Right in the middle: Breaking the age barrier

Mouse, cursor, taskbar, icons, and a barrage of terminologies swirl in my mind 24x7. Nagging doubts of whether it was worth it kept creeping in. I was daring into the world of computers in my seventieth year. Till now I was leading a content retired life. Reading, music, golfing, television and the joy of being with a happy family, helped me enjoy my life. My woes began when my daughter, my only child, relocated to Hong Kong.

My wife and I could not bear to be out of touch with her for even a day. Long distance phone calls were
prohibitive. We constantly worried about our daughter and her family. We grew irritable and felt depressed. Gone were the happy days. Life was not the same.

As a solution my son-in-law presented me with a brand new laptop. Operating it was a distant dream for me. The thought of even starting it sent shivers down my spine lest I forgot the logging out procedure. I signed up
for a three months computer course. Rang up and disturbed my friends’ children at odd hours to clarify the simplest of doubts. Went into shock when my laptop warned “this programme has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.”

I had to  either persist or throw in the towel and lose touch with my daughter and grandson. I had to conquer. I had to vanquish my fears. With each day I felt more confident. Now I have entered a new era. I am
computer savvy. We share our grandson’s play dates as if we were there. We share stories together on face time. He laughs with us and is consoled by his grandmother when he is ‘not happy’. We read his report card with pride and celebrate after seeing his swimming certificate.

My wife has long conversations with our daughter on FaceTime! We are once again part of each other’s lives. Once again a happy family. Now, I pay all my bills online. Purchase cinema and theatre tickets. Buy air and
train tickets. Do all the bank work. Order grocery online. The computer has entered as a miracle into our lives, and brought joy. Today, we live in an age where the internet has made the world a global village.
Access to information and knowledge is instant.

Distance poses no barrier to be part of the lives of our near and dear ones. The colony we live in is for retired people. Most of us have one or more children abroad. Many have not ventured into the world of computers. They do not enjoy the fruits of technology. My wife and I try to spread the word of the whiz-bang miracle called the computer. I ask them “why should the young have all the fun?” Change is essential. We must change with the times. We enjoyed the past era. Let us make most of the new age. Let’s break the Age Barrier.

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