My grandson has moved thousands of miles away but he is with me in my bedroom twice a day: early morning and again in the evening. Who cares if everything is a little topsy turvy as it is morning here and evening there and we get mixed up on the good mornings and good evenings so sticks to Namaste or Manaste using Agastya's language! Sitting on my bed I can see him getting ready, eating breakfast or dinner, prancing about his home. Last week he was on his potty and on hearing my voice shouted: bring Nani here
! His mom obliged and took the laptop to the loo. Come to think about it barring the fact that I cannot hug and cuddle him, I have my darling boy with me. This is the magic of the wireless Internet.
Rewind to time when we were in Prague and the children were 10 and 4. My parents lived in the very house where I carry my daily virtual love affair with Agastya but things were different. In those days the only way grandparents connected with grandchildren were letters and the special day phone call which were more of a screaming session where nothing much was said. On festivals, birthdays and anniversaries after carefully calculating time differences one 'booked' a call. Then one could do nothing but wait and it could take any amount of time. When the phone rang the operator went through the motions of stating your number, asking if you had booked a call and then eventually connecting you. By the time every one had said their hellos, and it could take some time, the conversation would be interrupted by the operator with an annoying: 3 minutes over, do you want to extend
. Needless to say you promptly said yes, but somehow the flow was broken and one ended up having a dissatisfying conversation that often ended with a: I will write to you
. In between phone days your time was spent writing letters and waiting for the postman.
Rewind to times when I was a child and lived with my parents away from India. Then the connection with grandparents was letters brought by the diplomatic pouch once a week. Letters my mother read to me. The only think I remember vividly was that my Nani wrote in red ink. When I was big enough to write, I too wrote my weekly letter to my Nani under my mother's supervision. My Nani passed away when I was six years old. My memories of her are from the one visit to her home when I was 4. Earlier than that I was too young to have any memories. But somehow in those short two months she smothered me with enough love to last a lifetime.
Many may have issues with the net, but for this Nani it is God sent!