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Loneliness - A Fast Growing Segment of Society


The shopkeeper walked into my office as he saw the standee for www.HalloHappiness.com below, the building while walking past one evening, after work. His question to me was intriguing, to say the least “if he paid for the subscription amount for the month, will his mother be able to talk to someone every day? I was a little surprised at the request and suggested he explain the issue to me.

         He hailed from Rajasthan and “had to” bring his mother down to Mumbai (his place of work and residence) after his father passed away in the village, back home. His mother had spent all her life in those parts and the few visits to Mumbai were full of happy memories as most vacations were spent with his family in Bombay. One of the reasons that prompted him to wind up his father business and sell the property to shift to Bombay. He never foresaw the problem he was facing now and short of shifting her back (which was not quite a possibility) did not seem to have a solution on hand. His Mother was lonely since she did not really have anyone to talk to in Mumbai. What added to the confusion was the inability of his wife to be able to communicate with her mother in law, which as such was quite normal since she was born and brought up in the city and had her own family and set of friends whom she could interact with. Both his children were studying in college and left early morning to return in the evening, so was he, which left the mother and daughter-in-law to spend the day together.

         I told him to get his mother a smartphone and teach her the steps to reach a ‘listener’ on our platform and assigned a particular listener to be online to attend to the mother. At sharp 3.30 we would receive a video call request from her and she would be online till 4.30 every day. The conversation was almost one-sided mostly since she was only disclosing her viewpoint on various issues and only needed affirmation from time to time. After 15 days her son ‘the shopkeeper’ came to me with folded hands and actually said “you have sorted my life” now at least I am not apprehensive when I go back home every evening & know that I will be able to have my dinner in peace with both my mother and wife sharing the meal along with me.

         Most times just finding a good listener is enough to work out our own emotions….as in this case…As human beings we are ‘social animals’ and it is extremely important to have that human connection, to share and get affirmation….right or wrong is of no consequence.