Grandma and the 'Goolgle!'

Last Updated 15 July 2010, 10:09 IST

Adarsh knew Google had all the answers, but his problem was to convince his grandma!
Adarsh always used the internet for answers. His was a world of Google, Facebook and Twitter. Anytime he had a doubt, he knew Google had the right answer. He was more comfortable   posting comments on facebook than talking face-to-face. He was a typical city-slick kid who thought he knew everything that is worth knowing!

For his grandma  the plain old telephone was the most complex gadget! She stayed in her village home, and visited the city off and on. She did not approve the "I-know-it-all" attitude of her grandson; for him Goolgle (as she called it) was the source of all information. Not the elders or his grandma. She always wished Adarsh would listen to her and learn from her some of the more traditional things!

Grandma was full of advice. You must read lot of books, you must read puranas and stories of gods and daemons, mingle with wise people, listen to them and understand the ways of the world. Adarsh did not understand why  one shouldepend on elders when virtually the whole world's knowledge was at your fingertips with Google.

Adarsh was fond of his grandma, but resented her disapproval of almost everything that he considered great! And at the core of the disagreement was the internet.

It was summer and  grandma was visiting them again. The family went on a picnic to a tourist spot which had a waterfall, set amidst a thick green forest at the foot of a hill.
Adarsh started running around amongst the trees. Their mother kept calling out : "Be careful, don't go too far. Don't get hurt!..." And then it happened.  Adarsh slipped and fell down  hurt  his forehead. Though it was nothing serious, the whole rhythm of the picnic was disrupted and everyone crowded around the boy to help him. Except for a nagging pain, he was fine.

Adarsh's mom  realised she forgot to carry a first aid kit. Then his grandma walked into the woods, and came back with some leaves. She crushed them  and started applying  the paste on the wound. Adarsh was taken aback. "No grandma... it will cause infection! The leaves are not even washed!"

"Nothing will happen to you. Just let me do this!" said  grandma.Adarsh's daddy seemed convinced that grandma's cure was going to work.

Voila! In a few minutes the bleeding stopped and the pain reduced dramatically.  Smiles returned to Adarsh's face. He was impressed by the "home remedy" of his grandma.
"Grandma, how did you know this leaf will help stop bleeding? How did you identify that particular type of plant?" he asked.

"That is  my little secret, dear!" she said, with a mischievous smile "There are some things that I can teach you!"

Over the next several months, she told him so many things about nature, home remedies, life in a village   it opened up a world for him that he didn't know existed.
Then  Adarsh showed her some of the tricks of the internet. She was thrilled to see "3D" views of world cities that looked so real! When she was able to get in touch with her long lost friends through internet, she was so excited. Then, with some "searching", Adarsh even located some old Karnatic music recordings that she thought she never would hear again! "Wow, that's GNB in the '50s!" she exclaimed.

Adarsh was convinced that there is a life beyond Google and the internet. While they are very useful tools, there is still a lot to be learnt from our elders! And his grandma went back to the village, completely convinced that internet is great and "Goolgle" is worth her time!

(Published 15 July 2010, 10:09 IST)

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