Life brings with a plethora of experiences, each with a flavour of its own. I wish to share with all my readers these various experiences and observations that I have made during my time here on this planet. They may be funny, thought-provoking or simple reflections. I do hope you will find these enjoyable and interesting.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Enjoy Yourself While You're Still In The Pink .....

Received a forward this morning from a very dear friend, an elderly lady whom I met for the first time on this site. It is a poem by Mario de Andrade (San Paolo 1893-1945) poet, novelist, essayist and musicologist called "My soul has a hat".

It just reminded me again about how fleeting time is and how our perspectives change with the passing years. Not that one has not realized it earlier, but reading something like this just reinforces the feeling.

Not long ago (or so it seems to me, when I think of events - it is a different story when numbers give the same time period a different perspective) I used to be 'young,' though, believe me, I felt 'old' then. I used to complain endlessly about being bored, used to count the number of years left and they felt like a burden on my then 'young' shoulders. I did not particularly enjoy what I did - going to school, college, doing what I was told to, worrying about my future ..... The world seemed to be such a dark place. It seems like yesterday.

A few decades down the line, I spend my time in my room, "doing nothing" some might say and as I myself suspect every now and then, but it seems like 24 hours are not enough to do everything I'd like to do. Maybe I get that feeling, because there are so many more things I would like to do in addition to whatever it is that I do, plan to do or decide to do but then don't do. Sleep which then was a welcome escape seems today to be nothing but an interruption in my scheme of things, something I guess like it is to all babies who have so much to discover in life. And the time between the aforementioned 'then' and 'today' or lesser is all that I have left on this planet (at least till the curtains go up again for yet another show, though I shall be quite contented to let the curtains go down and let it rest at that). And then I realize that that seemingly long (in arithmetic terms) chunk of time flew off before I knew what was happening and before I realized it, I am sitting here and pontificating on time and life. All that happened in between is still a blur.

It is overwhelming to think of all that has to be done during that time. Well let me think: Clearing up my home would be a wonderful starting point. Downsizing (physical self as well as belongings) would be be essential to accomplish the first point. Loads to be done in terms of expansion of the intellectual sheaths. Lessons in patience, letting go and anger control to be learned. Travel before it is too late - can't say "while I'm still in my pink", I suppose 'coz it is already "later than I think". Though I might possibly just be a wee bit pinker than I ever will be. Be of some use to the world, so people can think of me fondly when I am no longer here. That is already a looooooong enough list to be accomplished in the short time left to me.

Any regrets in life? No big ones. Just that I wish that the younger I could have "understood" in the truest sense of the word how transient and fleeting life and time is and that the opportunities available to young people have today were available to us then. Maybe I could have achieved something more significant in life.

And what about lessons .....? Well, looking at how awfully polarised and dark the times are today, maybe now the past does not seem so dark. No use, though, thinking of the past. So live in the here and now is the biggest lessons of this lifetime.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

The Ballad of Father Gilligan

I love old poems.  I love nursery rhymes.  I dance to them when making my early morning coffee.  Not seldom, some random words from some poem pop into my mind or they might do so in some particular context.
Today the following two lines popped up in a different context and I wanted to check if I could quote them in that context.  So went to 'Uncle Google' to ask him.  The lines were "God had pity on the least of things  Asleep upon a chair".

It threw up the following poem.

The Ballad of Father Gilligan
By William Butler Yeats
THE old priest, Peter Gilligan,
Was weary night and day;
For half his flock were in their beds,
Or under green sods lay.
Once, while he nodded on a chair,        5
At the moth-hour of eve,
Another poor man sent for him,
And he began to grieve.
“I have no rest, nor joy, nor peace,
For people die and die”;        10
And after cried he, “God forgive!
My body spake, not I!”
He knelt, and leaning on the chair
He prayed and fell asleep,
And the moth-hour went from the fields,        15
And stars began to peep.
They slowly into millions grew,
And leaves shook in the wind,
And God covered the world with shade,
And whispered to mankind.        20
Upon the time of sparrow chirp
When the moths come once more,
The old priest, Peter Gilligan,
Stood upright on the floor.
“Mavrone, mavrone! the man has died,        25
While I slept on the chair.”
He roused his horse out of its sleep,
And rode with little care.
He rode now as he never rode,
By rocky lane and fen;        30
The sick man’s wife opened the door:
“Father! you come again.”
“And is the poor man dead?” he cried.
“He died an hour ago.”
The old priest, Peter Gilligan,        35
In grief swayed to and fro.
“When you were gone, he turned and died
As merry as a bird.”
The old priest, Peter Gilligan,
He knelt him at that word.        40
“He who hath made the night of stars
For souls who tire and bleed,
Sent one of His great angels down
To help me in my need.
“He who is wrapped in purple robes,        45
With planets in His care,
Had pity on the least of things
Asleep upon a chair.”

What a ballad!  What a beautiful description of the evening turning to night and then to dawn!

"And God covered the world with shade,
And whispered to mankind."

I could almost feel my mother's gentle touch on my tired brow, talking gently to me.

This is the kind of poems that I really miss reading in modern times.

That was not all.  I saw a video on FB after this, which showed a 97 year old mother going to visit her bed-ridden daughter who is 76 years old.  Could not help saying 'touch wood'.  Maybe mom was trying to send me messages from wherever she is today.

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Strategem

Last night I had a dream. I had a twin sister and both of us were very good cooks as well as qualified nutritionists.

We both had impeccable professional reputations.

One day, we were approached by a very large hospital and were offered jobs with a huge annual income. The only condition was that we should make sure we helped the hospital get a good reputation and everyone went away happy. We both, being professionals to the core, took those instructions to heart.

As it happened, I was put in charge of the canteen and my twin in charge of the dietary section for the patients.

Knowing how fond most Indians are of oily, spicy food, I started serving all varieties of fried stuff, food rich in fats (cooked in dalda mostly) and made sure all the dishes I served had at least half an inch of oil on them. After all both my reputation as well as the hospital's were at stake and consequently so was my job. People came, ate well, appreciated the fare and left contented. Not that they had much of choice. Outside food was not allowed inside the hospital and these people had no other choice. They were after all the patients' relatives and had to be with them. Not that they were complaining. The food was pretty enticing after all.

Many of these people soon enough felt pretty ill, eating as much as they did. Some of them were tempted enough to ignore their health problems and dietary restrictions.

No surprise then, that they soon enough landed up in the same hospital as patients. And this was where my twin came into the picture. I had done my duty by pleasing people's palates as well as by giving the hospital good business.

Now my twin being very conscientious made sure she gave these patients the healthiest, blandest and "tastelessest" (please forgive me for coining new words, but the existing words in the Oxford dictionary just do not serve the purpose of accurate description) food imaginable.

It did the patients a lot of good. It motivated them to get well as soon as possible so that they could flee the hospital at the earliest, thus freeing the beds for the next stream of patients who had been created in the hospital canteen. So the business turnover for the hospital was phenomenal, the doctors were making a fast buck and their reputations preceded them everywhere. At the end of the day, it was a win-win situation for all concerned.

And the cycle continued, until one day the hospital hosted a special function in honour of me and my twin sis (the food for which was of course catered by me - the hospital is certainly very business savvy)!!!!!

I woke up wondering how I had conjured up such a weird dream. Then I remembered my visit in the evening to a hospital canteen and the story of a patient who had eaten the offerings of the dietary department there. :-)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

My Vegetable Garden

Check here for my posts on Composting

The composting is going fine and I have been very excited about starting up an organic vegetable garden in my balcony!  Very ambitious, what?!  Well, no harm in trying and there are so many folks who are growing veggies on their terraces.  Don't know how well they will grow, but am determined to try.

Here are some of the seeds which have sprouted.  Many have been savaged by squirrels and birds.  So trying out some stuff to keep them at bay as well.

 These bunchbeans were damaged due to severe rains and hailstones.  Attached scotchtape to them and decided to wait and watch.  They healed.

Here are buds appearing

 Brinjal seeds sprouted into saplings

Saplings transplanted

Bhindi sprouted in rind of sweet lime and planted rind et al

Bean plant savaged by squirrels

Saving the capsicum saplings from squirrels and birds

Desperate situations call for desperate measures - wooden barricade and chilli powder treatment 

Chow chow 

Roots of greens from a bought out bunch stuck into a pot growing

One more green grown the same way

Now keeping my fingers crossed and praying the plants grow well and that I get some good organic produce!

The Composting Story - Part 3

.....Continued from here

Around this time, I decided to repot my plants and give away the show plants (except some small ones) in order to make place for my vegetable garden.

While repotting, I found some earthworms in some of the pots!  I had never thought of vermicomposting.  That would be stretching my luck too far; but the sight of a few earthworms tempted me.  I just dumped a few of them into a bucket of maturing compost - I had no clue of how this was done.  Unfortunately, when sieving the compost, I found not a trace of earthworms.  The poor creatures had died - that was it!  I would not try vermicomposting again.  I did not want to kill more innocent creatures.

Somewhere at the back of my mind, however, a certain vermicomposting worm was chewing my brain.  I joined some forums on Facebook which talked of organic gardens, terrace gardens, home composting etc.  There I asked where I could procure some worms.  In the meanwhile, I saw a presentation by a lady by name Mrs. Vani Murthy, who gave detailed instructions about vermicomposting.  One of the members of that forum very kindly shared some worms with me.  I sneaked them into my balcony and started vermicomposting them in a bucket.  Although I did not have a bin with a dividing plate nor did my bucket have holes, I decided to monitor it very carefully.

What I have done is this:  Lined the bucket at the bottom with coconut coir, shredded newspaper and shredded cardboard which had been soaked in water and then squeezed out, so that they were wet but not soggy.  I added the worms with some of the compost in which they came.  Added a bit of my home compost too.  I tied the opening of the bucket with a dark bin bag with holes in it for air to enter.

Imagine my horror when after 4-5 days I found a few worms had crawled out and lay stiff on my balcony!  Wondered what had gone wrong.  Checking out the net gave me some comfort when I read that it was not uncommon in the adaptation period and that unless they all started crawling out or bunched up together, it was alright.

Gradually I have been adding some tomato pieces and the remains of musk melon to it.  Also adding maturing compost.  I am still to understand how much feeding constitutes overfeeding and how much underfeeding.  So in the meanwhile, I keep checking the bin and it is heartening to find some new additions to the family!

Vermicompost as it looks today (roughly a couple of weeks since I started).

The Composting Story - Part 2

.....Continued from here

So it was that I contacted "Daily Dump" and after researching the internet, got them to deliver a 3 piece khamba and Remix.

3 tiered Khamba

A bag of remix (from website of Daily Dump)

The process is pretty simple.  Layer the bottom of the top compartment with a newspaper and some dry leaves.  Put a layer of kitchen waste into it.  Too acidic foods such as lemon peels, pickles etc are avoided so that the compost does not turn too acidic.  Layer the waste with a few fistfuls of remix (a mixture of bacteria and cocopeat) or alternatively with dried leaves or sawdust.  This will ensure that your compost is not excessively wet.  Alternatively add layers of waste and remix/sawdust/leaves until the top compartment is full.  Once it is full, transfer the middle container to the top and the top one to the middle and continue the process.  Once both compartments are full, empty the contents of the middle compartment (the first compartment which was full) into the bottom compartment for maturing.  Before that line the bottom compartment with 3-4 inches of dry leaves at the bottom. Move the full compartment to the middle and the now empty one back to the top.  The process is repeated.

If you generate a lot of compost, you can use a bigger khamba or get a big leave it pot, which is what I have done.  Mixing a teaspoon of sour yoghurt into the compost is a good practice.  The compost needs to be aerated by frequent stirring.  I generated almost 3-4 kgs of ready to use compost within 2 months of starting composting.  (I started in the last week of February and by mid April, I had sieved my compost and stored it in a plastic bag).   

My first lot of home compost

The sieved remains from the compost
The sieved remains from the compost get added back to the bin for complete decomposition.  
Some interesting stuff happened along the way.  I had discarded some date seeds into the compost bin and guess what happened!

They sprouted in the compost.  So i decided to try getting them to grow.  No, I cannot grow a date palm in my balcony and I am sure it is not going to yield dates in the Bangalore weather, but I thought it would be nice to give it to the association to grow just as a show plant in the central garden.  So I put a few of them into a grow bag.

Day 1 after planting

A month after sowing in soil.
Time I guess, to hand them over to be planted in the ground!  If they survive, wonderful.  If they don't, well, I haven't lost anything.  A learning experience that.
I did have issues (won't say major ones) with fruit flies after the rains and I panicked.  Though I know that a certain number of maggots are certainly good for composting, there would be furore in the house (as if there had not been enough already), since the balcony is right next to the bedroom.  In order to ensure hassle free composting, I kept using Agnihastra and neem oil periodically to keep the population of maggots down. It certainly worked like a charm.  Also smeared the lips of the compartments with neem oil.
Now the compost was ready to use. be continued here


The Composting Story - Part 1

It has been a very long time since I posted here.  Oh well!  Life takes various twists and turns, sometimes real life intrudes into one's virtual presence.  Some of that is pleasant, other stuff not so welcome.  What I am going to talk about here is about some exciting times I have been having over the past few months.  

My hobbies keep changing with the season.  The flavour of the season around the end of last year was bird watching.  Suddenly, a trip to Goa added one more flavour.  No not feni, nor vindaloo.  It was this sudden craze for composting.  Have been thinking of it for a while and also been practising it in some rudimentary form till now.

This is how I used to do it before.  I used to mash up all the kitchen waste in a blender and add it to the wash water from my RO filter and water all my plants with the mix.  Though of late folks have been telling me that RO water is not good for the plants due to high salt content, I did not notice any deleterious effect on my plants at that time.

On a trip to Goa, I noticed my cousin using a khamba (which I had heard about vaguely earlier but not spared much of a thought to) and was really impressed.  So I decided to go hammer and tongs into home composting.

I live in an apartment complex on the third floor and have 3 balconies.  My front and side balconies have always had a lot of plants - mostly show plants and flowering (not that they flowered very profusely, but I did get some flowers off and on), some herbs and medicinal plants and tomatoes growing wild from the soil.  In fact this year I got almost a kilo of summer from these 'unplanted' plants.

Here is what my balcony looked like.

The entrance - front balcony

The entrance

More plants at the entrance


 Bone setter (also called hadjod) - used in Ayurveda to heal broken bones 

Bishops weed or Ajwain

 Tomatoes in my balcony

 Ripening tomatoes

Jasmine blooming in the side balcony


Harvested tomatoes (grown from discarded seeds from the kitchen)

On a good day

So this is what my garden was like until I decided I wanted to grow more vegetables.  Anyway, the flowers I got were few and far between - one can't expect more on the 3rd floor of an apartment block.  The joy of getting occasional flowers or fruits, however, made me decide I was going to try my hand at organic vegetables. be continued here

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

God Is A Gamer - Book Review

“God Is A Gamer”:  The title sounded really captivating and intriguing.  I was waiting anxiously for the book to arrive.

The wait was well worth it.  I was delighted to receive an autographed copy of the book.  Thanks a lot Blogadda and Ravi Subramaniam.

Can a suspense novel educate?  I have never given much thought to this question before.  However, reading this suspense thriller made me aware of the fact that there are many things in life, we are not all aware of – ‘bitcoins’ being one of those many things.  For the first time, I heard of this kind of ‘digital money’ which can be used online to buy goods and services. 

This is a novel which revolves around the bitcoin industry, involving powerful people in the American political establishment, an Indian gaming company, an international bank in India and a God forsaken corner of the Ukraine.   The story is very riveting; a powerful bureaucrat, close to the President is murdered in the US; the CEO of an international bank in India dies – is it a murder or a suicide- that is the question; the head of a department of the bank dies.  

The characters are well interlinked and the story flows well.  The novel takes the reader through a roller-coaster ride wondering ‘whodunnit’ and suspecting various people at various times.

The end of the story is totally unexpected.  The first denouement comes when the criminal is booked for the crime.  However, that is not quite all.

The epilogue brings with it yet another twist, which, after the first denouement, is totally unexpected.  This is something which could probably have been avoided.  It is interesting how the author has linked various characters in the story of crime for revenge;  but it seems far too complicated, a bit far-fetched and quite unnecessary.  Even though no one expects the stereotypic ‘.....and they lived happily ever after’ ending, this one in particular reveals the nadir to which a human being could possibly descend – not something one would particularly like to think of.  Some things are better not contemplated.

One loose end in the story was rather disappointing.  After getting Swami killed, there is no closure on that front.  A character is added to bring in the element of mystery about him being involved in Swami’s killing.  But this story just fizzles out at the end.

One very interesting feature I noticed is the length of the chapters.  Kept at a manageable length, some of them really short, it makes reading really fast and easy.  It is one of those ‘un-put-down-able’ books.

The language is excellent.   Although in the genre of fiction, the story gives an insight into the intrigues and politics of international banking institutions.  The line between reality and fiction is blurred, especially in the manner in which the prologue is written.

One more point, regards the title, one wonders where ‘God’ came in from.  I started reading the book wondering why God would be a gamer, but found no connection of any ‘God’ to the story.

All pluses and minuses considered, it is an interesting book on the whole.  Would I read another book by the same author again?  Most certainly.
How would I rate this book?   4/5.

This review is a part of the biggest <a href="" target="_blank"> BookReview Program </a> for <a href="" target="_blank">Indian Bloggers.</a> Participate now to get free books!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Technology and Life

This post is a part of “Beyond Boundaries” at in association with INK 2014.

Collaborating Blogger:  Kiran Acharya  The

I am a Punekar - by birth and at heart.  I was born in ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ and grew up in Pune.  I lived all my formative years in the city, influenced by the local culture and people.  Somewhere at the ripe young age of 29, I left the city to go abroad for further studies.  It was with mixed feelings that I left.  This was my first foray into the world outside my cocooned shell.  My four and a half years abroad were the most enriching time of my life, both in terms of experiencing life and the world outside, as well as for giving me the opportunity to meet people from diverse cultures, ethnic and family backgrounds.   It was an experience I would not trade for anything in the world.

That was around the time technology was changing gradually.  Letters and telegraphic messages were being replaced by fax.  STD and International dialling were gaining popularity despite the high costs.  I remember missing home and family a lot and wanting to talk to my parents to share the ups and downs of my life with them.  As a student on a stipend, I had to be extremely careful with my money and would call say 2-3 times in extremely desperate times – and that with a guilty conscience.  Companies selling international calls for a fraction of the regular price started making their presence felt and that came as a relief for people like me.
The advent of electronic typewriters and computers gradually made the conventional typewriter obsolete.  User friendly versions of operating systems like Windows were replacing the maddening DOS version.  However, computer technology was still the domain of professionals.  It had yet to touch the lives of the common person, many of whom still had major mental blocks about touching a computer.  As a researcher, I had my own computer and I remember kids coming and playing games on my desk top. Internet had also slowly started touching the lives of common people – e mail services were already in vogue. 

The advent of social networks during the early 2000’s took the world as we knew it by storm.
Unlike me, who experienced the phase of change, my fellow blogger, Kiran, who lives in Mumbai, belongs to the generation which was born during this period of technological revolution and has this experience to share:  “The advent of social networking in India which started during my college days, started off like a whiff of fresh air and took our stagnant minds by storm.  For me, it started with ‘Orkut’ which was used initially only to connect with friends;, the network expanded as did the definition of friends. Friends were no longer the people you meet regularly at college or go for a movie with. The term expanded to include many people whom you haven’t even met. They didn’t have to be the same age, or stay in your region, sometimes your viewpoint differed too. The thread which tied us was common interests in the same subjects.”

Somewhere around the time all this was happening, I returned to India and ‘settled down’.  (Oh how I hate that word!  It sounds like slush or mud that settles and decays.)  Anyway, I moved to a new city after getting married.  For 15 long years, I had many acquaintances, but no real ‘friends’ to speak of – at least not in the sense I understand the word and this, despite being a working woman with exposure to the world outside the home.  I had to deal with my self-doubts, doubts about my social skills or lack of it by reminding myself that I was the same person who had so many friends at home as well abroad.  It was just that I did not jell with the social and cultural ethos of the city. 
My use of technology during this phase of my life was restricted to my professional needs.  As a teacher, it was good to be able to give a search on Google for supplementary teaching material.
Strange as it might sound, it was around this time that illness ‘fortunately’ struck and I was grounded for almost 3 years, going out only if my life depended on it; (oh, no worries!  I have not lost it - the tough phase has not softened me in my head).  My only ‘outings’ were to the hospital for checkups for myself, to tend to my mom who had a surgery for a broken hip and later on to the home for Alzheimer’s patients to visit her when she was admitted there.  That would be 3 - 4 times a week.  It was enough reason for anyone to go into depression or lose it altogether.  But I was lucky. 

A couple of friends introduced me to the world of social networking – Facebook and a women’s networking site called  That was the beginning of a new phase of my life.  I started writing on the ladies’ site and the transformation in my life had to be experienced to be believed.  For one, I got to express my views on various topics freely.  I found it to be a very enriching experience, getting to know other people and their perspectives through their writings, responses and interactions on line.  “Birds of a feather flock together”.  I found a number of friends there.    It is often said that people in the virtual world are very different from what they are in real life.  Well, I don’t deny that risk, but from my personal experience, I found the opposite to be true.  Often, people in the real world need to put on a mask, whereas they can be their real selves behind the protective screen of anonymity online.   

I met and got to know some of these friends in person and some of them have even come and spent 3-4 days with me at my place.  They were exactly as they appeared to be in the virtual world.  It is not as if I did not come across some twerps, but then one cut them off and got on with life.  I would not miss making all the friends that I did, just for fear of meeting a handful of nitwits.  Many of these friendships have transcended the virtual space.  How can I forget the time when I was in the ICU after spinal surgery and my “virtual friends” kept calling to find out how I was doing, talking to me when I could and helping me keep up my spirits!  I, too, was so addicted to the site; I found it hard to be off line.  I managed to get my notebook into the ICU and blogged the day after surgery – a 4 part blog about the experience.  ("A Story of a Valentine's Day And A Few Days That Followed"The response was overwhelming.  From concerned enquiries to exhortations to take rest, I did not feel the lack of friends or relatives by my side during that time. 

There was so much support, mental and emotional when I was reeling under the impact of my mother’s illness.  How many of my ‘virtual’ friends have come to help me when she was in hospital and in the home!  There was so much of emotional support when she eventually passed on 3 months ago. 

It has been really nice to get to know some people from other countries through online games.  Apart from the games, there have been many chat sessions too.  Many a sleepless night has been spent chatting with friends across time zones, making the dreary hours easier to bear.  Not seldom have I been asked by them why I am awake so late and been told to go to bed “NOW”. :-D  Why should they care?

The opportunity to make a lot of friends in specific groups based on shared interests, ranging from poetry, to books to cooking and food, on Facebook has also been a very good experience.

Apart from all this, I discovered some new skills and with the encouragement of these ‘strangers’ or ‘virtual friends’, whichever way one likes to look at them – I prefer the latter – I started developing those; first and foremost I grew more savvy about using computer applications.  It was a great step, just overcoming a major mental block.  I found my passion for writing and some amateur photography.  The fact that I have people, with whom I can share these, encourages me to develop those hobbies even more.  In fact, three of my stories were published in an anthology just 3 days ago.  It was such a thrilling moment.  I now hope to hone that skill further.

Blogging brought me in touch with a lot of other bloggers, young and old.  The experience is what unites all of us, across the board.  Kiran’s experience bolsters my statement.   “Then, I started blogging, reading other blogs and connecting with bloggers. Reading blogs introduced) me to complete new kind of travel experience - armchair travel.  As a tourist, one travels to places and gathers information provided by the tourist guide; but most of the times, one merely scratches the surface. One can’t capture the ethos of the place in just one visit. But, when you see the world through the eyes of the regional blogger, you get to see a different world.  Instead of visiting a place, the place comes visiting and reveals its secrets. Then, when you travel to the place, it somehow seems more beautiful and meaningful.

Earlier, only a few people could express their views and the rest would accept whichever argument was more convincing to them. There was no scope for interactive discussions.  Freedom of expression has now got a new meaning; people don’t just have the freedom, but also the means of expression. Blogging has made it easier for everyone to share their thoughts. Instead of a debate between two opposing viewpoints, we now have multiple perspectives due to contribution of diverse ideas.

Stereotyping is so common in social interactions leads to many misconceptions. For example, myths about ‘lack of morals’ based on what is seen in movies are not unknown.  Within India, all North Indians refer to all South Indians as ‘Madrasis’ just the way, all North Indians are frequently blanketed under the description ‘Hindikara’ meaning Hindi speaking people. The fact that the culture varies even within these regions was not clear.  Advent of technology gave everyone the chance to get in touch with  people who stay in other areas and realise that hardly anyone conforms to a stereotype. People are learning the value of accepting others and, getting to know about  their culture, instead of abusing them with preconceived notions.”

This is entirely about how technology has helped me grow on a personal level.  Talking of technology on a general level, I cannot but help feeling overwhelmed by the sheer wealth of information that is available today, to every person at the tap of a key.  It has opened up a new world to kids who learn so much, thanks to the exposure they get.  I remember my school days, when what we read was dictated by the books that were available in the school or public libraries, that too subject to availability.  Today, Google and Wikipedia have turned into the human versions of “akashic records.”  ‘Ask and you shall know’ seems to be the modern day mantra.  So much so that “Google” has changed from a proper noun to a verb.  I love ‘googling’ for information. :-D  A friend with a literary bent of mind referred to Google as the present day Jeeves!

‘Skype’ is one more marvel of the modern world.  It is like having people walk in to your room for a chat whenever you wish them to be there – the modern version of Aladdin’s magic lamp.  It is so good to see young people today, being able to go where they will and still being able to communicate with near and dear ones at home without having to spend a dime.  It is such a boon to parents whose children have flown the nest for far off climes.  The feeling of connection over distances is indeed comforting.

How many times did I wish I could take my parents abroad just to share all my experiences and the beautiful places I got to see!  Had they been there today, all I would have needed to do would have been to transport them using a smart phone!

Talking of parents and smart phones, it is such a wonderful feeling these days to see people in their 60s and 70s keeping themselves mentally engaged and active on the net.  Tablets, I-phones, smart phones.....  Many of them use the Internet to share their knowledge, experience and talents with people around the world.  Where is the scope to get bored?

Internet has come as a boon to both young and old when it comes to shopping online for everything under the sun.  No need to go running to the market to buy furniture, groceries or anything for that matter.  It is available at the click of a button.  No need to trouble children or depend on them to do your shopping for you.

Many housewives are finding a degree of financial independence, thanks to ‘work from home’ schemes on the internet.  Looking for directions and all human beings can give you are vague instructions?  Why bother to ask them?  Check out your GPS.  Want to find an address or a phone number?  Ask Google.

Everyone says that learning is a lifelong experience but as you grow older, you develop some fixed notions and find it difficult to change them.  However, rapidly changing technology keeps on pouring information into your lap without giving your thoughts a chance to ‘settle down. It’s becoming difficult for anyone to claim knowledge of everything due to the pace at which knowledge is increasing. According to Socrates, “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Technology is certainly, doing its best to make us wiser.

Indeed, technology has changed the world to a global village.  (All that is now left, it seems, is for people to be teleported wherever they wish to go! :-D)  It has brought people closer and opened the door to cross-cultural understanding and will hopefully be the harbinger of world peace some day.