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Love & technology

Unlike David Copperfield and Holden Caulfield, I grew up in a period of great discoveries, writes Jairaj Singh.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2006 00:56 IST

Unlike David Copperfield and Holden Caulfield, I grew up in a period of great discoveries. My childhood and adolescence coincided with the turn of the century, and I accepted the technological breakthroughs as they arrived.

A lot of people I know — whether a few years older or younger — underwent a constant, subconscious alteration of their convictions, albeit with some resistance, as they tried to accommodate the change that was gaining an uncanny prominence in their lives. They rubbished it at first, of course, only to secretly watch MTV.

As for me, I grew up at a time in the Eighties when cable TV was making its way into Indian homes. From five minutes of Hindi songs and one hour of Snoopy cartoons (when the reception was clear), TV started producing a smorgasbord of visuals. My younger brother and I tried to make sense of Cartoon Network. As if it was not strange enough that things were beginning to be very different, the span of our one-hour cartoon show was slowly increasing.

Then came a time when my cousin saved enough money in his piggybank to purchase… a video game! Compared to the X-Box of today, the Samurai console will seem like it was drilled out from an archaeological site. But at that time, life revolved around Mario and Contra. A year later, my brother and I bought our very own. But as time went by, dust began to settle on it.

I remember my first computer class: the funny TV-like screens staring at us while we learnt programmes that are now archaic. I began to understand them better when games were introduced — I played the Duke Nukem 3D version till someone spoilt it with cheat-codes.

Forward many years, and I slowly crept into the world of e-mails and the internet, when a girl from our ‘sisterly’ neighbouring boarding school gave me her address on a folded piece of paper, to keep in touch during our two-month summer vacation. So technology not only gave me a chance to make my school-time crush turn into something more, it also gave me access to the vast world of Google. Together, their entry into my life made a big difference.

Today, almost everyone has a blog — even I do. Anyone who has the tiniest excuse of an opinion can create one and fill up pages on end without loss of paper or fear of rebuttal.

Maybe, like all my childhood memories, I will let this go — perhaps, move it to Recycle Bin. And while I sit back and contemplate the deeper meaning of life, my iPod should help me recover.

First Published: Sep 27, 2006 00:56 IST