Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Babaji Does IM

Ravi is a Luddite both by nature and by persistent discipline (meaning he cultivates his Luddite Image). He has never learned to drive and finds most technology baffling and a waste of time. I will send him long, three-part text messages, full of double-entendres and sly jokes only he can understand, and I get "Good" or "OK" as a reply.

Those in the know always CC me on any email messages they send him, to be sure that he actually reads and replies (often via your obdt servant).

"Any news?" he asks cheerfully every morning, meaning "Have we (meaning me) heard from the kids?"

So I was stunned this morning when, seeing me in a lengthy online chat with Anand, he pushed me aside and started chatting himself. Chatting is a funny word to use for the laborious and painfully S-L-O-W process that ensued however. Anand continued to hammer away at the keyboard like it was a machine gun, while Ravi pecked carefully and diligently, scanning the keys for each letter as if it was the first time he was seeing a computer in his life. Anand's side of the conversation was in paragraphs, long thin columns of words, while Ravi's remained blank as he composed his thoughts, contemplated the keyboard, found the right sequence of letters, remembered the Enter button . . .

Finally I could bear it no longer.

I pushed HIM aside and told Anand: Call him. This ain't his medium.

A few minutes later, comfortably ensconced in the living room, he and his son engaged in a long conversation on the phone.

Back in the kitchen, I got a one-liner from multi-tasking Anand:

FYI: Baba is great.

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