Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stay Connected

I know a few senior citizens who do not believe in the latest communication technology.  They do not own a mobile nor do they care to stay connected with their near and dear ones through the ‘Net.  They look at gadgets with contempt. They believe that the development on the ICT (Information Communication Technology) front has ruined one to one relationships. They believe these fancy gadgets have ensured one cannot have a normal conversation with anyone, especially with the younger generation, without repeated interruptions, to the point that one loses interest in continuing with the conversation.

I also belonged to such a group until 12 years ago when I acquired my first mobile, and within a couple of months I was hooked on to it, and I realized what I was missing. As long as I was active in my job, either the mobile never stopped ringing or I kept it busy making calls. 

Today, post retirement, the situation has changed.  Though I still cannot do without a mobile, it hardly rings because the number of calls has come down drastically. This is reflected in my disappointment when I see no missed calls after a meeting where I had put the mobile on silent mode and when I return to the general mode!

Not for me the latest 2G, 3G or any other smart phones. I still feel more comfortable with my basic mobile.  I find that the touch screen technology is not meant for impatient people like me. At the slightest touch it starts rolling and I have to go back and forth to freeze the icon I have to click on. In fact my son presented me with a mobile which had both touch screen and normal features.  I found that within six months the touch screen stopped working because I was continuously pressing the button instead of gently touching it. After three break downs in one year, I have gone back to my old mobile with basic functions..

As for browsing through the `Net, I feel most comfortable with my good old PC at home.  Many of my tech-savvy classmates and friends have switched to Tablets and rave about its versatality. Some of them even use the gadget to do online babysitting of their grandkids living abroad! However, I find the touch screen of the Tablets daunting…once again!

I am computer literate enough to get the things I want done using the computer.  The facility to communicate with hundreds of my contacts instantly through email or Facebook has helped me in keeping away the `loneliness demon` which overtakes many senior citizens who are not using new communication technology, to stay connected to the world.

On the negative side, is the irritation caused by the deluge of `Forwards` I receive from well-meaning friends or acquaintances. Very often the same `Forward` is received from different sources because I am on the email contact lists of the persons forwarding the mail. The worst culprits are those who forward the mail to you with email ids of all those to whom they have forwarded the mail. Sometimes the list is so long that you have to search for the main contents of the mail. I was also guilty of this mistake until a friend suggested that I forward the mail to myself with ‘Bcc’ to all the other e-contacts I am targeting.

With growing number of old people living alone it makes sense for them to stay connected with the world through the mobile or the `Net. The advantage of ICT far outweighs the disadvantages!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Five demons

I was visiting a distant relative recently.  The lady of the home looked visibly perturbed.  After the preliminary enquiries,  I could not resist asking her, what was bothering her.  As if waiting for an outlet, she burst out with her woes!

“Oh! This Brahmanan (referring to her husband) is a sandeha prani (A doubting Thomas)  He is suspicious of anything and everything. He has gone to the neighbour`s house  to have a fight regarding a suspicion he has about the neighbor`s involvement in  something missing from  our house. Living with him has become hell!”

When I was returning home and reflecting  on what the lady had said, I realized that not only suspicion but if four  other demons or Pisasus as we call them in Tamil possess a human being then life can be miserable for everyone around.

Apart from suspicion the other four demons according to me are anger, jealousy, fear and dishonesty.

I know of a friend who is for ever an angry young man (since he is over 60 now  I will call him an angry old man). He is  bawling at somebody or the other, for some reason or the other, all the time.  Obviously he must be having a high  blood pressure but it is surprising that he has not had any heart attack so far– he only gives heart attacks to people  who are victims of his shouting! Anger can adversely vitiate the atmosphere surrounding any angry man.

Another friend of mine, a very well qualified professional who did not do well in life, is for ever jealous of his friends who have done better than him.  He would be constantly cribbing  about others, resulting in friends avoiding him. You can also find this kind of jealousy between  successful & unsuccessful siblings. The problem gets aggravated when siblings get married and the daughters-in-law enter a home. Resulting in strained relations between families.

Again if fear overtakes a man or woman in life, it can be a disaster.  I know of people who when posed with a problem or a difficult  situation will start imagining the worst case scenario first.  They are afraid of not only taking bold decisions but generally have fear dominating their  personality. Such people can be a negative force on people surrounding them.

Some people are not only congenital liers but also are dishonest to the core. I think lying and dishonesty go hand in hand.  If a person is dishonest to himself you can give up on such a person. One can never be sure of dealing with dishonest  people because there is always  a feeling of uncertainity and doubt in the minds of people dealing with such people.

It is true  that all of us have suffered due to any one or more of the above demons taking possession of us , sometime or the other.  Many of us have overcome such obsessions and got on with our lives.  But there are many, who are unable to get off the fundamental defect in their personality, Such people continue to suffer and make people around them suffer!

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