Monday, 23 January 2017

Into The Future Of....Grandparenting!

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Earlier in the week I overheard something very disturbing (modern day flats have paper thin walls) and so I actually wanted to do a post on what constitutes a happy marriage and should women stay in marriages where fights are the rule than the exception...But by God's grace the concept of abuse and adultery is so alien to my own marriage that it was hard for me to process the fight we all overheard and put down something in a post without sounding too preachy. After all, it's SO easy to give advice...Hence I have decided to shelve it for the time being but it is still percolating in my head. So get ready to smell the coffee one day soon.
I was blessed by the fact that both my grandmothers had attended my wedding and I asked my parents to send me a wedding day picture with both of them, as my wedding albums are back home in India. I started thinking about how much our grandparents had done for us, how vested they had been in our lives and what fantastic role models they were. Be it punctuality, neatness, cooking skills, thrift, stoicism, they had it all...The tag line I gave the picture I put up on FaceBook was ' In their constant hard work, lie the roots of our success.' Our grandmothers may never have worked outside the four walls of their houses but the amount of work they did for their large joint families within more than compensated for it. And then, since I had a lot of time on my hands yesterday, I began thinking about how future adults, who as babies, held cell phones and Ipads before they held pencils, would be like as grandparents, in the very distant future. How would future generations see their grandparents, considering the fact that ALL the children I know today (tomorrow's parents and grandparents) are hooked onto some device or the other? And most are already adept at taking selfies. My own grandmothers thought twice before making even a phone call from a land line! And so in a span of five minutes I wrote down this poem from a grandchild's perspective, maybe forty years down the line...Forms of social media and Apps may change, but the essence of what I'm trying to say will remain the same. This imaginary child is at that age where he or she doesn't have access to the Internet yet but understands what is happening around him or her. Once the child has net access, he or she wouldn't even bother about what the grandparents are doing or crave for their attention...

All I see when I look at Granny,
Is that she's constantly on FB.
Grandpa's frazzled and all in a flutter,
Guess what's not loading today? It's Twitter!

All day Granny takes pictures that don't make her look fat,
So she can finally share a few on SnapChat!
In their bathroom there's a leaky tap,
Who cares? They're too busy on WhatsApp!

My toddler sibling will soon into the coffee table ram,
They're clueless, as they are comparing followers on InstaGram.
They are both deeply onto the Internet hooked,
When was it last, at their grand kids, they actually looked?

At times when the net is down,
Granny, at the screen, terribly does frown.
But then she actually talks to me,
Into the long gone past, she does see.
And pulling me onto her creaking knees,
Tells me about HER grandmothers, who were like busy bees.

They would actually for their grand kids COOK,
And occasionally read to them from a BOOK!
Sometimes they'd even bake a CAKE,
And jars of pickles themselves MAKE.

They knitted sweaters, embroidered flowers,
And in their gardens created pretty bowers,
Over their homes they had control and powers,
But of course they weren't surrounded by mobile towers!

She said that long ago there was a time,
When granddads trekked to buy veggies plump and fine.
And hand picked fruits that tasted divine...
Today, at the click of a button, it's all ordered online...

The net is back and I'm dumped down from her lap,
She's eager to get back to her App.
Granny logs in quick as a flash,
She's desperate to see if her last update made a splash!

I wanted to hear the story of how her sibling almost choked,
I wanted to know about the rainy day when she got soaked.
I wanted to hear about her school days,
And how she had acted in many plays.

I guess I'll have to wait until the net is down,
In the meantime I'll just play with this colourful clown.
That Granny's Granny had for her made,
Back in the era before underground internet cables were laid...

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