Monday, November 14, 2011

the phoren days

written on 30th Oct- when I was still working :)

I miss my childhood today. And no, it’s not the gone are the days, or life was beautiful back then kind of episode. Do you remember those days when anything associated with other country used to be extremely special and very difficult to get access to? The word abroad or foreign had an extra special connotation. The land which are miles and oceans across had a mystique about itself. And all that is gone today, at least for somebody like me.

Almost everybody in my generation, when we grew up, had a relative abroad. They used to come yearly or bi- yearly and that used to be a major source of joy. They used to bring chocolates, all those marsh mellows, snickers, Toblerones and ferrero Rochers. This was something unheard of for somebody who has seen only dairy milks and kitkats. They used to get electronic goods, which ranged from electric shaver to a classic wrist watch to even early cell phone handsets. The crazy for football kids used to get a man U jersey sometimes. The cool kids got T shirts, or other goodies which had the name of the country printed on it. I remember, I had a pencil set and an eraser in shape of Australia, sent by a family friend who stayed in Brisbane. The relatives used to get battery-operated games, LEGO sets, and Barbie dolls. And well, the super fascinated ladies also asked the relatives to get foreign chi Saree!

I think telecommunication was undergoing that gradual changing process. First came the internet, then came the emails, the chats became routine (I remember ferociously typing lots of things to couple of cousins in the UK). Slowly the international calls became more of a routine (that means they did not cost much as a bomb it used to cost) then came blogs, the orkut and Skype. And it became very instrumental in reducing that whole aura of ‘foreign’. Just the other day I was remembering, my uncle who stayed in Singapore for quite a long time visited India very often. Often he would send some pictures of my cousin who was a baby then, or when he was traveling, he would get them along. That’s how we got to know how much has she grown up. And now the family in any other country happily sits in front of the PC and Skype chats with the family in India. You can have a daily dose of how much have your grand kids or cousins grown up!

And well, how good is everything in other countries and how bad things here are was a pretty common topic for discussion in the gentlemen of the house. Any topic from the government there to the discipline there to the lack of governance here to the economic polices, to the malls, to the grandeur of building in these, especially America or European countries…any topic would suffice for a discussion of couple of hours! Tyanchyakade na… or you see, the European countries would... Was a common line with which sentences would start. Well, as most of the junta had never been to a foreign country, they had a bleak knowledge of the realities, and mostly, had big attractive bubbles of notion of how a foreign country was.

Things do not hold good any more. The telecommunication revolution has changed our life as never before. It majorly brought down the Indian obsession of ‘abroad or foreign’, giving lot of access and opportunity to the layman. Foreign is still a buzzword, but whatever fantastic notions people had in the name of foreign, are pretty diluted now. Foreign, as a generic term is not much used, instead fine details are known to people. Many boys and girls go abroad due to work, education, and well, the new generation of DINKs also takes a mini vacation in these countries. Globalization has taken on modern India like never before. Thanks to liberalization, excellent quality products are available at all major cities in India. And talking about skyped communication, you get marriages fixed on Skype, and you even have Skype boyfriends. :D

I had a relatively free Sunday at work and hence was revisiting the old days. Just a thought , I can think about an entirely different time era, a huge technological change and it’s reflection onto us. – does that mean that I am getting older? :D

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