staying simple at mind and heart

Ok, this might sound weird. But let me ask you, do you remember life before the “internet”? Well yes, I really did ask this and the kids went crazy. One yelled with his hands up in the air.”What do you mean without the internet? I get it, I did shock them, guess they freaked out when they heard we dint have internet once upon a time. Now they think am really old, like I am from some stone age or something.

I sat them down and told them there were days without internet and we did survive without it and life went on too. They dint believe me. I had to try harder to get them to believe that it is true. They had so many questions falling off their mouths and I had to shut them up and explain it to them one by one.

First, what is internet? The internet is a network that connects us globally through various global communication systems. Now let’s not get too involved into the definitions of it. I have very vague idea of when it took over our lives. Mostly it wasn’t a part of our growing up. It was only later that we used internet.

Immediately a kid asks, “What did you do growing up? Your life must have been boring.”
“Well technically it wasn’t boring, we had others things to keep ourselves occupied. We used to play outside, cycle around with friends, played games like hide and seek, catching each other (pakadam pakadi),lagori, skipping, cricket, badminton, getting dirty in the mud and many more.”

“Oh! Is that it?” kid looking at me surprised. I was taken aback. I thought in my head what does he mean by is that it. I said. “Well yes”. Immediately comes the response from this kid. “What about instagram? Dint you upload your selfies playing these games? “

“No, we dint do instas.” now they were petrified when I said that.

So I explained it to them .You know we had telephones back then with numbers on it and a receiver. I showed them the picture. And then they looked at it and said they have seen it in some movies. Thank god for that I thought to myself.

We used to write letters to our friends and relatives. Sometimes send post cards to each other. We used to collect stamps too. While sending a letter you needed stamps. The looks on these kids were priceless, all completely clueless of what I was talking about.  I had to show them the pictures of everything I told them to make them believe that we really used to do these things when we dint have emails, or watsapp, twitter, facebook , intagram.

The communications was different back then and it’s faster and convenient these days. There is certainly an advantage. We are instantly connected to people who are far away. But the charm of sending letters and waiting for it was totally different.

I showed these kids an encyclopaedia I have which is really huge and heavy. They took a look at it and were impressed by it. I told them this was our Google. We used to get editions of it. Encyclopaedia on animals, plants, planets .We had libraries, physical ones where we would go and pick a book of our choice and read it. Now all you need to do is Google the information you are looking for and you have all the information on your screen. Internet has really indeed made it much simpler and compact. You don’t need to carry books everywhere. All the things you need, you can have it with a click of a button. How very simple.

I still remember the school days when we would research the books to find answers or to do a project. It was definitely a different experience. The smell of a book still attracts me. No matter how many online books I read. Nothing beats the physical touch and the smell of a book; it gives me the utmost satisfaction of reading.

How many of you have albums of photos. Remember the cameras with rolls in it and then we would take the negative roll to the photo lab to get copies made. We couldn’t edit the final photo. It was a different world altogether. We had physical copies of countless photos. We would stack them all up in a box .I showed some to the kids and they were giggling.
Yes these days we are digitally storing it all up. The smart phones are handy, take a picture, upload and let everyone see where you are and what you are doing and yes with lots and lots of editing gone into it.

While showing them the photos we found an old cassette. They asked me what that was. I told them you need to watch this, I took the old tape-recorder. Put the cassette inside it and played. It had ‘A’ side and a ‘B’ side of just one movie or a collection of songs. Ta da!!!  I said. It plays music. Ok. The kids weren’t bowled over, rather looked confused. Yes I know, technology driven kids.

I mean we used to actually pay money to buy the music back then. Wait for the movie songs audio to be out in stores. It’s totally opposite now. YouTube has everything stored, and other music platform for that matter.
So are the movies, its online streaming now. Going to theatres by just booking your show, need not stand in queues waiting to buy the tickets.

After touring kids with the “days before the internet” they were impressed how we survived. Well at least now I got them interested in researching and giving them something to think on. And I said I shall prepare snacks and then came the response lets order pizzzzaaaa.  Oh ya, I forgot, now food can be order online and gets delivered too. 

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