‘Touching’ across continents

My granddaughter’s recent Easter holidays were filled with various workshops and days spent with friends. On the days she was free, one of her parents worked from home and we got to spend some intercontinental time with her.

Her father was home that day. He started Skype and told me, ‘Amma, whenever you want to stop, tell her. IΒ  have a call now.’Β 

Normally she is allowed an hour or an hour-and-half on Skype, what with her studies and other activities and strain on the eyes. We started talking and she showed us some of her handicraft and talked about this and that. About an hour or so into the call, the son came and gave her lunch. ‘Diya, it has been an hour,’ he reminded her. She nodded.

I watched her eat and chatted as she ate. The time flew and soon it was over an hour and I asked her if she didn’t have any homework that she needed to do and if we should say ‘Bye’.Β 

Her face fell. She clearly wanted us to stay in the ‘room’ with her. Suddenly she brightened.

‘I know what we can do Paati! I won’t look at the screen and will do my homework. You can watch me!’ And so I watched her as she did her homework. After sometime she practised her violin and then did some painting. I left the room briefly from time to time and so did she. We never saw how much time had elapsed till my son came in.

He was aghast. ‘Four-and-half hours! Your eyes, Diya!’Β 

Paati and granddaughter hastened to tell him that I was just with her in the room while she did her work. He started laughing. It was indeed incredible – the amount of time we had spent ‘together’!

I had written a post about the time she had begun Skyping with us, as a little girl. I thought I could share it again and refresh my memory of those days, not that they have faded πŸ™‚Β 

Back to 2012….

Isn’t it wonderful that we can enter into each other’s homes even if separated by oceans and landmasses? Today so many families are staying together thanks to Skype. We are no exception and after deciding the day and time to talk to our grandchild – she has to be fed and not sleepy or cranky — Β we quickly finish our work and even have an early dinner so that we can chat for as long as the little one is in the mood to sit in one place or at least within the range of the webcam. There are times when the daughter moves with the laptop to catch her but that can be tiring. So when she moves out of range, we chat with her mother or father or both as we wait for her to come back.

Did I make it sound simple? Far from it. We being techno-novices, take our own time in setting up the webcam and speaker and mike, by which time the kids have already called twice and we have responded – sometimes without the audio and other times without the mike. There are times too when we can see the little one and her parents but they can’t see us because the video has not been turned on.

β€˜I can’t see them Amma,’ she says in her lovely voice and we start talking to her in a rush, forgetting about turning on the video, because we can see her! We ooh and aah as the son is impatiently telling us to turn the video on, PLEASE.

And here comes the tricky part. We have to search for the icons on the screen and keep turning on and off random stuff. β€˜Now, we can’t hear you!’ The son is impatient because we are not listening to him but talking to the child of three, who is jumping up and down crooning, β€˜Paati, where aaaaaare youuuuuuu?’ and I am jumping in my drawing room making the L&M jittery as he accidentally disconnects the call altogether.

A flurry of activity with accusations back and forth as to who was clumsier till we finally manage to set everything up properly. Whew!

β€˜I can see you!’ Screams the moppet and then goes completely berserk. She laughs delightedly and claps her hand and when I say, β€˜Diya looks so cute!’ she covers her face with her hands and peeps through her fingers shyly. She then starts jumping and dancing again, driving her parents nuts. But her grandparents are delighted and laughing with her. She suddenly disappears and comes back with some little craft project she has done with her mother.

β€˜Look, Paati, look JabbuΒ Thatha!’*Β  she says thrusting it so close to the webcam that we can’t see anything. When we tell her that, she slowly goes back asking, β€˜Can you see now?’ till we exclaim, β€˜Wow! How beautiful!’, much to her delight.

All this was done on the desktop with its extra webcam fixed at one place, since our laptops have some problem or the other which makes talking on Skype difficult. So we sit ramrod stiff one behind the other, in front of the camera and can’t move from our posts because she wants both of us there, even if she is busy doing something other than talking to us. And with the L&M frequently rushing out to talk on his phone or on errand to the other room, she pipes up, β€˜Where has JabbuΒ thatha gone? I can’t see him!’

She wants us both as captive audience as she does her thing in her drawing room thousands of miles away. Obviously she feels we are with her and close to her, just as we feel. But the next moment she zaps us with her comprehension of distances and space.

Standing on the meridian in Greenwich

She has a toy in her hand and I ask her, β€˜Will you give that to me?’ and she replies, β€˜But you are so far away, paati!’ A look of wistful contemplation comes into her eyes then, perhaps wondering about the time they had come to Delhi she suddenly says, with a hint of tears in her voice, β€˜I want to go to the garden with JabbuΒ thatha!’

All of us on both sides of the ocean rush in simultaneously to reassure her that she would come in the summer holidays and then can go to the garden every day. That brightens her up.

And then, the L&M got this new laptop, which has all the latest built-in features. So now we don’t have to worry about the light since we can take it anywhere and the camera is powerful and affords the kids a clear picture of us with a wider range. We sit side by side now, not one behind another.

When we tell her that we have new laptop, what does the little one do? She turns on the background effects on her screen – there is now a thunderbolt striking at her JabbuΒ thatha! Her mother points it out to her and she quickly changes it to stop the thunderbolts. And then she turns on the spacecraft theme and floats in space. She is thrilled and begins singing a song about going to the moon (I can’t recollect the exact words). A stanza into it, she realizes Β that her grandparents are not with her. She stops and asks us to get into one too.

The techno-challenged old couple fumbles and searches while she tries to help from her end! β€˜This one Paati!’ she shouts, pointing. Her mother tells us where to find it as the little one impatiently tries to fiddle with her settings.

β€˜They have to do it on their computer Diya,’ tells her mother patiently, trying to calm her down.

β€˜Do it fast paati!’ she encourages, unable to understand our slowness and incompetence.

β€˜They don’t know how to do it,’ explains her mother.

This is puzzling to the child. β€˜They have to learn it Amma,’ she says.

Profound words. How can we hope to communicate with the techno-savvy kids of today if we are clueless about the mechanics? With renewed enthusiasm we try and viola! We find ourselves in a spacecraft too! This brings on a cheer from across the continents and the song resumes with gusto, with both the granddaughter and grandparents in their respective crafts, zooming towards the moon! It was a joyous moment.

Song over, she changes the background and this time she was on a moonlit bridge and then there was a festoon of balloons and buntings and we sing Happy Birthday together. Both sets of Skypers (??) go crazy for a while changing the background themes and then suddenly she is behind bars.

For some strange reason, she calls it a playground. We get behind bars too and she says, β€˜Hold it paati! Hold it paati!’ I can’t understand what she means till the L&M explains. She wants me to hold the bars and when she does the same, we can ‘touch’ each other! So we both hold our respective bars and we touch each other through ether and space and distance….

Thank you Skype!

*Jabbu in Jabbu Thatha stands for Jabalpur, where we were when she was born, to distinguish him from her other thatha.

103 comments

  1. Such a beautiful, heartwarming post! I remember my little cousins playing around with chat themes when they fiddled with my laptop – somehow they especially loved the one with the bars too! Haha πŸ˜€

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    1. Thank you Deboshree! What is with the bars that they love? Maybe it is something they can hold on to? But I am stumped as to why Diya called it her playground! Any ideas?

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      1. Yeah, it’s curious, no? Sometimes I think, the very best stories reside in the minds of children!

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  2. Bindu Gopalarathnam · · Reply

    omg, my mom does this with my 8 yr old son. They talk for hours together on summer vacation. He plays his piano, plays on the PS4, does math etc while they are on facetime while i work from the other room.
    Im sure this is something that both you and your granddaughter will cherish. I love these moments when he has someone to talk to. thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you Bindu! Children feel that they are in the same room when they chat and feel comfortable even if they are not talking all the time but busy doing their stuff, as they would if we are in the same house. They just need to hear you or see you. Grandparents cherish this time together with their grandchildren. It fills up a big void.

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  3. Just what I needed to read! Heartwarming, simple and so poignant. Little joys that tech has allowed us to tide over distances and time zones. I can well imagine what a big challenge it must have been for you and appa to master the skype loops! Grandparents are the best, and Diya is blessed have at least virtual tete-a-tetes with her adoring ones! Skype background themes? Never knew this!

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    1. I knew you’d like the post, that’s why I gave you the heads up! You too don’t know about Skype themes? Perhaps they have done away with it. I will ask her the next time we chat. Oh the two sets of grandparents have to get an appointment from little Miss Busy! Her schedule is so full πŸ™‚ The internet speed and practice over the years have made us perfect the whole chat scene. I carry the laptop into the kitchen and finish up work sometimes and she asks me about this or that thing that had not been there when she last visited Mumbai!

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  4. Hey Zephyr, this was such a lovely lovely post ! was absolutely fun to read. There was a short film on the same topic..i had watched a long time back..will try to search it for you . wow Skype themes..that’s something i didn’t know about

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    1. Thanks Asha. I don’t know if Skype themes are still there. Diya has grown out of that phase πŸ™‚ Looking forward to the link to the film.

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  5. This was so very thrilling to read! What a fabulous storyteller you are Zephyr! The moment of ‘touch’ was so deeply poignant. I felt tears pooling in my eyes. You really know how to touch people’s hearts!

    Of course the ‘Jabbu’ made me grin in delight! ❀

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    1. Thank you dear, for the beautiful words of appreciation. I knew Jabbu would make you grin πŸ˜€

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  6. Written so well! The way you wrote it, it sounded so natural. Maybe one day when I have grandchildren, this is what I might do!

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    1. When something is written from the heart, it is bound to be natural, I guess πŸ™‚ The memories and instances are so fresh that recounting them is easy too!

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  7. That is so sweet. I can’t say I can relate but when VT and I were in a relationship, for 2 years we ran into a long distance one. Then we used to do our own stuff with the Skype on. It meant time together. Just like you had with Diya. Loved your post!

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    1. Thanks Parul. Technology is good as long as it is used for our benefits and not allowed to rule our lives πŸ™‚ Glad it brought back memories for you!

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  8. Hahaha this post brought back a rush of memories…. This is exactly how I communicate with my own mother. Her pace is slow, but she eventually learns. She’s like: “What do I do, where do I have to click”.
    God alone knows how things will change once I have a child.
    That’s when I’ll have 2 children to handle – both my daughter and my mother…

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    1. At least she is doing it alone. (or does dad ‘help’ too? πŸ™‚ ) We both keep criticizing each other and making further mess of things. πŸ˜€ Don’t worry, they will teach each other πŸ™‚

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      1. Haha yes it’s between the two of them alright πŸ˜€

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  9. ha ha… Thank God she spares you of the thunderbolts πŸ™‚
    The things kids do on skype….my niece does almost all the same things πŸ™‚

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    1. Oh yes! She looked stricken for a moment and then quickly changed the background πŸ™‚ I thought it was too cute and touching. Kids sure are tech savvy even when they are still in diapers. πŸ™‚

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  10. loved this!!

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    1. Do you also use skype to stay in touch? Of course, you must be better at it than the two of us πŸ™‚

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      1. Yes Skype is a lifeline!
        Technology has indeed shrunk the world!

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  11. The first thing I am actually reading – except for my mails which I just filtered into delete or answer later – after 10 days of complete, utter, silence.

    Beautiful. Connects on many ways. My aunt is based out of New York, her sisters converse with her on Skype regularly. My mom depends on me or my sister to connect her on when the conference is scheduled. I am told to be there, around, when the conference is on.

    Later, when my sister moved to Canada for a short period, I could not use my laptop at home at all. Reason? My sister would call me on Gtalk, tell me to turn on the video, and then instruct me to get mom on the chat. That’s it. The two (and my laptop) would disappear for hours – until they got bored of what to discuss today or the battery started running low on the laptop – mostly the latter.

    These days, she keeps nagging me to teach her how to use the desktop. I am quite impatient when teaching anyone anything – be they my parents or a classroom of students – hence am unable to fulfill this wish of hers. My boss has recommended a professional trainer, who will come home for a month and teach her how to use the computer – he used on successfully for his wife & sister.

    Maybe I will get her the training sessions. That’ll get her out of my hair for a while. Until she asks for a smartphone.

    Regards,
    Grond

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    1. LOL sister and mom appropriating your laptop? Get her her own lappie, won’t you? Desktops can be a pain as you’d have seen from my post. The speaker, the mike etc. have to be just right. Headphones are out since both of us want to hear the little one prattling. So the struggle. With the laptop it is just one gadget and viola! you have it made. The best way for your mom is to learn by herself with just a rudimentary help from you or your sis. My sister learnt to operate one in her 60s and she chats and mails with panache. So you could try letting the old lady learn by herself and then get a trainer perhaps. You’s be surprised how net savvy we women can be especially if it means keeping in touch and talking πŸ˜€

      So how was your retreat? It must have really rejuvenated you. πŸ™‚

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  12. Aww..this was so sweet πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  13. What can we do? While the kids only get more and more techno savy the rest of only get older. I had a good laugh when reading your post. The good thing is that modern technology does indeed make it possible to stay in touch even when we are separated by thousands of miles. I know since my wife and I half the time live on different continents. That would have been very hard 50 years ago.

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    1. But half a century ago, our mindsets would have been different and we would have been living in THOSE times, with the technology of those times. The telephone was a wonderful technology back then and intercontinental calls were the marvels of the time, right? We are getting older, but also game for new things, aren’t we? I am damn proud of that πŸ™‚

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  14. Tried and failed miserably!!! They said it’s beyond them… esp my dad; he said that he can live without them…after all he lived without it all these 65+ years. So we left it at that:)))
    Anyways they do come online when my brother and SIL reaches home.

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    1. You can’t argue with THAT logic πŸ™‚ But I am sure it is just a matter of time, believe me, I have seen enough old people! I am enthu but my brain is unable to keep pace, what to do? πŸ˜€

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  15. Nice post.
    I don’t get to chat with my parents coz they are well assured that they CAN NOT get accustomed to the computer. So we speak to them the traditional way – landlines.
    I think it’s the plight of the parents and children everywhere…wonderfully written:)

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    1. All you have to do it to sit with them and show them how wonderful it can be. And then they, like thousands of people who have never ever used a computer will fall hook line and sinker for Skype and mails. Oh, yes, this is the latest in the generation gap thing πŸ˜€

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  16. Lucky kid! she has tech savvy grandparents n al πŸ™‚

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    1. What? Did you read the post at alllllll? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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      1. Yes, I did..My mom doesn’t even know how to switch on the laptop!..and you can atleast half-successfully talk to your grandkid over Skype!

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        1. Life is so relative, isn’t it? being able to come on Skype and then fiddle around is better than not being to operate it at all, right? πŸ˜€

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  17. I experience this every week. I live abroad and my family is in India. Some problem or other (power cut, poor audio or internet connection) occurs when we try and talk. Still we manage to see each other and it gives lot of satisfaction.

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    1. The problems you have listed are all part of the infrastructure in India. But ours go beyond that πŸ™‚ It is the inability to cope with the fast developing technology; by the time we think we have mastered one, there are three more waiting to be ‘learned’ πŸ˜€

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  18. I showed this post to my mother and she had a hearty laugh as it was so similar with her experience of skyping with her grandaughter in Belgium πŸ˜€

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    1. It is veetukku veedu vasappadi, right? Only, I wrote about it πŸ™‚

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  19. What a delightful post! I keep waiting for the joyous news that I have a grandchild on the way! I’m not sure the two granddogs would be such fun with Skype and computer technology.

    Laura and Alex have been married over a year and a half now and I keep reminding them that, at 67, I don’t have that many years left to enjoy grandchildren…their response is that, if I can jaunt off to India for four months, they expect I will be around for many years to come. My 41-year-old says he’s never marrying and, even if he succumbs, he’s not having children, having raised his two brothers, nearly 13 years younger. And Jeremy, at 27, is enjoying the carefree life of a San Francisco bacherlor…so, Zephry, I so look forward to more grandma posts while I wait patiently for my turn.

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    1. Don’t worry Carmen, your kids are right. You will be around to enjoy your grandkids and who knows your oldest might even change his mind and have one πŸ™‚

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  20. Great post, aunty! not sure if you remember me, I had the good luck of meeting you in chandigarh as one of Vik’s friends. At one point, I had also tried teaching you to drive. Not sure how well that went for you. πŸ™‚
    This is a great post and we also recently started skyping with one set of grandparents. My kids did the exact same things as Diya did, in terms of being excited and showing art projects and stuff. What I liked most about it is that the kids get a better sense of belonging with the grandparents. Now, I need to convince the other set to jump on the bandwagon.

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    1. Oh yes, I do remember you trying to teach me to ride. Unfortunately it didn’t continue due to some health problems which put paid to all my dreams of riding the two wheeler πŸ™‚ Where do you live now? I think you came here from Twitter? Grandparents are very adaptable and I am sure the other set will join the fun too. This is one technology that makes for closeness virtually.

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  21. Who says technology kills innocence? If used for what it is actually made for, then it is such a beautiful blessing! WOW! I have no words to express how much I loved reading this one! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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    1. I am so glad you liked it Arti πŸ™‚ Children are such a big joy aren’t they?

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  22. Awww that’s cho chweet !
    Yup, today’s kids are born tech savvy…..they instinct ly know how to work the latest mobiles/ computers iPod / IPad or what have you ! It’s amazing how they just know how to …I take forever to get the hang of them !
    Lovely post as always !

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    1. I know! It is as if they are like Abhimanyu who learnt the art of entering the chakravyuha, while still in the womb of his mother. Looking at the way they are being sucked into the vortex, though, it is also a little worrying. Oh, we are all from the same planet of people with five thumbs, as I told Sunita. πŸ™‚

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  23. hee hee hee sho cute πŸ™‚

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  24. The advantages of technology, Reminds me of skyping when parents had gone to visit my sis in oz, she had a baby boy then so it was the same.
    Loved this post made me remmeber so many good things that technology has brought, in making us all come closer .. the world has become a small place.

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    1. It should have been wonderful sharing things over Skype with a new baby in attendance πŸ™‚ Technology sure has simplified our lives but with a lot of bad side effects. We have to be selective about the technologies that are beneficial to us. But again, this can be subjective. πŸ™‚

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  25. This is all that happens when I speak with my parents online. I think I should wait for some time till Tee grows up for the true skype chats to start.
    PS: I have to find this background effect thingie….

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    1. How old is your daughter? My granddaughter had started on Skype around two. They won’t speak or interact so much, but it is fun watching them and listening to their prattle as they speak to their parents πŸ™‚ The Dell Inspiron has this thing called Dell Central which has all these background and special effects.

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      1. My daughter is just 9 months, but when the skype calls come through, she knows the sound and she looks intently at the screen for the faces to appear!

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        1. They do learn early, don’t they? πŸ˜€ The other day my granddaughter was playing with her Lego on the floor and I couldn’t see her. Her parents were not in the room and I told her that I could only see the top of her head and you know what? She came to the laptop and turned it just so and I could not only see her but what she was doing! Isn’t it amazing?

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  26. Zephyr, this is just brilliant like your all other posts! Who can know the power of Skype and FB better than me who is in Hong Kong, my wife in Delhi and married daughter in Singapore:) Necessity to communicate has made Skype the mother of invention in today’s communication world! I could visualize every word you wrote!

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    1. Wow! An international family indeed. But I thought you were in Noida! Thanks to Skype that families are able to stay together, isn’t it?

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  27. Lovely post.
    Wow! you must be the first granny who is in love with technology.
    It is my experience that people , as they get older, tend to stay away from newer things.
    For old people, it is the laptops and computers.
    For me, it is the SMSing on mobiles

    But yes, Technology makes it easier and easier to communicate and connect.

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    1. But old people are getting more techno savvy by the day just to stay in touch, what with distances being the bane of today’s life. I am not the only one. πŸ™‚

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  28. :’) Tears of joy. This post must be engraved in golden letters on a marble tablet and used to whack everyone on the head with, who junk technology as useless and non-essential and intrusive!
    We moved from STD phone booths to mobile phone calls on the home landline very quickly when I left for hostel and Maa wanted to talk to me. When my sister left for hostel later, Maa also got her own mobile connection to stay in touch at cheaper rates (Airtel Friends πŸ˜‰ ). But it was only when we began working that she finally got her own email address… and subsequently a facebook account. Introduced to the joys of Google Talk and FB, she keeps making adventurous forays into “technology” (read forwarding mails and liking FB updates). Though it means that I have to be all the more careful with my online (esp FB) activity, its a joy to see her active online, connecting with school friends and staying in touch with people through emails (or forwards, which you may be quite familiar with πŸ˜‰ ). And though I recently signed her up for a skype account she’s still learning the ropes of that one (seriously how difficult is it to hit the green button!!! o_0)
    Anywho, coming back to your post, it really made a very important point of technology being an enabler. Today, technology has actually proven true the adage “The world is a small place”. We can see and talk to anybody across the globe like they were in front of us (albeit with the slight inconvenience of time zones and time differences), send letters and mails that would have taken weeks if not months to reach in a jiffy (and free of cost, to boot!). And yet, we are losing a lot of the personal touch. The actual effort of writing a letter or travelling to meet a person one hasn’t spoken to/seen in a long while has taken a back seat. Maybe one day technology will make it possible to physically interact instantly. Beam me up Scotty! πŸ˜‰

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    1. LOL wipe away the tears, Sid. There are countless people of the gen X who are cursing and praising technology in the same breath. Like a double-edged sword, it does both good and bad and wise (of course we are!) gen X has learnt to use the good part of it. Like your ma and me and others. And yes, it also helps to keep a check on the kids and their activities but with inbuilt safeguards and features, here too social networks keep one step ahead of the techno challenged gen X πŸ˜›

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  29. oooo my…. we all live on the same planet and as I read every word of yours, iam transported to my very own similar experiences….

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    1. Welcome to the club, Sunita. We indeed are from the same planet — a species with five thumbs when it comes to technology. πŸ™‚

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  30. AlkaGurha · · Reply

    I can identify with the whole scene…My only brothers three kids are in Chicago. My mom specially looks forward to the chat sessions. Technology sure helps us keep in touch…my bros little one lost 3 front teeth and she showed them to me yesterday. Its heart wrenching when she says…”Bua I want you here right now.”

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    1. That’s one of the things that is wonderful about Skype. They can show and we can see! It is heartrending to hear such pleas and demands when we don’t have any means of fulfilling them. But that makes them also aware of distances and space.

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  31. Rashmi Shetty · · Reply

    Sob..sob..sob..how touching!!..GG u r now a story teller too..i cud imagine all of you so clearly!!..though i am expected to b tech savy i cringe everytime somebody skypes or even tells me to clicks pics on their handycams!!..but yes – learn we must!!..i quite often end up video skyping (if there ever is a word like that!) with my friends from india and abroad..coz somehow just looking at them and talking helps much more..which mks me think mayb i shud video skype with u someday:-)..Thanks so much for this lovely post..just made my Monday!!

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    1. Oh, you don’t need a storyteller to explain the antics of the L&M and his better half. They are so transparent, you can see through them πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ But I am glad it made your Monday! So you are one of the rare ones that use Skype to talk to friends in India too. I don’t believe that this generation can be all thumbs with gadgets. No way!

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  32. I can so relate to this post. When we chat with my brother and his family . the same thing happens .. My niece and nephew show us their paintings, their school work and each and every new toy and book they have bought. Once my brother even had to carry the laptop to my nephews room because he wanted us to see his new bed spread  My parents are much worse than you two .. They can’t handle Skype at all so I have to do all the work .. With them muttering impatiently in the background 

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    1. Sometimes parents can take it easy when the kids are around. But when they are on their own, they have ‘learn it amma!’ πŸ˜€ The advantage of a laptop is that. Like when the little one goes to lie under the table — her favourite spot — the daughter puts it down so that she can continue her antics for her grandparents’ benefit. πŸ™‚

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  33. Well everything has two sides, isn’t it? These are the advantages of technology and will reserve the bane for another post/comment πŸ™‚ I loved the way you had written about your interaction with the little one.

    My friend’s son was 4 years or so when I got my first smartphone and took a picture of him. That was the very first time I used the camera and wasn’t sure how to use the gallery to navigate between the pictures but he very intuitively swiped a finger; lo and behold, the next picture appeared on screen. Somehow many things that are intuitive to the kids are not so intuitive as we grow older – wonder why!

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    1. How about writing a guest post on the banes of technology in relationships, A-Kay? I agree about kids being instinctively good at gizmos. I remember Diya trying to tap the screen or flick it to make it respond — even on the laptop once she had got used to her father’s touchscreen phone and the ipad. πŸ˜€

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      1. Can’t believe you asked me to do a guest post… Of course, I will, zephyr. *still walking, nay running on nine*

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        1. Get down to earth and start writing πŸ™‚

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  34. hahahaha! this is called kahani ghar ghar ki..exactly…I kid not..exactly the same way between R and my in laws..RD is shouting…appa put the video put the video..and Appa is like I Can see R I can see R…I loved the way you wrote it..Muah to both you and L&M

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    1. The sons are impatient, but the girls are more patient. I even prefer to do Skype with the daughter for this simple reason. Ya, kahani ghar ghar ki πŸ˜€

      Like

  35. Zephyr, Your grand daughter looks really cute in the photo. How sweet of her to tell “They have to learn amma.” . I mean how sweet. She is so enthusuastic to see and talk to you guys. God bless her, her parents and the loving grand parents. Too cute a post.

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    1. That was sweet, Sumana. Which grandparent would give up the joys of interacting with their grandchildren and what is a mere Skype to be mastered for that joy? πŸ™‚

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  36. Can sense both your grand daughter and your excitement. Yes Technology has revolutionized our lives. Its a question of wait and watch for more. πŸ™‚

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    1. Not just wait and watch, but also ‘learn’, as my granddaughter put it simply. πŸ˜€

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  37. What a touching post, Zephyr. You are missing her aren’t you?

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    1. I am so sorry Purba, I don’t know how i missed this one. It must have been a technical glitch of WP.

      I have to write this from memory now:

      I miss the little one every minute and keep reminiscing about her words and actions ad nauseum till she comes up with another gem. Sometimes though, I find it hard to share things. 😦

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  38. Sweet! Technology is a life saver! My mother in law has also started accessing emails, writing emails and responding to them. We created a Facebook profile for her and she now comes and sometimes “likes” posts. It is so amazing πŸ™‚ though I have to be careful about my own activity on FB ;-). She is still some time away from using skype or understanding webcams. So, you are doing quite well, lady. And, what a delight it must be listening to your granddaughter. I also enjoy the moments when my younger son converses with his dadi or nana over phone; they say such cute things in the cutest of tones :).

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    1. Oh yes, emails! I started using them when they came to India but havent been comfortable with the other stuff like FB or Twitter at least till date. My oldest sister learnt to use email in her 60s to keep in touch with her grandchildren too. I have heard many young people commenting that they have to be careful of what they are displaying on their FB status when their parents are there on it, but this has set me thinking. How come the younger one got me an account and doesn’t stop me from reading his status msgs? Maybe he ‘sanitises’ them as another young friend told me or maybe he trusts me enough not to panic? πŸ˜‰

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  39. Aww, this happens in all homes eh? And yeah, kids these days are certainly tech savvy right from birth πŸ˜€ So glad to see the enthusiasm in the L&M and you to learn the technology and keep yourselves in sync with your grand daughter’s demands.

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    1. Actually I am pretty ok with the technology thing, but it is advancing at such a scorching pace that I am unable to keep up. Like the little one said, ‘We have to learn it. πŸ™‚

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  40. Journomuse · · Reply

    My mom these days would rather I go back to the firang lands because every day she had the skype date with me – uninterrupted one hour of me listening to the news round up of all and sundry – from her Bengali gardener to the phantom pains that my grand aunt cribbed about to her just before our call began. The time difference and the general ‘I miss you Amma’ made her feel every so special. Back here, closer to her, skype seems funny, when the STD call isn’t really all that more expensive than a local call..we talk everyday in snatches and bits..but like she admits she feels closer to me when I was far far away from her than now..Technology indeed! ( evil side question – is this going into your junk folder too? πŸ˜‰

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    1. Really? But come to think of it, she has a point. When you live in close proximity, which could mean the same city or even country, you could take things for granted and postpone meeting/calling. But when you are far off, it is a psychological need to be in touch. But tell me, why don’t we use skype to talk to those who are in India?

      No, once you unspam a comment, WP remembers not to spam it again and of course it dare not spam a regular commenter πŸ™‚

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  41. That was beautiful! You described what happens in most homes πŸ™‚ Thank god for technology! It does make distances disappear, doesn’t it πŸ™‚

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    1. Generation gap of a different kind! πŸ˜€ But who is going to let technology ruin the fun of bonding? πŸ˜€

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  42. All those things that we read in fairy tales are slowly turning true. I remember one of the stories that was often told to me was about a little girl who got snatched away from her family by a witch to a wicked land. She stumbles upon an oyster who could show her living family on its shell. Only that was one-way. Now you have the two-way chat.

    Don’t worry about the fumbling. As long as you are able to achieve the end result, all will be forgiven!

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    1. That fairy tale sounds very futuristic, doesn’t it? From photos to videos to skype, we have indeed come a long long way. Fumblings will continue thanks to technology which far outstrips our learning prowess. πŸ™‚

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  43. Awww …..these are simple pleasures of life in tech-times!Good to see you keep up with new challenges thrown each day .Loved reading the post.:)

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    1. Thank you Sharmila. The problem with technology is that by the time we are on top of it, it goes even more hi-tech and it is a learning process all over again. πŸ™‚

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  44. such a beautiful post!!! i can just imagine her excitement!! we have yet to join the band of skypers, but i sense the same excitement in samhith when he chats with his chittis or athais or chitappas on facebook or gmail!

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    1. Samhit will be even more thrilled if he could see them, right? It is a heady feeling to interact with the loved ones, although only virtually.

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  45. This is such a heartrending post……..thanks to technology for these things……..

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    1. Hey, but it is also very heartening except when the time comes to say goodbye 😦

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  46. Technology has certainly made a lot of difference. We can now see our friends and relatives regularly on the net. To watch the little ones growing up is the best part πŸ™‚

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    1. Right on. It is so nice to virtually be able to get into the room with the loved ones, isn’t it?

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  47. You have perfectly described what my parents would have to say about our Skype chat too!! Am sure initially they also must have felt lost and getting used to the new technology took a lot of time. But now both sets of parents are comfortable using computers and internet application that allow us to chat with them as it is the best medium to talk and see each other when separated by miles from each other.

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    1. I guess every generation behaves in a particular manner — after all, the older one got to see and use these technologies much later in their lives, didn’t they? I think we should be fine now too, with the laptops and don’t have to struggle with the desktop/webcam and speakers and mikes…whew!

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