5 May 2030
Akshay and his wife Shweta were really worried a few days ago, but now with a recommendation from Akshay’s best pal Vikas and also from some of the other close friends, they found some relief. They even went through the testimonials updated on their website, all of them appeared to have been able to get solution to their concerns. Cardinal care centre (CCC) was a rehab centre and was looking to be the right choice for their son.
Akshay’s son Kiyaan, aged-9, was diagnosed to be suffering from SMCS (Severe Mobile Craving Syndrome). Initially Shweta and Akshay assumed it to be normal as other kids but after watching “SMART Lives 2030”, a top-rated series on Airflix, they starting observing Kiyaan’s behaviour closely and eventually realised that he is critically addicted to his mobile and just can’t breathe without internet.
6 May 2030
As per the appointment they reached the clinic at 5:30pm, right on time. Akshay’s mobile buzzed while they were sitting in the waiting area, he took out his phone to see a message from the clinic that read,
“Your wait time is 13 mins. Dr. Seth will be seeing you soon. Apologies for the delay. CCC”.
Exactly at 5:45pm Kiyaan’s name got displayed at the electronic ticker board right outside the doctor’s cabin and they knew it is their turn now to meet the doctor. Before entering Doctor’s room, a charming girl in her early twenties, dressed in bright yellow linen kurta appeared from no-where and told them to submit their mobile phone and other gadgets, to which all of them complied.
While they were about to move-on after depositing four smart phones, one tab, three smart watches, two smart necklaces and two smart-belts, the girl in yellow pointed towards Akshay’s “smart” eye-wear, to which he replied that he suffers from myopia and just can’t do without glasses.
“That’s alright. You may continue wearing them, but keep its internet connection in “Off” mode”, suggested the girl in yellow.
After giving up all the “gadgets” they finally entered the cabin and it felt as if they have landed in the Himalayas. The entire room, rather the hall (keeping its size in mind 😊), was engineered with some 3D technique and it really looked like they have reached one of the snow-covered Himalayan peaks. Dr. Seth was sitting on a cane chair dressed up in khadi kurta-pyjama. Both Akshay and Shweta gave each other a bewildered look. On Dr. Seth’s right-hand side, two purple-coloured yoga mats were lying parallel to each other. The room had perfect lighting, neither too bright nor too dim, just perfect. Light instrumental music was being played, but they couldn’t locate its source. Dr. Seth, with his right hand pointed towards the mats and the family quickly got settled on the mat and the Doctor also sat on the other mat opposite to them.
He interacted with all three of them for about 15 minutes and then suggested Kiyaan to go to the other room, as he wanted to speak to the parents separately. Their discussion went on for about half an hour and then he handed over some papers to the couple to sign-off. They looked really baffled but they both decided to go ahead with it. It was a residential camp of 30-days aiming towards digital-detox, starting 7-May-2030 i.e. tomorrow. Both of them wanted their son to be cured of SMCS at the earliest however, their only concern was about the web-meeting they were having with the neighbourhood families next week. Since the camp was starting the very next day, Kiyaan wouldn’t be able to attend it. Anyway, with a heavy heart they took the call and made the decision to enroll Kiyaan in this batch only that starts from 7-May.
Akshay and Shweta were eagerly waiting to meet their son after 30 days of absolute zero-contact. They had lots of thoughts regarding Kiyaan’s state of mind, as he had never been alone and that too without any of the gadgets. They had reached 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled time as they wanted to meet him as early as possible. Right at 6pm, exactly as per the scheduled time, they saw the children coming out. They were about 40 in number. Within a moment, Kiyaan appeared from behind the group and he quickly ran towards his parents. He hugged both of his parents. Shweta looked at Kiyaan for a while, making sure if her son is doing fine.
Shweta asked Kiyaan, what would he prefer to have for dinner.
“Nothing specific mom, just home-made stuff” replied Kiyaan.
Astonished to hear, Akshay told him it’s ok if he wants to have his favourite pizza or maybe noodles, to which Kiyaan asserted, “No, I have learnt in last 30 days that Home-made food is the best food”
Akshay and Shweta exchanged looks, nonetheless upon hearing this statement of Kiyaan, without any further discussion they headed home to have “home-made food”.
Their house was at a 2-hour drive from the camp location, so by the time they reached home it was already 8:30pm and all three of them were really starving. Shweta and Kiyaan took a quick shower and waited for Akshay as he took time to freshen-up. Finally, Akshay appeared after changing into comfortable clothes, he picked up TV remote while approaching the dining table. Kiyaan noticed it and objected almost instantly to it.
Vikas – What happened Akshay? You didn’t sound fine yesterday.
Akshay – I don’t know man
Vikas – You can tell me. We are best buddies after all. Is it with Shweta? Don’t tell me, you guys have been fighting again?
Akshay – Nothing of the sort my friend. Its Kiyaan again, who’s got me restless.
Vikas – Oh! Did the camp at CCC not help? I have heard all good things about them.
Akshay – I am uhhhh…..
Vikas – I, in fact have heard that they completely transform people. Come on buddy, tell me. You need not worry.
Akshay – That’s what my reason of worry is…. He is absolutely “Transformed”
Vikas – What??? I don’t understand.
Akshay – Yes Vikas, he so much transformed that it is becoming difficult to adjust with him now. I now even regret the decision of sending him to the camp.
He tells me not to watch TV while having food, not to use tab rather make notes on paper, have in-person meetings with neighbours rather than digital parties, ditch devices like smart coffee maker, smart lights, smart shirt and what not…
Vikas – How will you survive man? We just can’t do without these devices.
Suddenly Akshay’s Smart watch lights up, “You haven’t watered your plants for 2 days now. Keep watering them to have greener surroundings.”
Vikas – What was that sound? Is somebody at the door?
Akshay – No, it was my Smart watch. Time to water my plants. Bye I’ll speak to you later.
….. and he disconnects the video call.