Wednesday, 19 September 2012

June 3rd,1985 vs. Sept.3rd,2012

The only significance of these two dates is that these are the dates when a father (myself) and son started their respective careers.
The dates are being used as an indicator of, what seem to me, two different eras.
To me what seemed to be a privilege or an aspiration is today a birthright!
Firstly let’s compare communication…whew what a sea change. From the days of an old-fashioned public phone in our school hostel and, that too, in Housemaster’s office. There used to be long queues for those interested in talking to their families but the real problem arose when one wanted to talk to ‘personal friend’. There used to be a long drawn out silence…waiting for Housemaster to move out of the room.
And now, a personal phone with each student – to message, BBM, What’s App, Facebook … the list is endless.
The second remarkable change is in photography. From the big, bulky looking camera – one only and that too with rare families. Top it up with the trouble of focussing, shutter speed, buying reel and developing limited pictures at an exorbitant cost.
Now, we have smart digital cameras in each family and a camera in each mobile phone. Now shoot whatever, whenever, wherever and just upload and share!!!
Then comes Music…those were the days of LP records, record players… again to be found in lucky homes. Now we have music on phones, Ipods etc….choose your music, volume…it’s your world.
Most irritating part of our lives was booking of tickets…be it at railway stations or cinema halls. I remember standing for hours in queues and mostly when my turn came the window was shut in my face for lunch or urinal break!
Now book tickets online; choose seats, select meals all in the comfort of your air conditioned room.
Does anyone remember the thick airline ticket jackets? A prized possession for a rare breed, an aspiration for some and a source of envy for most.
Nowadays airports are crammed with people waiving insignificant looking e-ticket print outs.
If we move toward in-house entertainment; we have come a long way from Binaca Geet Mala on Wednesday nights on Radio Ceylon to special childrens’ programme on Sunday morning on AIR to now a bouquet of FM channels with no time limits. Kids are busy changing radio channels in cars than focussing on driving.
From the days of Chitrahaar on Wednesday and Friday evenings and Movie time on Sunday evening to an ever growing choice of channels, beaming 24 hours –your choice of genres .Also, not to forget youtube and torrents.
The whole scene is still in the process of evolution and the future is almost unimaginable. But of one thing I am quite sure. The same technology that makes the age gap between my son & I seem huge will ensure that the gap between him and his child will be much smaller.