How Smartphones Killed the Art of Sitting at the Window Seat and Doing Nothing

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How Smartphones Killed the Art of Sitting at the Window Seat and Doing Nothing

Illustration: Arati Gujar

I

travel by public transport in Mumbai every day. If it’s a decent day, I manage to enter the bus without breaking a bone. If it’s a good day, there’s place to stand in the train without me being forced to smell the breath of another man and guess what he’s had for breakfast. If it’s a lucky day, I get to rest my skinny arse on a seat, and when all the stars align and I hit the jackpot, I get a window seat.

Today was one such day, and the joint winner of the jackpot was a father-son duo who had landed the window seat opposite mine. The dad and I hurriedly scrambled for the seat like our lives depended on it, but once we settled in, we did what everyone does these days – lowered our heads and stared at our phone screens. Our ride lasted an hour and neither of us cared to peek outside, even once. I was hooked on to The Umbrella Academy on Netflix; the father was simply scrolling through his phone, and the kid was playing Ludo Star on his dad’s second phone. I looked around and realised everyone was doing the exact same thing – everyone was lost to their cellphones.

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