Grandma’s days of reading, writing and social life

“The world before is not the world now” – is what I agree with while chatting with my paternal grandmother Kausalya Raghavan, now 85-years-old and have lived in towns and cities and enjoyed her vacation in their native village.

My grandma said that this generation has found a way to tackle everything in their lives using technology. People have started using technology for almost everything, and a life without technology is unimaginable. She pointed out that the number of books she read during those days were very high, as everything from newspaper, magazines, stories, dramas and just about anything had to be read and there was no television to watch and learn or internet to search and learn.

She spoke about how they had to always send ‘letters’ to friends and relatives in far off places and never had any other forms of communication with them. While all it is needed now is just to use any of the popular messaging applications for communicating with friends and relatives, she explained excitedly about the process of writing a ‘letter’ during her younger days.

“I would gather all the relevant materials like the envelope, paper, pen, ink, gum and stamp and sit down to write the letter. The gum needs to be diluted with water so that it is ready by the time I complete writing my letter. I would spend some time thinking and mentally preparing in terms of what I should write. Then I would start writing everything I had in mind into writing that would make the other person feel as if they are visualizing the entire content of the letter. Then write the address, insert the letter into the envelope, paste it with the diluted glue and paste the stamps and then I would ask someone to post it.”

My grandma now uses a mobile phone to communicate with her loved ones. “It is good, but it is difficult to handle these devices as we aren’t used to it,” she says. She says that this generation has found a way to tackle everything in their lives using technology.

Another change she sees in society is with regard to the attitude and character of the people. “People in those days were very kind, generous, helpful and respectful but such people are not so common today. Today’s world is only considered about one’s own self and are more money minded. They have also caused a lot of damage to the environment for satisfying their greed which wasn’t there before.”

My grandma spoke a lot about how the entire area where she lived knew about everyone in the neighbourhood. They all knew what kind of help someone around would need. She described how all families will work together to prepare for savouries for the festivities and shared among themselves. “There was no ego or selfishness,” she said.

“People of my days were very healthy and they rarely fell ill. Their food was very simple. The practice of eating in hotels/restaurants did not prevail before as it is now. But what do we see in today’s world? Many are falling sick due to the over-consumption of junk and unhealthy food. Even young children fall ill now due to this of behavioural transformation,” my grandma said with a sigh.

She described how all the kids would go to play together, swim together in a nearby lake and then in the evening sit together for food. Food would be brought from everyone’s homes and shared. It was just the home-cooked food.

“As we improve the world’s positive aspects, we must strive to eliminate the negative problems of today and ensure that the new generations make the world a better place for everyone. Technology is important and cannot be avoided and is needed for the advancement of humankind however, it will be good if there is a good mix of technology and humanity that will go a long way hand in hand,” my grandma said.


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