I was trying to understand Bulleh Shah’s ‘Gandhan’ (40 Knots) when my mother came hopping to my room, and seeing the twinkle in her eye, I knew she was up to something. “I know what I want for my birthday!” she exclaimed like a 10-year-old. I looked over my book with a raised eyebrow. “An iPhone!” she continued to beam. “Who’s giving you all these ideas?” I asked her. “I saw it on my Facebook feed. I know there’s a new model coming up.” As I buried myself back into my book, mother continued her quest on Facebook. Unlike people her age, she is a hi-tech mommy, who surfs the internet for recipes and old songs, looks up new jewellery designs online, and knows which websites have nice saris. But nothing trumps her love for Facebook.
The love affair started about two years ago when I introduced her to the socialnetworking media to help her find her old friends. She spent her afternoons immersed delightfully in her new world on the laptop, and every evening, bombarded me with a million questions about how things worked. I’d lose my temper on occasions but she never lost her dedication. One evening, I came back from work and she declared that I’d have to make dinner, since her neck was hurting. Asked the reason, she explained animatedly: “I went through matrimonial advertisements in newspaper and spoke to a few of the people mentioned. It took me the entire afternoon to find those guys on Facebook. Laptop is too tiring, I need a Smartphone.” And she was gifted one soon.
A couple of weeks later, I bought a tablet computer as a gift to myself on getting a raise at work. While I was busy downloading Kindle and various e-books to read, my mother logged in to Facebook on it and awed about how convenient it was, since she could read everything without glasses and it was much faster than her phone; and so the Smartphone lost its smartness.
Once checking the comments on a photograph I had uploaded, I read that she was inviting my friend over for coffee. The attention had shifted from the picture to my “super-cool mum”, with all my friends complementing her networking skills. Surprising as that may sound, words fail me when I need them the most. That is when I look for videos or pictures that would express my emotions. So on Mother’s Day, I stumbled upon the Tanishq advertisement featuring Deepika Padukone and her mother, and put it on my mother’s timeline. An hour later, went to her and asked her if she had seen it. “Yes,” she said, “See, even Deepika appreciates her mother’s scolding.”
Realising that she had missed the point, I rolled my eyes, muttered an “Oh dear Lord!” and came back to my room. A few minutes later, she came to me with the oh-so-familiar twinkle in her eye and exclaimed: “You’re getting me a gold necklace, like Deepika got for her mother. Aren’t you?” “No. But I’m definitely going to write about it,” I said, and hugged my Facebook-addict mom.