The year was 2050, the year when everyone became hooked to their gadgets. It was the year when our government brought ‘Technology’ closer to the people. And by the way, it is also the year also when our privacy was stripped away from us. And Jake (not real name, for security reasons, of course), seems to think  that this was intentional. I mean the taking away of our privacy was an intentional step by our government (for he works with one of the security agencies in GandaLand, our country).

But I guess we knew we were giving away too much when we signed away our rights in search for protection, protection from those alien terrorists, terrorists we read about in our local newspapers but no one, none but heads of our security agencies, of course, has ever seen (and who would want to see them anyway?).

The government promised to protect us, and perhaps it has? I am not in any way suggesting that the government has no right. Of course not. Our constitution is clear, and we all agreed to it, although it was our Members of Parliament who signed. We gave them the power, anyway. But enough of that. I wanted to talk about what happened to Joy. How did I allow myself to be carried away?

Joy was a popular of all. She was loved by all, and when someone wanted to express their gratitude for the time spent with you, they would say ‘I enJOYed your company’. Joy was right there in the middle of every heartfeld gratitude. Before Technology came that it. Our society those days, before the government made internet free, and Technology ‘cheap’, we used to gather around the fireplace that grandfather lit (our community was small also). Then we would listen to stories about faraway lands, lands only visited by those who fought in those big wars (they used to call them WW1 and WW2).

This storytelling was enJOYed by all. We lived for the community and the community was us. We really cared for each other, not like now. But later, as the years approached 2030, our community really begun to change. Not that change is bad, but it changed badly. I mean, children no longer respected their elders. It was said that it was their right. They could not help the old woman with her firewood, it was branded ‘child labor’. It were these sort of things that began to distance Joy from our community.

I often heard her complaining, that people no longer cared truly about each other. She said people were becoming ‘individualistic’. Families really didn’t enJOY each other’s company, that they were addicted to their gadgets. I was of course a bit young to quite understand her. Actually, I thought those were rumblings of an old lady. Could she not see that GandaLand is advancing? Is it not a good thing? Why do backward people like keeping others backward? (I muttered to myself, though the expressions on my face would occasionally give me away).

But something I didn’t immediately notice, which I came to see later (way after Joy had disappeared), is that this ‘advancement’ and ‘individual rights’ had not come alone. Technology had somewhat killed what we used to call community, because, unknown to him, technology was brothers with Individualism. Technology is a good guy for his own sake. But his brother is not.

And you see, it was Individualism’s idea to carry along Misery, his not so obvious and subtle cousin. Misery always follows individualism. Well, not because they necessarily enJOY each other, no, not really. But you know there are people who seem to get along quite painfully, because they are sort of parasites of each other, where one cannot survive without the other.

Now, I guess that is why our government was lost for ideas. How do you deal with Individualism and his cousin, without upsetting the good man Technology? For, of course, we might need Technology to locate our old friend Joy. But can he really find her? Would Technology, brothers with individualism, allow Joy to come back, knowing that Misery cannot stand Joy at all?

This also confuses me, and I guess it’s time for me to put my head down. When I awake, I will tell you of a rumor I heard, a rumor that is both dreadful and intriguing.