“Hey where is the Rasam..I don’t find it in fridge?”
“Check the tray above veggies.”
“Yup! Found it! I’m heating, join for lunch. Cya soon!”
This was sent over directly to me by a spy who was a silent blue-tick observer from the toilet in the “Home group”
Technology has entered our house like an amanushya shakthi (ghost). Similar to Jaganmohini, it first found a suitable youngster to latch-on, enter the house and then it happily expanded its territory from door to door until it became the only- ruling emperor (pakka mass GoT sketch). So before all this social dilemma happened, once upon a time there was a period when parents were in a dilemma on what should their kid do next. No, I’m not talking about Engineering .We are going to do a mosquito coil flashback to see how we kids were the nadamaadum technology of 90s.
*Landline phone rings…Tttrrrrriiiinggggg* “Hello… Oh Hello pa… How are you? One sec I’ll ask Aishu to call your dad”. “Aishuuuuuuuuu… Poyi Flat no.4 uncle ah kutindu va. Bombay lendhu avar son call nu sollu.” I used to drop everything and sprint up, skipping 3 steps at a time and ringing his doorbell within seconds to pass the information. I would be sprinting back to my house with his reply “I’m coming” before the uncle-searching for his slippers and buttoning his shirt could reach down. The concept of group chat was very simple and could be done in two possible ways. First- One kid running around shouting the news so that it reaches everyone .This was Twitter way where you just broadcast and don’t bother if it reaches people. Eg: Chennai was having water problem back then (and even now) and we had to get water from the water-lorry that would make it’s Rajini style entry whenever ,wherever, however it liked but we should be ready. As soon as water lorry gets spotted (2 streets away) there would be this Kid shouting – “Ammmmaaaaa,…Thanni lorry ochhindhhhii (came)” (We were living in Bharath Vilas apartment, we had residents from all states). That’s the cue for all residents of the street. All would become Alert Aarumugams and have their buckets ready. The second way is the whatsapp way where you ensure individually if that person received your message and acknowledged. This can be seen for important event like electricity reading. Yes, when a person from electricity board arrives, he/she would ring our bell as we lived in ground floor. My neighbour and I would divide our territories and start ringing bells , informing folks to do an Avengers Assemble.
Do you remember the “Kaal Kilo Karuppu puli Manja thool da” kid in the Vijay TV promo. Every house had this nadamadum Dunzo/Swiggy Kid who would have to rush to shops without forgetting any item in the list. This service would be done from house to house or from shop to house. Service charge- You can buy chocolate with the change or if it’s house to house- You’ll get homemade sweets/snacks while waiting on the packing process.
“Alexa- Dim the lights”, “Alexa- Play Chota Bheem” , “Alexa- Order milk”. Now read the same few years back -“Aishu- Switch off that lights (*extra omitted words- Nee veetla irundhale Electricity bill jaasthi dhan)” , “Aishu – Change to news channel (*extra omitted words- Keep sitting so close to TV from morning to night, I’ll take you to Fathima eye clinic for glasses)” , “Aishu- Go get jaggery from Velu stores (*extra omitted words- Tell him that I’ll give the grocery list by today evening *)” The concept of Alexa is totally from 90s kids. We were the switches, remotes and of course the shopping app.
Are you the owner of one of the fancy security cameras now? Do you have a baby monitor to check on the kid? There were all these back then but just that it worked on one difference. “Tinggg Tonggg *doorbell*- Kid climbs on chair, peeps into the doorhole or the grill gate and anounces – ” Ammmaaa… Cable uncle vandhurkaaru” . The news would reach the mom who is busy in the kitchen and would come back with his monthly fee and also warning “How many times I have told you not to check the door by yourself ?” Many houses have the old grandparents as security camera. They sit outside the house and enquire all A-Z details in the pretext of small talk and you can never escape them.
When any friends or relatives visit your house, you have to wear your entertainer’s hat. From YouTube to Instagram you’ll be the all in all Azhagu Raja. You’ll be asked about school, friends. From inside your mom will prompt you to tell about the recent prize you had won. Say you have gone for school trip/won something/didn’t even do anything- you still have to entertain them with those stories and pictures until your mom brings coffee and snacks. Yes, you get instant likes, comments and of course they share the story with other mutual friends/ relatives. I got a gold medal (I still don’t know how) in my third grade and that story was in circulation until I got some other prize a year later. I used to practice my speeches/welcome address by standing on a table (mock stage) and narrating to the paavam-guests. One stone- Two mangoes.
Next is Tinder… *Abishtooo* Uncles and aunties- You can omit this para and directly go down to read the conclusion. Just like the Anjali movie kids were used as love messengers and happily were sent back and forth with messages that were encrypted and followed strict security protocol. This area was covered in detail in 96 movie leaving no room for me to expand. You can watch that movie to know more about this segmenta nd comeback here after 3 hours to read the conclusion 2 lines. Yes, you have to as you don’t have a choice. You have started reading, now there is no way back muhhaahahahahh 👿
So that’s the story of how technology evolved from Aishu to Alexa . This documentation can be used by all history books to account for how life was without technology. Varalaaru mukkiyam amaichare!