Friday, July 19, 2013

Things we lost to technology

  Many requiems were held and the past week saw me reading/hearing  nostalgic stories of many people relating their interesting experiences with telegrams, trunkcalls and letters in the Newspapers, on blogs and during conversations . As for me, on the last day of the telegraphic service, i wish, i had sent a telegram to my children. They would have preserved it for posterity. I missed doing this.

There are mixed views on the closure of the service. Some feel, this is the age of instant news. News is being uploaded simultaneously as it is being made through mobile,FB and twitter. We also easily connect with people in distant lands or next door on  whatsapp, skype etc., .So the telegram and trunkcalls are waste of money and time. while some of my Army friends  felt that telegrams are the way many military personnel still connect with their family since they are stationed at remote places where there is no internet access.

I  too was swept by a nostalgic wave, for i belong to a generation of snailmails, trunkcalls, telegrams and much more which have now been taken over by technology. As an electronics graduate, I love technology and the communication revolution and i too have moved on with times.

Today I  tweet, blog,pin,  FB, whatsapp and skype.  But still I feel technology has robbed us of certain things  emotionally. The joy of writing letters, the anticipation of waiting for replies, expressing ourselves with words  and poetic lines. The patience of waiting till a trunkcall is booked sometimes it would take even 6 to 7 hours.

There are  certain things i feel we have lost to the technological and  communication revolution and the joy of doing certain things emotionally is one of them.

Though we hav'nt written epitaphs and conducted requiems, Like trunkcalls and telegrams there are few things that we have lost to the revolution. They are:

  •  Dictionary
  •  wren and martin book
  •  Logarithm table
  • calculator
  • Typewriter
  • Story telling
  • Encyclopedia
  •  transistors
  • Fountain pen
  • traditional radio
  • games like hopscotch, gillidanda, tennikoit, pretendgames, lagori etc.,
  • atlas map book
  •  stone grinders/Pestle and mortar
  •   Record playersand LP records
  • tape recorders and tapes
  •   floppy disks
  •  pagers
  •  analog camera and photo albums
  •  communication offline
  • health
  • environment
  •  emotional values like patience, smiling, waiting, longing, controling anger all of which are lost to instant messaging, wrongly spelt SMS and emoticons   and I  am leaving this list  incomplete.......

  Would you care to complete in the comments section?

P.S: This is a generalized post. Some of us still would be using many of the above.


  1. Oh; you come from a different generation Asha :)

    My list would consist of comptometers, slide rules, Valve radios, Hotplate, Chulas, ...... !!!!!!!

    Oh no, health has not gone away by any means. Actually we are far healthier now than we were before. Rajalakshmi was even fatter then !!!

  2. Your generation is same as mine. Like i said i missed out some. But still what is comptometers? Must google it:) Valve radios were in my granddad's home. Chulas too. Nutan stove.

    But, health definitely has taken a beating. Don't you think? The longevity is only courtesy the capsules and pills. The teens and twenties of today have high cholestoral, some even as young as 16 have BP and diabetes. Lifestyle ailments were lesser known then.

  3. You just pushed my heart into a time travel, Asha!! I am remembering the days of letters...I have exchanged some real long letters with a lot of friends and cousins. The postman used to come around 2.30 pm, just 15 minutes after we came back from school. I used to finish eating and changing uniform so quick and rush into the balcony and listen for his cycle's ghanti and wait with such hopes and anticipation for every letter. Mother would grumble, that he would ring the bell and deliver it in your hand, but still... Those were some fun and interesting days!
    I wish I could have sent the last telegram to Aaryan. :(
    Talking of Wren and Martin, I still have it. Dont they use it anymore in schools? Havent seen one with Aaryan though.
    Lovely nostalgic post! :)

    1. nicely related shilpa.I lived that scene and could hear the ghanti of your postman too:):)

      actually, i too would do the same. i would stand near the gate and glance towards the road end. The moment thekhaki clad man enters our road, i would rush to him asking for the post. my grandmom and aunt would write even on the flaps of the inland cover...nice memories na?

      Wren and martin is not the yardstick anymore. The students are prescribed grade specific grammar texts for each grade . they have worksheets specially designed by the teachers. Infact the letter writing pattern has changed. That is why the teachers work load these days you see. I too have the wren and martin book, dictionary etc. in each room i have a dictionary but still i google for the meaning...

  4. Super post. I love it.

    We still have the IBM desk top computer with dual floppy disk. And, you have to insert your Lotus 1-2-3 on the left side to boot,

    Also, my patti never approved gas stove. Finally, she accepted it. But for thevasam/srardham, she insisted on using viragu aduppu. She thought that was kosher.

  5. Oh that's nice, you still have the IBM desk top?

    Your paati is same as my husband's patti with regards viragu aduppu. But slow cooking on aduppu has a unique taste especially when it is cooked on special vessels like kal chatti, eeya chombu etc. Infact, last week we went and brought a new charcoal aduppu called nano barbecue which uses coal.

  6. now we are in hi-tech world... we can't live with out mobile and internet...


  7. True krishna, There is no going back. Thank you:)