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Reach out to your loved ones!

Published in Sakal Times | Tuesday, December 2 2014

P eople everywhere these days are using high-end phones that are remarkably well embellished with state-of-the-art applications. Oddly enough for my technologically-impaired senses, these new generation ‘apps’ appear like mere misspelled words that pop up so rapidly that a dozen or so could have been launched between the time I write this article and the time it goes to print.

The point I’m making here is about new revelations and technology, and I’m taking you through a poignant route to get to it. It is about how my 70-year-old mother and I have stayed close, bridging the nearly 4,000 km distance between Pune and Singapore where she and I live.

Over the years, mother and I have stayed connected sharing special moments and everyday trivia via the house telephone, which is fast becoming near extinct. Then mother purchased the ubiquitous cell phone, and communicating with her became a breeze, resulting in fervent text messages between us.

In no time, newer technology came to the fore and due to excessive peer pressure from other tech-savvy mothers, we tried our hand at Skype! But gave up despondently as mother couldn’t exactly get optimum control of the zippy mouse of her computer that she insisted had a mind of its own!

The next milestone in her life arrived only a few months ago. Or rather a turning point in our lives — her new android phone! Enterprisingly enough, she sought out the neighbouring kids to download a myriad of apps on her proud possession and our daily communication improved, thanks to the exceptional WhatsApp!

Every morning then on, I was bombarded with pictures of idols, and pilgrimages from far and near. (Her friends too having graduated to using the technology, spend long hours sharing divine anecdotes). If that wasn’t enough, snapshots of long lost uncles and aunts and ratty cousins who had grown up into swans showed up daily.

The festival of lights unleashed a frenzy as families in finery WhatsAppd their selfies to group chats and shared virtual wishes around. In this craze of picture sharing, I WhatsAppd mother a picture of the rangoli that I had created as part of the festivities and felt just like the little girl that I had been a few decades ago, seeking approval from her for every tiny handmade creation.

Instantly, mother texted me a reply conveying her blessings. Even though the spellings came across a mite awry as she was using the queen’s script to convey her thoughts, which were in Marathi, I discovered that her words were nothing short of profound. Her inspiring words will stay with me forever!

Technology has for long helped in bridging distances, and now newer enhanced technologies propel us to take swifter decisions in reaching out to our loved ones. Perhaps it is time now to hasten and share those thoughts that we always put away for later.

Every one of us has these instant means now, so I urge you not to make excuses anymore. Seize the moment, send pictures of your deeds, articulate your thoughts, and say those unsaid words!

— Sunita Lad Bhamray