Once a lazy afternoon back to year 2006 I was regular visiting my grand-ma home which was 10 mins walk from my home. She is my mom’s aunt, but I always call her “nanima” (grand-ma). She was in her late 80’s that time. Sitting on her fav rock chair under the tree shade while I caught myself being hooked to my phone chatting with my friends on sms (the phone back then wasn’t smart enough) and she, as usual narrating the stories about the home and school in Pakistan before Indo-Pak partition. I have heard the story dozens of times from her when I was in middle school and we were staying at her place. The stories were my lullabies that time. I was angry on her for not having any other story to share and sit quietly on stair case wishing to go back home soon, totally ignoring her. But my mother patiently enjoy her stories. My mother once told me if its wasn’t nanima who restored faith and encourage her to stay in India after the disaster earthquake in 2001, I wouldn’t have been here getting good education and enjoying freedom in my life. But who can stop a stubborn care-free wild teen girl. I pushed my mouth in a self-satisfied smirk and continue what I was doing.
After a good an hour, I decided to give my eyes rest and realized grand-ma was standing exactly beside me and caught her smiling. I undid my hair and asked her what happened? She was calm and asked me to explain what magnetic source the mobile phone have which makes me not talking to her and moving my fingers like a robot even without looking on the phone (thanks to Nokia phone)? I ignored her question and give her a big tight hug.
She said “One day this virtual world will consume all the mankind. Slavery will have new face. The real human will turned to a human robot. It will be chaos all around and no body will hear your cry. You will come to me that day and beg me to talk with you. But I will not be there to comfort you. That day you will realize I told you these things.” I laughed my heart out and told her she is growing too old now and should give her brain little rest. Nothing such things will happen. Perhaps technology will be so cool that we will not have to cook food anymore. The robot will do all the work and feed us as well. She remind me once again, this will happen and I will miss her like never before.
When I was a kid, being a girl I hate barbie doll’s and all girl-ish games. I choose to play all boy-ish games – Robot, Guns, Boxing, Car Racing, Marbles and reading Batman and Sherlock Holmes stories were few of many other fav things to do. While early of 21st century, in India the internet was slow as tortoise but thanks to google who always fed me with future will be awesome stuff. Yahoo messenger, MSN messenger, Orkut were our mini social media to meet strangers and making “online friends”. But who knows what the future will bring 🙂
My grand-maa, at the age of 87, she woke up at 5am, make herself a cup of a tea, never failed to do quick 20 mins yoga, almost manage to do most of her work by herself (though sometimes she need someone with her) and always up for socializing and spreading peace. Insisted people to meet her instead of calling on landlines or mobile. For her telephone is just only for quick message, like telegram. When she was young, she was actively participated in freedom struggle back to early 20th century. As well she was supporting the education program specially for Sindhi Community in Adipur (Kutch). There was an article about her which you can read it here. For her happiness is depend upon good and healthy food, a good night sleep, a garden full of flowers, peace time to connect with God and bunch of people who laugh with her.
But now, after 11 years, I really miss her. Like she said, I will. She died 2 years back at the age of 98. I am lucky enough to spend a quality time with her before she left to her heavenly abode. Well if you think in a practical way, yes the technology have created distances though it meant to make world look smaller and shrink the distances. We are connected with all our friends and families but mostly just through social media and mobile phones. We do not meet people often. Our world is big but not without our phones. People are taking “Social Media Detox”. Selfies are killing people. Just for the sake of good photographs, people have misunderstood “adventure” word. FaceBook has become our digital diary which is an open book some people kept it private and WhatsApp has become our mini version of landlines. Letters and film photographs are replaced by e-mails and video callings. Kids nowadays astonished to get to know about the board games because mobile phones are their favorite game boy. The photo albums are replaced by digital pen drive and Dvd’s.
Are we really connected with all or just another version of technology slave?? Why “Meet and Greet” has become limited for some people only?? Are we lost in the virtual world?? Are we turning introverts now??
….to be continued.