My father-in-law was with us last week. He is a very family person. He loves to keep in touch with all his relatives and friends. The days of letter writing have become history, but in those earlier days, letters were the windows opening into the lives of others. He used to love writing letters to all his near and dear ones. They used to wait for them and replied without fail.
My grandfather too had been the same. I remember going to the post office with him to buy cards. When he was away from us we used to write regularly to each other. They were not the days of instant communication but he was in contact with all his relatives and friends. Trunk-calls and telegrams were received with great anxiety as they were used only during emergency.
Times have changed and we have to change with the times. Over the years letter writing has been replaced by the telephone, then mobiles, emails and now Skype. Our daughter called us on Skype when my father-in-law was here. This was the first time he was experiencing this ‘means of communication’. He was filled with wonder seeing his granddaughter and great grandson. She showed him her home and also the outside. It fascinated him. It was as if a window into a faraway world had been opened to him. He kept saying that in his younger days no one would have even imagined in their wildest dreams that such a thing would come to pass. He is ninety. When our daughter called the next day he came immediately, the experience was not to be missed. He did not talk much but just kept on looking at the screen, watching his great grandson. We loved his expression.
There are windows and windows and we see what we want to see. The internet is one such window which has opened the world to me. Sitting at home it has made it possible for me to come into contact with people from different parts of the world. Many of them are kindred spirits. Long back, during school vacations we used to stay with our maternal grandparents for two whole months. We used to visit our relatives and stay with them for some days but now things have changed. Facebook has made it possible to be in some contact with relatives and friends and when we meet, we do not feel that we are strangers. It is a good feeling. The internet is a welcome change.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw