Sunday, December 16, 2012

Things you thought you were done with




Today our pastimes don’t include watching cartoons on TV, playing with neighborhood kids or playing flash cards with your sibling. These seem like a light year away. But when all of us are spending time in coffee shops or virtual hang outs or playing fruit ninja and angry birds on our smartphones, let’s take some time to relive the joys of being carefree. Of being a child.
          Do we still remember watching Pok√©mon on cartoon network at 8.30 every morning, and buying countless packets of Cheetos just to retrieve the tazos from inside them? Those glow-in-the-dark tattoo stickers that came along with your bubblegum? Scuttling to find unread copies of Famous Five or Secret Seven or Mallory Towers or The Babysitter’s Club during library period in school? Those were the days when, after homework, the evenings were spent with the neighborhood kids, playing self-made versions of games...land or water, red letter, asking “crocodile crocodile which color do you want?” and then shrieking when you couldn't find the color!
      The golden days when we frequented the local fair and had a go at everything from ring throw to dashing cars to the giant ferry wheel to buying spindly colorful balloons and promptly losing them on the way home! When parks did not mean canoodling couples but meant playing ball and spinning on the merry-go-around till you collapsed on the grass, dizzy and giggling. When the world cup could mean either cricket or Quidditch. When walks with your friends sucking on Pepsi colas of different flavors or cycling was ‘hanging out’, and not only drives, movies and trips to malls.
            When Friendship Day loomed and all of a sudden your hand was too short and bands piled their way to your elbow…birthdays meant chocolates in school and inviting your friends home in the evening…When we sat in front of laptops or PCs not facebooking or surfing the net, but playing Tetris, Aladdin or Prince. When family get-togethers were anticipated also for games of monopoly and cards.
        When summer vacations meant swimming, badminton, cycle races and eating aamras till you gained 5 kgs, and wasn't a prep leave for the upcoming examination or a lull before the next assignment. When you didn't feel stupid licking away at large colorful candy and thought exploding pops on your tongue were awesome!
            God I miss those days. I miss the lack of worries. But above all, I miss the quality we all had in us back then-we didn't care if we looked or seemed stupid. Everybody was the same. The cool kids, the nerds. In fact, there wasn't anything like being nerdy. How much could a 3rd grader study, after all!!! Groupism, politics, being diplomatic was unheard of. We were what we were.
         Maybe we can’t (and shouldn't  resort to pasting fake tattoos and buying cotton candy all the time. But we sure as hell can take a leaf out of the pages of the ‘childhood us’ to be more spontaneous, genuine and carefree. Try to look through the rosy tinted glasses of a child. If we do that, contentment isn't that far.
              



Friday, November 16, 2012

The Bollywood Bustle





          We Indians grow up in a world full of Bollywood exposure. As a kid, I remember those around me saying ‘Phod ke rakh dunga!’ or fancily trying to mimic Amir Khan’s trademark maachis-tongue theatricals from Ghulam, thinking that is cool. Who would deny? We’ve all been raised in a world where Bollywood ‘heroes’ and their gimmicks become trends faster than fashion trends. Last year, we saw umpteen people on streets hang their 50-bucks shades on the back of their collars, as they thought the world would goggle them, as they walk – head high with glory. Remember ‘O-O Jaane Jaana’? - Shirtless males with torn denims: that was the in-thing then! And 90s was not the start of it! I remember my Grandfather telling me how he fancied the Rajesh Khanna bib and tucker back in his days.
Since people see the ‘stars’ grab all the attention from the females with these thingamabobs, they imitate what they see on the big screen. The society associates coolness with what the film stars do. The society follows blindly, and the film stars and directors let new chickens fly out in the bourgeois, for them to chase. Smaller entrepreneurs gain money out of all this by selling ‘Dabangg glasses’ with all their bells and whistles. It’s not just the one section of the society that is affected by this, the community Garba and Lohri celebrations start with folk tunes, but always culminate in ‘Sheila ki Jawani’ and ‘Tu Mera Hero’.
But deep down in our hearts, we all know we’d enjoy being the front-people of that group of fifty that is dancing on ‘Koi Kahe, Kehta Rahe’. Even though we'd want to walk with our noses high, somewhere in our minds, there is that want of being in the spotlight, of being the Shahrukhs of our life stories that we compare to Dilwale, or Irfan Khans in a party where we deliberately want to make the college bully Pappu. There's that instant glamour element to these stars, that everyone catches quickly. Even though it's kinda too much to mindlessly go on streets without a shirt (just a word of advice - not of experience, you're free to try, though!), it's good to hope for a dramatic life - a life full of occasions that'd fit the soothing ballads of Lucky Ali and also the bombastic party songs of Sunidhi. Where's the fun without a little masala? :)


           

Monday, November 5, 2012

Being the progeny of a gynecologist




I don’t know how many of you can relate to this. Most of those who have doctors as parents will sympathize. But all those who have gynaecologists as parents will definitely shed a tear of empathy.
                  My mother is a gynecologist and obstetrician. They are the two meanest branches of medicine, dealing with the complaints of the female reproductive system and yes, childbirth. Hell is real.
       I have often asked her time and again why she picked this particular branch. Her reply never changes- “because I liked it at the time”. How can anyone “like” looking at vaginas, per vaginal examinations, episiotomies and cries of women in labor is beyond me. Nevertheless she started her private practice and I discovered many aspects about this branch that I never knew.

1)   Insomnia is a prerequisite.

If you even remotely need your daily dose of sleep, this is a no-go, my friend. For an OBGY practitioner, sleep is an unheard of treat which he/she only gets on Sundays, and that too, if they are lucky. Untimely deliveries, checking up on the mother post-op, the sheer long duration of deliveries will keep you up. Either you develop insomnia or call Edward to turn you into a vampire. No other choice.

2)   Holiday? What’s that?
          
There is nothing like “time-off”. In the world of sudden labor pains and premature deliveries and missed periods that has put the patient in a perpetual state of hysteria, there can be and won’t be spontaneous family trips or attending weddings and such frivolous business. These ladies have been visiting you since 9 months. Are you going to bail on them on their “special” day? Hell no.

3)   Vulgarity.
           
Now if you intend to familiarize yourself with menstrual cycles, vaginal spotting and cervical scrapings, you need to know there’s nothing vulgar about asking a woman to strip (obviously in the clinic, what are you, a pervert??!) Being resilient to putrid odors and panicky hysterical patients is a necessity. The husband is already agitated. Don’t make it worse.

4)   Family dinners are all about cases.

I have lost count of the number of times when I have been eating biryani while mom gave detailed information about her “patient of the day”. Either these are really stupid or irritating patients who have driven my mother up the wall or some medically interesting cases my mother loved. Ectopic pregnancies, bipartite uterus, superfoetation, criminal abortions, I have heard them all. This is all dinner-table talk. There does simply no “don’t talk about meconium while having your food!” It’s not dirty, it’s medical.

5) You will get “the talk” every week.
            
Whenever my mother gets a case of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease or “ingenious ways of you-know-what that landed the perpetrator with severe injuries you-know-where”, I know she is going to fix me with a beady stare and say the words I dread -“We need to have a talk”. What follows is always a well rehearsed speech on how much she loves me, how she will be there to “handle any problem”, how the opposite sex is composed of “highly irresponsible individuals who will run away and take no responsibility in case “it happens” and  how “you are too small to have to handle all that, if that happens”.
           I've even managed not to shrivel up with embarrassment at this one.

   
        But having said this, girls are lucky, for they won’t have to explain that “PMS” is a recognized medical condition, and so is post partum depression. There will be nothing you can’t talk about, and little you can embarrass them about. They perform a Herculean task, sacrificing their sleep and family lives for getting life into this world, and quite literally.
             And after having seen how hard they work, they deserve the highest respect. Mothers hire nannies and don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night for their own babies. My mother does that for someone else’s baby.




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chick flicks-a guilty pleasure



First of all, this isn't an article only for girls. In fact, it will probably tell guys why girls everywhere watch these kind of movies. Why sleepovers include a CD of The Ugly Truth, and why we prefer The Devil Wears Prada to Star Trek.
      They are meaningless, they are fun. And most importantly, they always show the girl in a good light. She is this pretty girl with a golden heart; except that life just isn't fair to her. It hands her the perfect guy and takes him away, only for her to realize he wasn't perfect after all, and that the guy she had friend zoned years ago was!
          This is directed especially to all the girls, who have at some point or the other in their lives, sat on a couch with crispies or ice cream, to watch movies that make them feel good about themselves. That make them feel hopeful about life. Yes, this is the widely explored genre of chick flicks…whose very soul is the quintessential sweet protagonist with heart issues, who lives ‘happily ever after’.
            Like all other girls (well, most of them anyway) I started my dose of chick flicks with the Anne Hathaway starrer ‘The Princess Diaries’. The story of a dorky teenager who yearns to be ‘invisible’ who finds herself the princess of a faraway country and her love in her best friend’s brother, it had me feeling all warm and happy. What followed was a truckload of movies with similar endings, i.e. happy. 27 dresses, The Nanny Diaries,50 First Dates The Proposal, Alex & Emma, just to name a few.
          What really had me hooked to these movies was the obvious lack of tragedy and how the girls just somehow seemed to always turn their lives right by the end. Emma quit as Alex’s typist because she thought he loved somebody else, and what followed was Alex changing the story’s ending to be with her! When Sandra Bullock thought she would be deported and had lost her love too, Ryan Reynolds (hunky to death Ryan Reynolds, I meant) did not let her go. When Rebecca Bloomwood went into gigantic debt, her prince-charming saved her. Even if they lost a job, fought with their parents, went bankrupt, suffered a heart-break, lost a friend. Whatever happened, they always got perfect bliss. Now isn't that just amazingly optimistic and encouraging??? Some people read self help books. They write questions to agony aunts in newspapers. Well my counselor are these movies.
     Skeptics might argue that they are highly misleading. They are highly repetitive. Guys often say that these movies set impossible standards for chivalry and love. They paint a larger-than-life picture. True that.
      But the thing to be understood is that girls are not supposed to act on the lines of the movies. They shouldn't set their standards for love, for friendship according to these movies. Now that would be absurd, taking it a bit too far. These pick-me-ups come with a statutory warning! (the warning includes: not applying them literally to your own life, not expecting guys in real life to be like, say Patrick Dempsey for instance, not comparing yourself to Katherine Heigl or Anne Hathaway in what might set of a body dysmorphic disorder and definitely not discussing chick flicks in front of the opposite sex!)
    No, all we girls do is watch them when we are sad, to lift are mood; watch them when we are happy-to lift our mood even further. Chick flicks are like chocolate-you feel fabulous after watching them, but you can’t keep on having them all the time, they’ll make you sick.
    So this guilty pleasure acts like an occasional medicine for us, a reminder of how perfect our lives can be, if we want them to.



Vigilante



        

His was the world of dark.Born into the darkness and raised unto it.He was robbed of the gift of sight at an early age.Born into this world with such a deformity he was left as a child,at the gates of a residential complex.Abandoned by those whom he would have called his parents.Alone in this world with nothing but darkness..Unlike others he chose to embrace it.Made it as a part of him.Lack of sight was compensated by the heightening of other senses.He could sense purpose,detect emotions  apart from his heightened hearing and sense of smell.

As a child, he was raised by the people living in the residential complex.Out of the compassion.Humanity too they would say.They would feed him and provide shelter.Warm roof against the cold rains. But as he grew the people were quickly tired of him and sympathies started to run dry.Providing for such a being no longer a child proved to be difficult.. And he was cast out again to fend for himself.As ever he didn't complain once,but adapted himself.He would scrummage through whatever scraps people left in trash,and slept under an enclosure in rains.

       In such a rainy night,as he crawled beneath the night guard's empty shed ,he sensed presence of unknown people in the vicinity late at night.Half wondering who it could be he followed the sounds.Presence of strangers was not uncommon,but at this time of night it was suspicious.He could detect malicious intent in those men.They marched up the steps of the building silently.He scrambled on after them keeping a safe distance.  Suddenly  a scream pierced the silence of the night.He rushed up the stairs,falling and flailing.The men had broken into an apartment and were attacking the residents.In he jumped into the fracas,lashing out at every evil doer he could sense.He knew every man residing in the building by his sound.The man who was constantly engulfed by vile fumes was to his right,the lady with the high pitched voice was screaming her lungs off behind him.He attacked everyone else.The thieves bewildered ,injured and scared out of their wits made haste to flee.Sensing them to be gone he stopped,panting breathing heavily.The residents looked upon him with equal fear,wonder and gratitude.He could smell fear on them.They made a move,as to offer him something as a token of their gratitude.But he backed away,not wanting any of that gratitude and retired to his previous place.

The next day the news spread throughout the residential complex of his heroic act.People marvelled at his instincts and praised him.They came from afar with their offerings.Shy in presence of so many people he holed up himself in the debris of the construction.People would leave their offerings,food,some scraps of cloth for the cold days. But still they would be afraid.He could sense it.He would come out only after they had left,snatch the offerings and return to his hiding place.
            With the passing days,acts of his heroism grew.Whether it was saving a girl from being assaulted late night by gang of drunks or almost killing an abductor who tried to kidnap a child.His fame spread far and wide and the crooks thought twice before entering.The word spread about the guardian of the premises and the thieves kept their distance from it.Still he wouldn’t come to terms with mingling with the people showing gratitude and cowered in his hole when they came.The residents built a permanent living quarter for him. They started providing him with food. There was also a small number of people who resented him. Who considered his presence a filth,a degradation upon the otherwise upscale society ,his acts of heroism not with standing.  Voices were raised by these few again and again shouting for his ouster but they were drowned in a majority who loved him for his deeds.


One fateful day,he sensed presence of evil.An unknown person had just entered the premises.Every hair on his body stood straight at the mere passing of this person.He could sense that something was amiss,he couldn’t know why.So he followed that person,maintaining a safe distance,hiding whenever he could, to go undetected.He was spotted by a resident,one of the few against him who ordered him to back off as the person was known to him.He retreated but his instincts told him otherwise.

He started shadowing that man again.Unknown to anybody the man had a weapon concealed on him .The man moved towards the children's play ground.He withdrew the weapon,a revolver and entered the playground.At once the atmosphere was rendered with shrieks and screams of the frightened children. .And the man took some children as hostages in the abandoned clubhouse.The vigilante started running towards the clubhouse at once,mustering all his strength.Somebody yelled at him to back down,this was a matter for the law enforcement agencies.Ignoring the pleas,he approached the area.It was a dark place,with almost no lights.But that didn't matter to him.He was born in darkness.He belonged to darkness.Relying on his superior hearing he entered the clubhouse through the back door.As he proceeded he could hear the sobs of captives to his right..He turned right in the corridor.He sensed a giant shadow of an object blocking his path.A disused pool table had been upturned and was used as a barricade.Crouching past it,he entered a room.

      He sensed the children’s presence and the man’s.Preparing for a strike he waited till the man was far away from the children.As he heard the man’s foot steps die away  he quickly sprang upon him.Shots rang out.The man shrieked as a devil,the devil in darkness took form and descended on him,cutting and ripping him.The struggle brought them near the room.And in a desperate attempt to save his life the man fired shots blindly in the air ,hoping to strike his target.The room lit up as each shot was fired.But alas,although the bullets missed the vigilante,they struck the children,killing  two of them.The vigilante stopped,horrorstruck by the outcome.He smelled Death,deaths of innocents.The man was dead too,but he had taken his toll.

That day was a black day for the society.They mourned their children lost.And joined in the few blaming the vigilante.They thought maybe the police could’ve better resolved the situation without his interference.Now everyone was against him.They wanted him dead,but couldn’t bring themselves to shed blood. Finally they decided to use a humane killer.And after capturing him and holding him captive they injected him with it.The humane killer brought on a painless and quick death..His body,stiff from the onset of death was thrown alongside the huge trash can where the truck came to pick it everyday.


 Inspite of darkness in his own life ,he had brought light in others’ while he lived.



True to his nature,he was Man’s best friend.



-Jyotirmay Khebudkar







Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Sword of Hephaestus: Chapter One











   It had been quite a few days since I had been on this crusade with Clyde. I failed to see why he would want to assist me in my quest with his heart and soul, but I was surely safe with Clyde around, especially with rumours of the snake monster ‘Anguis’ out on the loose. We had been walking in this grassland for quite some time now, and our food supplies were over, and there wasn’t a sign of civilization. Sometimes it made me doubt my pursuit; and filled me with anguish having dragged Clyde into this, though I had the feeling that Clyde had his own interest in this mission.
Clyde was staunch and muscular. The same age my father would’ve been if he were alive. The scars on his face and body told what kind of a life he must’ve led so far. Ironically, when you spoke to him, you found him courteous, thoughtful and humble.
“Ariana, look!” said Clyde pointing at the horizon, “I see a village.” I narrowed my eyes to see it better, through the thick tress that surround it. We walked for a while before reaching the bunch of huts. The sun was up above our heads, but there was a chilly wind that was blowing through the village, as hardly any sunlight reached down with the dense trees around. “Hello! Is there anyone here?” I cried out, but in vain. Though there was no one to answer to us, the houses looked as though there were people living there.
We are almost about to give up looking for people in the village, when a little girl came out of a small house at the far end of the village. Her eyes looked lifeless, and pale. She came to us. Surprisingly, she was not terrified of Clyde, who looked like a scarred giant next to me.
"Have you come to see the priest of the village?" she asked us, in her tiny yet strong tone. “We’re on our way to the great mountain to the north, we stopped here for our food. Can you show us a place where we can buy some food and fresh water?” I asked. Clyde looked in a very displeased way at the child. “There are no shops in the village,” the child replied, “Father and Mother always go to another village to the far east to buy things, and we get food from the crops that we grow.”
“The harvest this time is hardly enough, even for the twenty-three families in the village,” the girl continued, “we couldn’t pay up to the Great Emperor. That is why, he took away everyone from the village as his slaves, yesterday.” The girl burst into tears as she was speaking. I kneeled down to pacify the girl, while Clyde still shot a stern look towards the girl. After I managed to get her to speak again, I asked her “What’s your name?” and gave her a chocolate – the last chocolate that I had in my bag. “Valerie.”, she said and ate it, still sobbing. “It’ll be all fine! My friend Clyde is strong and will fight all the king’s men and defeat them to get your parents back!” I said, and she beamed a smile at me.
We thought of resting that afternoon in the village, and leaving later, though I had no idea what to do with the girl. Clyde went to the nearby river to get fresh, as I was still lying down in the little girl’s hut. It had been a while since Clyde had been gone when Valerie woke me up from my nap. “Come here,” she said in her sweet voice, so uncannily stern, “I want to show you something.” She held my hand as I rose up, still half asleep, to see where she was taking me. I followed her the next few minutes as she took me outside the village, in the opposite way where Clyde had gone.
We went through the woods, deeper into the woods. I asked her where we were going as my curiosity escalated every second because of the ambience. “We’re almost there,” “Just a little more”, were her remarks each time I asked. In a short while, we reached a small well. Still holding my hand, she asked me to look into the well. I walked slowly to the well. Valerie clenched my palm harder than before. I looked into the well.
            I saw a heap of dead bodies in the well. They looked like they were residents from the same village. I was hit by shock. I could hardly speak. There must have been at least sixty of them. I looked at Valerie. She was smiling at me, and would not let go of my hand. My eyes gazed back at the well. Each of the dead bodies had an expression of terror on their faces. Among the bodies, there was one of a child, which was skinned. Valerie’s grip suddenly got stronger. Stronger than any ten-year-old’s grip. I looked at her, and shrieked at the sight of what I saw! She shed her own skin, Valerie’s skin, and what stood at the place of a sweet 10 year old girl was none other than fifteen feet tall serpent monster – Anguis!
Anguis had the torso of a human female, and the rest was the body of a huge scaly snake. Anguis entangled me in it’s grip. I was shouting at the top of my lungs as the monster was drawing me closer to it’s mouth. I was going to die. I was so sure of that as I saw Anguis’ fangs, getting closer to me every instant. It was here. The end of it all. I was never going to be able to finish my mission. I was inside Anguis’ mouth. It closed it shut. Darkness all around. It was over.
Suddenly, I heard unsheathing of sword and a slash to my right, and sunlight flooding in through it. I saw a strong arm barge in through the slashed snake-flesh, and the arm pulled me outside. It was Clyde! “Are you okay?” he asked me, still gripping the sword, with burning eyes fixated at the monster. I couldn’t believe that I was. “Yes,” I replied feebly. The monster threw it’s tail at Clyde. Clyde jumped up high in the air to avoid the monster’s tail and wielded his sword at Anguis’ head. Anguis jumped back and Clyde’s slash was rendered useless. It was a fierce battle. I was watching from a distance. Anguis’ tail whips sent Clyde hurling and crashing on trees. Barely able to stand, Clyde rested himself on his sword that dug itself a few inches deep in the ground. Bleeding profusely, but not defeated, Clyde gathered all what he had and jumped in the air, ready to slash the monster. His slash managed to cut Anguis’ right hand out. Shrilling and trembling in pain, the heavy mass fell to the ground. Clyde didn’t wait for it to get up, and jumped on the monster’s torso and stabbed into it’s heart. The monster’s last blare faded into the air, and Clyde sheathed his sword.
We spent the night in the village. I fixed up Clyde with whatever little potions and bandages I had left. I asked him next morning, “You knew that it wasn’t a child all along? Why didn’t you tell me earlier then?”
“I did not,” Clyde replied, “I just got bad vibes from her.” We started walking again, walking towards the north, with no more clue to get to our goal than we had one day before.
                                                                                                                        


Friday, October 26, 2012

For the technologically challenged,like yours truly


Hello my fellow retards!!! The world has slipped effortlessly into the abyss of technology…where five year olds have figured out how to work an iPod…where my 16 year old cousin works with a gigantic Korg Kronos,whose name and exact function I wasn't aware of till he bought it. And whilst most of us are keeping pace with this gadget craze, I beg to differ. In fact, I beg to be excluded, without a derisive snort or a “you don’t know this???”
            Yes, I am technologically challenged, for want of a better word. I know the basics of a mobile phone; I know how to make PowerPoint presentations. Hell, I figured out how to post this article on the blog, didn't I??? But no, I’m not equipped to deal with Movie maker Picasa,photofunia and all the new softwares that basically let you snip, color,polish and whip out pictures,documentaries,edited songs and animations. I suck at such stuff. So this article is dedicated to all those, like me, who are blissfully unaware of all that we are unaware of!
                Most of my friends know gadgets like the back of their hand. They throw words like ‘wireless fidelity’, ‘IPv4’ and ‘proxy settings’ like they were ‘thank you’ and ‘ssup?’  I am sorry, but I do not speak gadget. I wish they had a subtitle to every technological term used, for illiterates like me, who could decipher what such terms meant. With all the new gizmos coming up, it is really difficult to know the difference between iPhone 4S and 5, and why android and java differ, and why computers are just so evil. Just recently my sister bought a Dell laptop, whose display conked off within 6 months of purchase. A frantic visit to the Dell store informed her that the entire new batch of Dell laptops was faulty and would be giving this exact problem. Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets.
            Everyday I vow to learn a new and useful fact about technology, so that I can sound intelligent whenever someone asks my opinion on the same. I use Google as my secret weapon to find out stuff that is considered ‘general knowledge’. How else am I supposed to know and compare the prices of the various models of blackberry? The new and improved iPad? The apps that android offers? The reasons why Nokia lumia is over hyped and why the debate about whether apple is better or Samsung never ends???
            I often find myself bearing the consequences of being technologically backward when I buy a new gadget, like a laptop. The series of questions that follow make me feel like I’m a nasty girl who murdered a harmless old couple next door for money.
What’s the model? Oh well, that’s easy, I think.
Memory? Easy peasy.
Windows edition? Xp or 7 or vista? I think it was windows 7…but then again…
Hang on, the worst isn't over yet.
Then comes the “operating system? How many bits is it?”
“Which connection have you set up?? Dial up or bsnl or VPN or ad hoc???”
 I think I will just drop the wretched laptop into the sea.
           People who are gadget freaks, at peace with their play stations and tablets, look down upon us and think “When did this happen to them?” They find it astounding that a peer from their very own generation has difficulty grasping the intricacies of Photoshop and LAN. But our parents feel comforted, knowing that their sons and daughters don’t look down upon them as “technologically handicapped”. Hell, my mother and I figured out many apps and softwares together! What was atrocious for many became amusing for us.
           Then again, I know many successful people, who make up for what they lack in the virtual world, by their knowledge in the real one. Many doctors who are gods in the O.T., and can’t figure out the difference between a jpeg file and a pdf one. Many writers, who are extremely well versed with MS Word, but ask them about creating a website, and they will blanch. Many lawyers who don’t know what twitter exactly is. We don’t need to be gizmo addicts to keep pace with the world. What we need is an open mind and plenty of imagination.
      I encounter many handicapped souls like me everyday, who are mocked by their lack of understanding about TCP/IP and encryption type and access point. No matter what, we all will survive, provided we learn to laugh at ourselves. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. Man wasn't born with technology. He invented it. Granted, these inventions are extremely useful. Granted, they make life fun and add novelty to simple tasks. Get acquainted with these inventions to the best of your abilities, but don’t forget that the best communications will still be verbal, the best visuals will still be those existent and the best friends will still be those in body and flesh, not virtual!
          Till next time, my fellow sluggers!!!