My parents got a pc recently and when I went home for xmas hols, my sis- in- law and myself taught Amma to use it- the net, the outlook express.
She was confident of NOT being able to get the hang of it- but she is slowly proving herself wrong and is slowly getting hooked to it- she was soooo thrilled at each new discovery and it was endearing to watch her excitement.
Initially, she wud call me to ask for some particular task and I wud try to give her directions as far as possible by phone- the other day, she panicked becos the contact list disappeared from her outlook express- and I helped her get it back! She, who was never much impressed by my housekeeping talents, now almost put me on par with geniuses! Alas! This glory is to be shortlived when she becomes an expert- which she is soon getting to be-
Whenever, I go to stay with her on hols, she wants to share with me books that she read, her interpretation, parts that she liked, and I too greatly enjoy these discussions, which sometimes become healthy arguments. So, when she used to despair of ever being able to learn to use the PC, I used to tempt her by saying that when I went back she cud always mail me these interpretations and not have to wait until the next hols, and guess what friends, now she has begun mailing me thrice some days- and her mails are soooo interesting, wonderful, so exuberant-
The other day, she mailed to me abt Kuttikrishna Marar’s ( a famous Malayalam critic) description of the Himalayas in his exposition of Kalidasa’s Kumarasambhavam- birth od Lord Subramanian- the description of course was beautiful- but what thrilled me more was my mother’s excitement. I always knew how much she enjoyed reading such books, but her thrill gets completed only when she shares it with somebody . She would read something, and then her mind would be busy interpreting it in a thousand ways, she would question the various perspectives, creative license, and all this she would relate to me with so much exuberance, and I enjoyed every bit. We had to always wait for the times when we visited each other and this waiting sometimes diluted the exuberance. Now we don’t have to wait. Of course, typing out the sentences is a bit strenuous, and she complains that she is not able to pour out the entire impact always, but we decided something is better than nothing!
Another thing that irks her in internet communication is the shortening of words- it goes against her grain totally- she says language is being ruthlessly mutilated- she hates the short forms of words- but I consoled her saying that it is convenient, faster and easier, but I don’t think she is convinced. She believes that Language is not to be made a scapegoat for mere human convenience!
She had learnt English while in school, but is not very confident in speaking the language- though she has read Pride and prejudice, Sense and sensibility, Wuthering heights, And quietly flows the Don, Zorba the Greek and many other books. She is very good in Malayalam and jots down her thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas beautifully- last year she had been to Trivandrum to visit my uncle, and she was overwhelmed by the view of the ocean and she wrote about it, the feelings that the magnificent sight evoked in her, so beautifully- I tried translating it into English, but I found my attempt pathetic and just abandoned the experiment. And the other day, she is telling me, now your Achhan also wants to learn to use the PC, and I am trying to teach him!!!