plastic smiles to maintain the pretense of being happy because maybe she didn't want the despondence to spread. However, her efforts went in vain and she literally withered under the pressure of her tragedy. She wouldn't speak a word and it took persistent requests and blathering to get the truth out of her. She had a break up and she was absolutely mortified to even share it with anyone. She was in absolute tatters.

I was literally jolted by surprise because one, I didn't know she was in a relationship. Now that was either because I was too naive to know when a girl is committed or because she was pretty ingenious in not bringing her love in the social domain. And two, because I saw absolutely no reason why someone would abjure comity with a girl who was startlingly unmatched in almost all aspects. So on further inquest, I found out that the guy was the typical philanderer who had to change women and this girl fell for him because she was pretty shy and introvert a good 4 years back, and she just fell for the ensnaring charm of the guy who was an expert with his spiels. 

So post the breakup, the girl avowed a vengeance of sorts with life, post a pretty intense deliberation. She set out her priorities for life and she told me she needs to make it big and achieve something gargantuan to prove to herself, and to that guy, that she is not perturbed by any of the travails he put her through. I was pretty happy and I thought magic will unravel in front of me. Countless examples from history have provided enough instances for me to believe that there is nothing like a stoic phlegmatic woman whose vows are stronger than steel. So I just volunteered to become a part of this girl's success story because she seemed so determined and her outlook for her own future was so lively and sanguine. So I decided to extend any possible help in her pursuits and things were in line for a while. But once again, all the momentum, all the flow, got expunged eventually. 

Instead of remaining focused on her promise to herself, she dithered and vacillated and seemed to lose all the tandem. She often complained the transition was tough, which just had to be. She said 4 years of enrapturing moments, all just went away in a flash, and she suddenly started cursing herself. So while the other guy, promiscuous as he would've been, had a new girl to dally around with. This one single girl made herself the fulcrum of all of this universe's gloom and dreariness and got herself in a mold full of penance. It was too confusing and arcane for an onlooker like me. 3 months ago the girl was living her life merrily, 2 months ago she felt dejected, one month ago she was in the right stead to make it big, and now she felt mawkish again. So I tried investigating further in her life to see if there was any historical provenance to it, and yes there was! 

So while I've mentioned already that she was an introvert initially, it made sense to see why things were like that. Born and brought up in a family of achievers and a social setup that demanded adherence, this girl was always instructed to be both conservative and self dependent. Her parents had to make enormous sacrifices to get her the best possible education, and while she toiled hard, she always felt the final results didn't do justice to what was expected out of her. And that always forced her to remain a sentinel for most of her life. Hence she became a introvert because she was living under the confines of an existence that couldn't be otiose and that had to serve a purpose. She just had to deliver! Hence, she had superior morals and ethics, and she was waiting for her time. But when the time to deliver came during the entrance examinations in std 12, things didn't turn out quite right.

She was quite devastated and full of remorse for having failed her parents. And while her parents were happy for what she managed to achieve, she obligated herself to some penitence by working harder with whatever she was left with. She still had the opportunity of scoring well at the college she secured an admit in, and then cracking a good seat at post graduation level. So she defined her bounds and went about it. And it was precisely at that juncture when this guy started hitting at her and while she had the defense of her dreams, the guy ultimately succeeded. This girl thought it'll be a good idea to finally live a life while seeking her endeavors and she felt she has the right combination to go about it. But everything fell apart just because of that.

By connecting the dots of her life, I realized that she was never free. She in fact always succumbed to something or the other. In Indian society, women as it is are exposed to a potpourri of what the society expects from them. So while she had her parents who would have expected something, she had the society's conservative and radical factions expecting something else. So at any and every point of time, she subscribed to something that she was apparently expected to do, as opposed to doing anything at all by herself, purely on personal accord. And then she went on to do what this one guy would've wanted her to do. In essence she was always entangled and mired in a strange web of objectives she wished to attain, but ones that were never decided by her. She tried living happily by getting along with everyone else and by achieving her collective goals and aims, but in reality she was just trying to live her life for others. So while she appeared free and liberated from the outside as a modern contemporary Indian woman who went on to study, to work and to fall in love with a man of her choice(ostensibly!) In reality, she was struggling for freedom within! 

For her it was the freedom of thoughts, choices, options and opinions that she would have carved herself. Her entire structure of all these facets was built by others and that's precisely what would've made her life the compulsion it suddenly became. And I found that the story of India has been no different! 

At one point of time the Indian civilizations flourished with prosperity and happiness, and with the kind of futuristic outlook other civilizations couldn't have even dreamt of. Women were venerated to the extent of major deities manifested in feminine form, and professions were respected to the extent of there actually being stately concubines and paramours(The nagarvadhus), who were actually revered for how they served the men of the state by disposing off their duties. Most of the things were structured and people had freedom of thought, choice, profession, occupation and what not. And then suddenly, the war of many emerging religions took over. 

The aboriginal Hinduism was extremely emancipated in terms of what people were allowed to do and what was proscribed. However as more religions started sweeping people in their dominions, Hinduism in a bid to fend its own position, went through many modifications. Absolute allegiance and subservience to gods and established religious dictum was never demanded before. And suddenly, idol worshiping crept in along with a severe degradation of the standard and status of women. It seemed as if the Hindu India now suddenly wanted to manifest some religious proclivity and identity because newer religions demanded subscription, and since everyone now wanted to subscribe to a religion, so conscription was now mandated. In short, the people of India were no longer free in sense of doing what they wanted to do. Major kings and reigns now belonged to major religions, and a clash of dynasties was more than a clash of ideologies. It was in fact a clash of religions, and hence suddenly everything that everyone did had to be seen and viewed in the context of its compliance or departure from a religion. The people of India hence lost their true freedom much before the Britishers actually arrived! 

So be it this one single girl who struggled to venture out on her own, solely for the sake of her own ideals and propinquity, or be it the India from that epoch where freedom of thoughts gave way to choosing between didactic thoughts propagated and propounded by major religions. It was all a struggle for the freedom within. In fact see the state of the nation today. While we are the largest democracy, in essence we are actually constricted in choice making. You were not free too choose your leader. You were in fact forced to choose a leader from among the many prospective leaders coronated and oblated by major political parties, which in fact just force feed ideologies to you. And while democracy is supposedly enshrined and protected by these parties having internal politburos or selection committees, in reality democracy and choice are never exercised! You never got a choice to choose a leader. You in fact just got a choice to vote for a leader from the many leaders who were up for avail. And the latter is not decided by free thought. It is decided and largely controlled by select political parties who are so large and so powerful that only they can run reigns on the choices at your disposal. So while the system appears free from outside, there is a tremendous struggle within. 

Now consider Indian youth's choice of occupation and profession. It always seems as if freedom gets brutally murdered there. Once again, at least 90 percent of the folks end up pursuing a profession just because either their parents told them to, or because it is a respected and well established one, or because it is a trend which no one knows the veracity of. In short, even if you had the volition to pursue an endeavor of your choice, it gets ruthlessly decimated because the entire educational and selection and recruitment setup is favored towards the mainstream professions. Hence your freedom of profession and occupation, while it appears intact from outside, is severely restricted from within. 

Now let us consider your choice for a prospective partner. Actual freedom here should dictate that any individual you're comfortable and compatible with, should do. But in reality, lines of separation drawn out by caste and creed advocating groups have become so substantial that your freedom on this front too is largely amiss. And while the law still allows and permits you to go and seek a partner from any coterie, you'd either become a victim of honor killing, or be termed a stigma on the society, getting secluded just because of the exercise of that one single right of marrying someone of your choice. So once again, freedom within is much tinier than what appears outside. 

In a nutshell, while India and Indians can boastfully vaunt our vested rights which the constitution has granted us, in reality our longstanding customs, traditions, culture, history and mindset continue to dictate terms. So unless you are a pococorante who gives no damn to what anyone thinks, you're largely restrained. The nation and more importantly its youth's thoughts, opinions and beliefs are largely bounded, and all of it forces them to refrain and abstain from becoming a trailblazer, which otherwise would have been a genuine indication of freedom!

So as I delved deeper into the life of this one girl who continues to remain saturnine and sad from inside, but gleeful from outside, I envisaged my very own nation, which from the outside seems so much free and so enriched and even upbeat. But from the inside, we are chastened and frail  We take pride in the freedom we can exhibit in the public domain, but in the ghetto where most of us live in, we continue to suanter on a life lived for others, seeing our individual choice and freedom seared every single day. What that girl really needs to do is to see that she needs no one but herself to regain the smile and gumption she once wore every single day, spreading light and merriness all over the place. Only then can she again become as sprightly and as inspiring as she once was. And what India needs to do is to break all barriers of thoughts and choice and plunge into taking risks, as opposed to remaining conservative paupers throughout our lives. And only then would India, the once guiding light of the world, can restore its long lost glory and pride. And how badly do I wish both of these to happen soon. For both of them are free, but are still struggling for the freedom within!

Friday, 7 August 2015

The death of distance!

I've never received a post card, let alone a letter, from anyone! I did receive a few telegrams a couple of years ago, but they were for an official confirmation. The last time I talked to a friend over the land line was over a decade ago, and the last time I personally walked over to a post box was when I spotted some free space around it to park my vehicle. Communication, over my lifetime at least, has exploded and everyone just ballyhoos and rhapsodizes about it. Everyone says more information is available and more and more people are connected. And the last time I was telling someone how good the feeling of opening a letter from someone would be, I was instantly mocked for being outdated. So I tried looking at things from a different perspective. The last time I tried being critical of the barrage of new modes through which we can now communicate and on their efficacy and related anomalies. This time around though, I'm going to talk about distance!

Distance is necessarily the absence of communication. While distance has a physical dimension, given how evolved human beings are to believe that a video conference can replace an actual meeting, distance has assumed more of a psychic sense. If you can communicate with someone, you're not far away. If you can't, you are. I still remember that when about a decade ago when I with a herd of my school friends visited the hilly terrains on the upside of Uttarakhand, there was a patch of 6 days in the middle when we couldn't even as much as get the sight of a phone. A scion carried his mobile but those were the initial days of mobile telephony in India, and that territory was inaccessible and too tough to put a tower on anyhow. So when we finally saw a phone after those 6 days, we literally thudded towards it and barged at its entry, fighting to get in first or to get ahead in the queue so that we could finally talk to our families. And that was the first time in my life that I sounded mawkish on phone, and failed to maintain that stoic demeanor that otherwise made me look cool! It all went for a toss that day. There was an implosion of emotion for the same people I talked to everyday, were finally talking to me after 6 days. It was a heavenly feeling. And what took me to the realization on how important family is? It was distance! 

Distance is magical and has an aura of its own! For a couple which just split up, distance could bring immense realization. The death of distance by the abundance of communication would instead give them more ways of lashing out at each other. For a solider who is forced to stay away from family for years, distance spurs magic and strengthens his resolute to do something more profound for his nation, because he starts seeing the whole country as his family! For a creative genius, distance is what finally gives him the time to introspect on the vagaries of life and work his sorcery. And for a wage worker living in a distant town, distance is what makes him realize the worth of his wife and children back home, and he commits himself further to his job. 

Distance evokes the most powerful of all emotions. When someone gets bereaved, distance befalls permanently and it shatters their souls. Such is the power of this distance that it can make one both congealed or pernicious, depending on how one deals with it! Hence it's really important that we practice the art of maintaining distances every single day so that on that one fine day when distance is all that we're lift with because mankind was too slow to invent a mode to kill this distance already, you'd still be in the right stead to cope with it! Because when you can't cope with distance after being so used to expunging distance every single day, you can get cranky. 

Most of the evolution technology witnessed has got something or the other to do with vanquishing distances. Right from the trains that marked the beginning of industrial revolution to the penetration of smartphones in villages. It's all a concerted effort by mankind to break barriers to communication, all of which inadvertently kills the distance.

While progress of communication is the cornerstone of evolution, distance is what inspired us to look forward to evolve at the first place. And while the prime motive is to bring distances to a bare minimum to achieve the dream of connecting everyone at the end, we must not forget that all human beings are already connected through nature, which is the most emphatic of all the communication networks on the planet. And distance is a really important factor in that connection. Distance in fact prohibits some contact that should never be made, and also gives necessary time for people to think what to speak before a contact is finally made. Distance might preclude communication but it also makes communication more unique, complete and effective. In fact, who wouldn't prefer a greeting card received 2 days after their birthday with a very heartfelt wish written in sublime ornate handwriting, than getting a wish on Facebook at 2 in the morning that said a plain "Happy B'day" with a misfit smiley at the end?