The car driver missed the first left turn. I was in my home town. I was upset. That was the shortest route. The driver told me do not worry , we will take the next one. I pacified my self. The flight was already 30 minutes late, I spoke to my younger daughter from the airport and told her that I will be with you in 20 minutes. I was worried that she would sleep and I would not get a chance to hug and hold her.
We had sent her to my home town with a relative. This was the first time she was away from us for a week. The first day and second day were fine for me (after all I travel many days in a week) and we could see and talk to her through FaceTime. Once I was back from my travel, I started missing her. I am used to hearing her humming hindi songs, fidgeting with the steel calendar, flipping through my leadership daily quotes. She would make me play her favourite songs from the laptop. The day I was planning my trip to meet her , I downloaded her favourite songs on my usb and that was the first thing I packed. I wanted to play those songs from the USB when we would be together in the car.
So I reached , we hugged and had a good time. She made my mother pick up her luggage from the ground floor and kept it next to mine in the first floor. She put on the washroom lights for me as I forgot to do while I entered and her behaviour made me understand love, caring and attention.
I recollected how history repeats itself. Back in 2009, I followed more or less the same routine with my older daughter when she was the same age. That time I had to travel from a distant city to my home town. It was a CD instead of a USB, eveything else remained the same.
Talking about CD system, the other day my wife asked, “What is your plan with the old Sony Sound system?” I told her to wait. I reminded her how this was our first purchase and had travelled 4 cities. Today I don’t use it even for FM radio as we are occupied with smartphones and social media. Back in those Sony days , we used to listen to cassettes, play VCDs and connect the speakers with the TV. The Sony set had become a white elephant. I had kept the Sony system purely on emotional grounds. My defence with my wife was that atleast we can hear the FM but something happened today. Even the power supply to the system conked off and it stands now as an object to be replaced. I am no longer emotional about letting go of this piece of hardware which served us so well in the past 16 years. Is it true that this generation do not get attached to any of these objects of desire the way I did in as many years? I got the answer the next day.
My older daughter was coming the next day and we got off to a late start. My younger daughter by then had shifted all her loyalty to her sister. She started checking with me about the SMSes I received from my elder one and how much time it will take for us to reach and pick her from the airport. I struggled to drive and text. My younger daughter soon took charge and both kids were now communicating through emojis. The ability of the kids to move from one event to other event is so seamless. I discovered that my kids were as attached to their devices as I was to the Sony system.
Today, with this level of technological invasion into our live we are all “wired for weird.” Earlier that week I had met a relative in the ICU, his only worry was “my iPhone is not working!” The doctor scolded him and asked him to lie down, “better be safe than sorry.” I was asked to fix the problem. After three attempts I could fix the problem. The iPhone problem had occupied his mind so much that after coming out of the ICU,he asked me all the details and learned which all settings had gone weird.
Technology is here to stay and disrupt but it has its own benefits. My older daughter was travelling alone on a flight for the first time. Technology gave us confidence. It helped us to communicate on her maiden flight via smses. A secured iPhone in working condition can even calm down a seriously ill patient!