Telephone-Then and Now

My father worked in a private company that made him travel and be away from home for extended periods of time. Even when he was in town, we would leave home by around 7.30 in the morning and would return back well after the Sun has eclipsed on to the Arabian Sea . All through the day, he would remain totally incommunicado to any of us and we would just presume that everything is fine if we did not call us on the neighbour’s home phone, the only one available in the radius of 1 km. There would be panic if there is a call from father and everybody would fear something drastic has taken place and look for cover. So a phone call was always something to be dreaded for and farther you are from the instrument the merrier you would be. Anyway, the bulky black bomb like thing which we called the telephone was not always a pleasant sight to look at.

But we cannot help feel the wind of technological progress that the country was swept with when at last in the early years of 1990s we got a phone connection in our home.  By this time the static instrument has also gone on a transformation and started appearing in lighter and sleeker dimension and in a slew of attractive colours- red, blue and white. And it was a sparkling white telephone that arrived into our living room and when the lineman, who would install the thing and make it ring, did the first testing call, there was a plethora of emotions all around- from one of awe from my grandmother to a sense of pride in my mother and a hardly surprised excitement in me. The arrival of the telephone was such a landmark event that we decided to throw a party, comprising of vadas, idlis, kesari ( sweet dish) and a steam coffee to all our neighbourhood families  plus an added offer to make one free call to any of their local contacts ( you know you pay heavy to make outstation calls!) Everybody was happy to relish the food and announce it through the free telephone call to their cousins. Since you have long enjoyed the privilege of receiving calls in others telephone, it is only basic decency that you extend the same courtesy to all. No sooner my father announced others to use our home telephone as their very own, the more than willing crowd milled around him to jolt down the telephone number which they could share with all their near and distant relatives  as their new contact number which they could use to reach them 24×7.

 The arrival of the new telephone brought with it the constant presence of one of the many neighbours in our home and at times the living room would be so lively that we could mistake it for a mini amphitheatre. In fact, the calls received by our friends were so regular that we would know who would get a call during a particular hour and that person would arrive fifteen minutes in advance. This, though an infringement into the privacy of our home, nevertheless spared us of the effort needed to run to their home and inform about the call that is on hold for them in our house.  But the bonhomie and the affection that we silently enjoyed in this phone service stayed with us, long after the telephone stopped ringing for the neighbours as they themselves became proud owners of the communication tool.

But the advent of the mobile phone was so over-aching, that it made the telephone look a crude primitive tool useful more as a decorative antique piece than a functional instrument. And the entry of the mobile into every pocket made anyone instantaneously contactable and thus all very important. The grammar of ringtone revealed the personality of the mobile owner while the size and feature of it only served to add up to his social standing. If by any chance, in the year 2000 you did not have a mobile, maybe you were either treated as a recluse or that you owe people lots of money that you would like to remain non-contactable, either ways, not a very attractive situation to be in. Soon the mobile proliferated and became indispensible and with it began an ever increasing number of calls from sundry tele-marketers who think that you could buy whatever they had to sell. Add to this the smses that clog your in-box and you are the most vulnerable person who could be approached by anybody for, well, anything.  And with the mobile, you cannot lie for not attending a call by being away as it is always supposed to be with you and the closer your contact you are expected to take the call in the first ring. Oh, how the mobile has transformed from a technology marvel into a necessary nuisance that the modern man cannot do without, however hard he may try.  

The white telephone in our home stayed with us for over twenty years and each time it went out of order, it was promptly repaired, polished and re-instated. But in the last ten odd years, I would have changed my mobile at least half-a-dozen times and still I am seen as very conservative. My servant has the latest version of the touch-screen iphone while I still fiddle with the buttons to make calls! I never fathomed that I will be judged by the version and price tag of my mobile than anything intangible that people care two hoots about. Oh, let me change my year old handset in a week’s time before it becomes a redundant technology and an eye-soar for my colleagues and friends. Oh my dear mobile, how unfaithful I am to you but believe me, I am not alone in this game of infidelity.

 

Yours

Narayanan

February 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm 2 comments

A day without the internet

Nostalgia is usually referred to the fond memories of quite a distant past in one’s life but in a world where technology and gadgets seem to set the pace and purpose of our lives, I tend to become nostalgic of a very recent past. It was a time when internet was not yet a word found in the dictionary and being “Mobile” was a liberating state, often because of the two-wheeler, that allowed you to hop from one place to another. In that bygone era, I could hum a favourite number to my heart’s content as I enjoyed a cool shower in the bath without being rattled by the out-of- the- tune ring tone of the mobile. I also could drive my car relaxing in the serene pleasant morning weather without being jolted out of my wits by the SMS alerts. While on a holiday, I could enjoy a trek to the remote mountain shrine without having to look for an internet access point to check my official mails and merrily spend on my credit card without being reminded of the burgeoning amount I owe each time I swipe the plastic. Those days seems now to belong to an alien planet but the desire to revisit such a life remains pretty strong.

And when the internet connection at home was not working one Sunday morning, I thought my deep longing for freedom from the virtual world was about to be realised. But by the end of the day, I was in total disarray and disoriented with the lives around me that the very thought of another day without internet access sent shivers down my spine. Because on that fatal Sunday, I could not do the following:

1. The customary Sunday Skype chat: No internet also means a communication break-down with friends and family members who are spread across the globe. With Skype I could video chat with each one of them for hours on end and topics would range from the silliest to the more meaningful ones and none really cared to hang up as no one really paid for the service. And when I was not signed-in on Skype, I had upset a plethora of people that ranged from a niece who wanted to share the picture of her fiancé and get instant approbation from me to my mother who is keen to keep track of the Sunday menu at his son’s home situated some three thousand kilometres away.

2. A presence in the Facebook :  Your earthly existence has no meaning if you do not have a presence on the facebook and if you are not signed-in your fb account, it could trigger a panic reaction among your contacts. From a mild SMS message to trans-continental calls on to the mobile to confirm that nothing has gone untoward, the enquiries that were made to me on that Sunday easily surpassed the entire personal messages that I have so far received in the year. And when your wife and daughter are also vanishing on the fb, you have the added responsibility to assuage the feelings of their anxious friends and it would call for all your convincing skills to rise up to the occasion. I would never again face a scenario thrown up by not being in facebook!

3. Online ticket booking : Sunday is the time when you check-out the best options for your holidays and book the cheapest tickets available before they get dearer or worse still, sold-out. With internet off the air, an opportunity to plan and budget your trip was gravely missed on that Sunday, the last one before the day of departure.  And when your family come to know of your faux pas in making timely arrangement for their holidays, the Sunday could verily turn into a sorrowful day with each one reminding you of their prophetic statements “I told you so”.

4. The online games of the children:  In a house where there are no PlayStation or X-boxes, online gaming are the much sought after recreation, more so on a Sunday.  And when there is an insurmountable road-block to fulfil such trivial desires, I too felt very hapless. Next time there is an internet break-down, I am afraid that I may have to shell out wads of currency to get that black thing with lot of consoles connected to the TV.

5. Old movies on Youtube:   When you can watch the movie released yesterday on the television, there is no way you could watch decades-old films and relieve your memories of yesteryears other than, of course, on the Youtube. With anything from silent to black and white pictures loaded into it, it is the ultimate blessing for the movie bluff and when on a Sunday you are denied the pleasure of watching your childhood superstars gyrating to bygone foot-tappers, you wish you were working on a Sunday.

And other less important things that I missed out on that fateful Sunday were the online money transfer, the official mails from colleagues who worked the previous night, the customary log-in to my  WordPress account to check from which part of the globe people visited my blog etc etc.

Oh internet, how indispensable you are to the modern man!

Yours

Narayanan

June 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm 1 comment

Sheer Anand!

To experience and to be established in the indescribable and the indestructible joy of the self- which is beyond the grasp of the senses, the mind, and the intellect – is envisioned as the supreme goal of all our spiritual journeys. To facilitate man to achieve this extolled state, great personages has, from time to time, chartered many paths of austerities and penance, devised various methods of rites and rituals and codified them into great religious traditions . The faithfuls who unflinchingly followed their tenets were vouchsafed of a glimpse of that bliss and its very source.  And those who thus tasted its nectarine essence went on to also describe it as the supreme unsullied truth which is but pure consciousness.   Just as the sun cannot be separated from its heat and light, all these three attributes- of Truth, Consciousness and Bliss- are integral to that ultimate knowledge of the self. An experience of the unalloyed bliss is not possible without being established in the fullness of truth and being in total integrated awareness. Thus the three dimensions of its nature is divinely expressed as Sath-Chit-Anand,  Anand being the quintessential bliss.

Such an oceanic bliss is reserved only for the highly evolved souls but for many of us, ordinary mortals, sports and games are more easily accessible sources of joy.  Children as most happy when they are playing and adults take delight watching their favourite players in action and all enjoy the excitement and thrill of a keenly fought match. When many of the out-door sports excite our senses and give us that adrenaline rush with every twist and turn of the contest, there are other games which challenge our cerebral faculties and the joy experienced in playing and watching them are more sublime and hence truly elevating. The game of Chess is the emperor in this category where intellectual prowess, analytical skills and strategic thinking, all need to be simultaneously marshalled and deployed to outsmart and outwit the opponent with every move on the square. And when Vishwanathan Anand displays a complete command and dominance over the world’s best brains in the game, we get a glimpse of his brilliant mind and with every emphatic win at the highest level, he confers immense pleasure and joy, so true to his name.

Vishy Anand is a phenomenon that defies any analysis and he completely and fully is a self-made master. In a country which has never before produced a player of any consequence in the game, Anand was to become the first Grand Master from India and that was just a beginning of a glorious saga. He has taken on all the great players of his time, including the two Russian chess icons, and has beaten each one of them. From being the only one to dominate in all the three formats of the game to winning the world championship title five times ( so far), Anand’s achievements are simply mind-blowing and are the stuff that dreams are made of that inspires an entire generation to pick-up the nuances of the game. When all these stupendous feats are accomplished without the moral backing of a gaming history back home, Anand stands as a lone colossus of unparalleled achievements. The unassuming and composed nature just adds beauty to this towering personality and his demeanour at the pinnacle of glory is a lesson in modesty. Anand is as much a joy to hear and listen to as it is to watch his game.

But in a country that has a single-minded obsession to just that game of the willow, Anand’s historic contests and win in Moscow got drowned in the noise and scandals of the IPL. When the world keenly watched and dissected his every move on the board, back in India, there was scant coverage and media buzz about the event and a general public apathy and ignorance about the battle being played out for the world championship title. Even after the win, the enthusiasm and thrill among the masses was found awfully inadequate and hardly reflected the monumental nature of the victory.  When the nation is unable to differentiate between the manufactured thrill fuelled by semi-clad cheer leaders dancing with aging film stars and the genuine crowning glory of a sporting legend, there indeed is a deep malady and a crisis of character that demands immediate attention.

Chess is a game that is played in over a hundred countries of the world and if at all there is an Indian sports personality who is recognised and admired the world over, it undoubtedly is Vishwanathan Anand. But for a country that hardly acknowledges any sport other than cricket, a game played in about twelve countries (and that includes Canada and Netherlands!) and hardly qualifies to be termed an international sport, Anand and his achievements are just footnotes to be referred only in the passing. In any other nation, such a person would have been projected as its most priced procession and would have become its face for the world. But we would brook none of these.

The nation is known and remembered by the contributions of its citizens and if we fail to recognise our true legends and honour them for their excellence, we may soon be left with only mediocre to cheer for.

Yours

Narayanan

June 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

Class(room) wars

Indian classroom

I, till the other day, felt that my primary school days were quite lacklustre and didn’t offer anything for me to feel proud about, but not anymore. There were some distinct features in the ambiance of that school which I always overlooked but struck me like a thunderbolt only when I looked deeper into the school system that my daughter is presently part of. The school where I went itself was not a great piece of architecture, to say the least.  With leaking roofs, uncemented floors and creaking doors, the building resembled more like an abandoned titled mansion of the nineteenth century than a functional school where everyday five hundred children assembled to pick-up elementary lessons in language, science and arithmetic. While the holes in the roof allowed copious amount of sun’s rays to penetrate into the classrooms throughout its day’s journey, in the long monsoon months of Kerala, they also let down sheets of water that wetted the books and cleaned the slates of the children sitting below with their umbrellas open.  The benches on which we sat were more like see-saws that, when the boy on the right got up, the one on the left invariably went down and the whole classroom was always rocking. Three pieces of black-painted wood was stuck together to form the blackboard and when the teacher found it hard to make her writing on the board legible, children found it easy to convert it into “fixed stumps” for a quick game of cricket. The classrooms were separated, not by brick walls but by thin sheets of garden-fence material which again spotted holes of various sizes all over it. Peeping through these holes, a child in class three can check-out what is in store for him a year ahead and the child in the other class can always recap what he studied the previous year. And when teachers let the children read their lessons themselves to indulge in an exchange of pleasantries with each other, the sounds from the classrooms mingled and reverberated as one great voice of learning.

But in this school the only common factor between myself and my friends were the books we carried and the uniforms we wore. Each of us came from different social background; our parents had varied levels of education and did different jobs, we practiced different faiths and our economic statuses were too disparate and why, even the languages that we spoke at our homes were not common.  Yet, in the school, we learnt the same lessons, shared the same facilities, played together and fought with each other without a thought of our obvious differences back home. While my father was with a reputed British tea company, Benny’s parents were teachers, Dinesh’s father a businessman and Rajendran’s mother worked as a maid in my house. And yet in school, all the four of us sat in the same bench.  Though most of us walked to our schools, Dinesh always got dropped in his father’s car and Benny accompanied his mother in the town bus. And each time I got a scolding from the teacher, my mother would invariably come to know of it, thanks to Rajendran’s mother.  Rajendran benefited much in his studies by being in the company of studious Benny and the rich Dinesh often shared chocolates with the rest of us. As we grew up, we took different paths in life and parted ways but wherever we are today and in whatever occupation, we all cherish a shared childhood.

As I look at my daughter’s class today, I am disappointed by the almost monolithic backgrounds of these students with variety and diversity, that was so much a given in my school days sadly missing. They all are children of the upper middle class families, their parents work for large corporations or multi-nationals, talk in a common anglicised lingo and live in high-rise apartments. Their world is occupied by TV sops, tinsel idols and a host of identical online activities and they all possess a common disinterestedness about the lives and struggles of the less fortunate. They live in their own cocoons in a world infested with facebook , twitter and i-store  where  the likes of Rajendran have no place.   In the scheme of things of these private schools, a decent education is the sole preserve of the economically advantaged children and if the parent belongs to the wrong side of the divide, it is almost blasphemous to aspire to send his ward to these glorified portals of learning.

That’s why the Government thought that it would be a great idea if twenty-five percent of the seats in these schools are reserved for children from economically weak families so that classrooms become more egalitarian and these children too can avail a modicum of quality education. The highest court of the land concurred with this ideal and now private run schools are legally obliged to set one-fourth of their seats for pupils from weak sessions of the society.This ruling is definitely not to the liking of either the school management or to the neo-rich parents. The schools complain that these children will not be able to do well because they don’t have a supportive environment back home and hence will bring down the over-all performance of the school.  And the parents say that in the company of the ill-behaved and slanging brats from the slums, their children will be spoilt beyond redemption and with hygiene standards among them being low, they argue that their children will even be put to health hazards. These arguments are marshalled with such force that they seem to acquire a legitimacy to keep the schools out of bounds for the poor.

This contracted thinking among the elite class betrays a mindset that revels on the status of exclusivity and believes that class destinations are their birth right and therefore need to be guarded zealously. For them, the ideals of inclusive society are more fit for academic discussions than for practical application and preservation of the status quo is the most desired goal.

Who will have the final say in this classroom war and  a share in the nation’s progress is now anybody’s guess.

Yours

Narayanan

May 23, 2012 at 11:45 pm 7 comments

Initiative for a new defence

“ India scarcely has ammunition to last one full week in case of a war” scream the newspaper headlines while umpteen television talks and expert debates ceaselessly point out  the dismal state of the country’s  military preparedness. The air-power is ineffective, the night-vision equipments are faulty, the seas are unguarded and there is an acute paucity of officers at all levels- goes the list of alarming facts supported with chilling statistics which is designed to grip the people with a deep sense of insecurity. From obsolete weaponry to ill-trained soldiers to the faulty machines, the experts would want us to believe that the entire defence establishment is more like a fossilized version of a mammoth troop fit more for march-pasts than a cohesive fighting force capable of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation. The overwhelming verdict of these defence analysts is that the nation’s security is in grave peril.

And when it is a question of national security, you cannot afford to be rationale and ask sensible questions, lest you be branded at the best, as insensitive or at worse, as unpatriotic. So you better sit quite and remain a mute spectator to the bizarre clamour for much more increased defence spending for a nation which is already the largest importer of arms and ammunition in the world. Who cares if half the nation’s children are grossly undernourished and as long as it is willing to go on a shopping spree around the world picking up the latest and most fanciful war toys, you bet it is safely placed in the comity of advanced countries. War against poverty, disease and child mortality are indeed small battles which can be fought some other day in the distant future while at present, we are busy stock piling enough in the barracks to ably fight imagined wars and also win them many times over.  The nation could be drained of trillions of dollars in this essential purchase but that is too little a price to pay to instil a sense of security amongst the people many of whom are deprived of life’s essential supplies.

But this clamour for more weapons and other defence equipments is not just a simple case of demand and supply as it is made out to be. It seems , in fact, to be part of a well orchestrated campaign where individual greed, political one-upmanship and entrenched interests of the arms industry converge to build a bogey of threat and defence inadequacy and intimidate the powers-that-be towards higher defence spending.  These combined forces have little qualms to use any trick from the book, from manipulating the media to aggressive PR exercises and even influencing research findings, to push their no-so-hidden agenda. And when nations get sucked into this well laid trap and indulge in the catching-up act for defence parity, an unending spiral of weapon acquisition is unleashed.  What is good for Paul is not good enough for Peter and this leads to a virtual arms race among neighbouring countries. Sitting over these arms pile, they lecture to each other to do away with their weapons, all for the sake of peace. It is as foolish as a man asking others to hold on to the branch tightly as he runs the blade to cut it down!

Peace, as history would teach us, is seldom achieved through military sophistication and whenever armed might overruled human reason and compassion, the result had been all-round catastrophe, including that for the perpetuator. But when compassion and non-violence were deployed as essential ingredient of statecraft, nations have forged victories over the hearts and minds of the people which in turn ensured abiding peace and tranquillity for centuries over vast lands. One illustrious example of this alternate approach to peace has been the achievements of King Ashoka the Great. Ashoka, in the zenith of his military victory, relinquished arms and became a missionary of peace and built on that edifice an empire so vast and prosperous that it is still considered the golden era in the annals of Indian history. He focused on fostering the humanness of his subjects, created structures and institutions for the flowering of the human spirit and instilled a deep sense of joy and contentment among them. The noble thoughts that his edicts and inscriptions promulgate continue to inspire generations and one of them, The Wheel of Dharma, became the national emblem as Ashoka Chakra, decorating the national flag. Another apostle, the Mahatma Gandhi, freed a vast country from the clutches of the most powerful nation of the time through the method of non-violence which became the tried and tested model for many liberation movements across the world. These great men have lived in the very soil which is now accused of not doing enough to strengthen its armed might!

The doctrine of nuclear deterrence propounds that nuclear weapons would make the world more safer place as nations will eschew wars for fear of a nuclear holocaust. But with all the nukes, nations do spend huge money to build military hardware and still fight many wars. The only deterrence that we need is not Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) but the Wisdom of the Mahatmas to uphold Dharma.

” We must work to change the hearts of men so that we remove the causes of war”

Yours

Narayanan

April 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm 2 comments

To my fellow Delhi brethren

My Dear fellow Delhiite,

What prompted me to write this is this   , (http://raagshahana.blogspot.com/2011/09/open-letter-to-delhi-boy.html) . If you have not already read it, I strongly recommend that you desist from doing it. Because, through a cocktail of half-lies, myopic and prejudiced opinions, mud-slinging salvos and plain innuendos that make the choicest abuses sound like hosannas, the blogger unleashes a hate tirade against you with the nefarious intent to cause disquiet and hence should be completely ignored. But when the coloured rant gets nearly a million hits, thousands of comments and assumes the status of a great literary piece in the internet space, it becomes my binding duty to stand by you, my dear Delhi brethren, to call the bluff and snub the racial rumblings.

The blogger names her site by the Raag Sahana and that is most hilarious. If there is a booker price for christening a write-up most inappropriately and in contrast, it should go to this blog title. Raag Sahana, with its enchanting notes and enthralling melody calms, sooths and uplifts the spirit of the listener whereas blog raagshahana causes anger and rage amongst its readers. When Raag Sahana is that eternal love tune that transports one to the pinnacle of musical pleasure and ecstasy, raagshahana is that jarring hate note that plunges the reader into a quagmire of painful turmoil that stirs up vengeful emotions. Raag Sahana and raagshahana are poles apart for the impact they respectively leave on the listener and the reader.

But you, the ever jovial Delhi guy, is not the one to get perturbed by these incoherent cacophony and your famed sense of humour and light-heartedness is guarantee enough to neutralize the venom the writer injects into her piece. And your ability to see the positive and the brighter side of any situation that life presents itself and the guts to turn it around is your singular asset and you are envied for it, no end.  You are the one who could laugh at yourself and make others too laugh with you and that is a trait most contagious. And when you break into that scintillating and rhythmic dance moves with electrifying effect and spread cheer all around, you are a delight to watch. And there isn’t a counterpart anywhere who could enliven a gathering as marvellously as you can! You indeed are a great charmer!

And to talk about the vastness of your entrepreneurship in this space would be like an attempt to measure the ocean with a glass tumbler. You are from that linage of enterprising men who start off their career selling second-hand books on the foot path and, all in a matter of few years, rise to become international publishers with turnovers in millions and an assured livelihood to hundreds. You could, through your dint of hard work, turn around a road-side Dabba into a chain of seven-star hotels that the rich and the powerful frequent and also transform their interiors as the backdrops where stunning beauties pose to appear on the covers of the Elle magazine. And with your ingenuity and creative genius, you could transform a worn-out car into an ultra-modern multi-purpose vehicle and put to use a washing machine to churn out Lassi in quintals and come out with a million such novelties.  Some dull-heads might dismiss your lateral thinking skills as “Juggad”, but it is this quality of the head that ensure affordable products to most of our countrymen. There isn’t still a competition for you anywhere to this essential Punjabi trait; Balle, Balle!

And as much as the nature has bestowed you with unparalleled qualities of the head, you are equally an emperor of the heart. Your sense of community and charity, of sharing and caring is a study in the art of philanthropy, worthy of emulation anywhere in the world.  Coming as it is in from the great tradition of a common brotherhood, you lavish the choosiest food and warmest clothes on all and sundry across temples and gurudwaras and there is never a “NO” to a stretched hand which is most heart-warming. The langers (free community kitchens) you spread are vast human crucibles where man-made barriers tumble to merge into the oneness of humanity and you are the blessed one to bring in this transformation. How I wish I had these qualities of the heart myself!

These sterling qualities of head and heart are only enhanced by the physical charm of an average Punjabi Delhiite. With chiselled facial features and a golden complexion to go with it, you easily are the most handsome guy a girl could cast her eyes on and it is no accident that the Bollywood is crowded with Punjabi boys and girls as actors and actresses. And what is Bollywood music without the Punjabi folk tunes that instantaneously puts our feet to rhythmic taps? Along with being a charmer, you are also an eternal entertainer.

 With such a repertoire of talent and skills, is it any surprise that you become the target of such envious jabber?  But you have the head to know this and a heart to forgive it.

By the way, here is a hearty wish for a very Happy Gurupurab, the birthday of Guru Nanakji who gave us the message of the unity of all creations, Ek Omkar!

Yours

Narayanan

A grateful Madrasi & fellow countryman

( Posted on Guru Purab day)

November 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm 5 comments

A Diwali gift

Diwali is one occasion when people let loose their wallet and pull all stops to gift their near and loved ones with presents they would cherish, and cost really isn’t a barrier to such offerings of the heart. And this Diwali, Shreya decided to present her lovely grandma with something memorable and why would she not do it? After all, she just got her first pay and would want to splurge it on someone who is so very special to her. She has always been the darling of her Granny and now it’s her turn to celebrate their relationship in a befitting way.

“Granny, I would want to present you such a gift this Diwali that you would admire it for many Diwalis to come and here you have an option to choose one from the two. Tell me, what would I present you, a Blackberry or an Apple”

“Apple or Blackberry for Diwali? Darling, we give sweets to each other on this occasion. And talking about sweets, I have a whole list of my favourites… From the juicy Gulab Jamuns to the crispy Soan Papidis and the saucy Jeelabis . And in our times, we use to make all of them at home unlike these days where you just lift the gift-wrapped stuff from a shop. But at this age I might need to take insulin shot before I could even take a look at these.”

“No, Grandma, nothing doing. I would present you nothing less than an Apple or a Blackberry .Come on Granny, which one would you like to have”

 “Oh dear one, I would prefer an apple for a blackberry any day.  A bite of an apple never let’s you down to cheer up unlike the blackberry which has an obnoxious touch and feel about it. By merely smelling an apple, I can even tell you where the stuff was grown… But how on earth you want me to cherish these fruits for the rest of my years… And I hope you are not planning to give me plastic ones….everything is plastic these days you see… the lamps, the flowers, the smiles….” 

“Oh, you thought I would be that stupid to present the sweetest and the prettiest of all the grannies in the world with a tiny fruit? I mean the Apple Ipad or the Blackberry mobile, Granny….. Okay let me make the choice for you….  I would buy you the latest version of Apple Ipad and I bet you would love to have it.”

“ Apple Ipad ?”

“Yeah an IPad…and you know, in an Ipad you don’t require a mouse to open a window?”

“I anyways don’t need mouse to open the window. In fact, your grandpa used to catch rats and mouse and throw them out of the window with his hands…on to the fields”

“I mean the Ipad is all touch-screen, Granny…. you can run and operate any application by merely touching on the screen at the right places. Even a child can work, nay play, on an Ipad and it is so much fun. It’s the lightest tablet around”

“Oh, thanks for reminding about the tablet, my sweetheart… I forgot to have my BP tablet this morning ….it is so light and small, I always misplace it. I almost lost the tablet given by the doctor for the virus infection…. It was so tiny, you see”

“Oh Granny you need not have to worry about virus infections any longer and that is absolutely great news! This Ipad tablet will never get a virus. You can download any stuff from the internet and it will automatically be virus-screened which would mean you can safely surf the net and browse any site without the machine getting infected”

“Surf for the nets?  It is never safe. It is always just dry dusting for the nets and they will last for generations. Your grandpa once washed the imported nylon mosquito nets presented on our wedding with surf and entire stuff got torn down to shreds.  If you want, you can put them under the morning sun to make them bugs-free.

“In the Ipad, there is absolutely no chance of any bugs either, Grandma. It is so finely designed that bugs in its software is a definite impossibility”.

“ Soft wears will never have bugs darling. It is always the heavy woollens which are the breeding grounds for the bugs. And for woollens you can safely use surf but it has to be washed only in cold water. Otherwise the designs would just fade off”

“ This Ipad is a design master-piece which would remain a connoisseur ’s choice for years  and just won’t fade-off in a hurry. Its smart cover is as beautiful as the machine itself and transforms into a stand when you open it. It is sleek, trendy and comes in hues of colours. You can show all your applications as icons in it and they will be displayed on the screen. With just a touch on the icon, you can download your favourite music, movies, books or anything that you want from the scores of app stores… Isn’t that amazing….”

“Why do I need to download these myself when I can get them home delivered from the Appu’s store downstairs. His store has all these stuff and much more and the delivery time is zero that it reaches our home just in a flash”.

“That’s the only problem Granny. You cannot run a flash application on an Ipad. But the other features in it more than compensates for this little glitch. You can connect to wi-fi, check your mails, chat with other grannies and even see them live on the facebook…”

“ I am bored of seeing them face-to-face everyday and now you want me to have a whole book with their faces?  Oh I only want to hold my lord in my memory.  ”

“With the kind of memory that an Ipad has, you can hold the lord and all his creations in it. The Ipad is the final parting gift to humans from the great Steve Jobs”

“I am not yet ready to receive a parting gift and still have some more jobs to do. And instead of Ipad, why don’t you gift me a padlock with which I could secure my things as I travel to my native village?”.

“What an idea Granny?”.

“No baby, just thinking different.”

 Yours

Narayanan

October 28, 2011 at 9:28 pm 8 comments

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