What I recall as my recent past:
1. I saw a queue waiting outside my neighbor’s house who got the only telephone in the locality, the queue is to book and attend their trunk bookings/calls.
2. I witnessed the first color television in my town
3. I was always asked to go to the terrace to rotate the monster television antenna to get the blurry telecast signals on the TV.
4. I know how difficult to buy a bicycle during my school days (even at 8th grade)
5. I remember my father always pedaled to go to his work even at 40years of his age
6. Every time I saw a steam powered locomotive pulling 7 coaches filled with people, I wondered what was the white smoke emitted from all over the engine
7. Collected the spilled coal blocks from railroads only to share and build stories with friends
8. I always made it a point to visit the village to play on the farm fields during weekends
9. The irrigation well is the only known swimming pool to me
10. I have always enjoyed cooking with my little friends back in those days on the fields to make our own food
11. We played tag and hide and seek together with the friends
12. Walking to the school for a mile or more distance was always a mandate to me
13. I had long lasting experience in waiting in the queue to get the water from public drinking water supply, I still remember how much of happiness it brought when we got the first water connection to our house
14. Elections were fun, even at small age I enjoyed seeing those beggars asking us to vote for them. Now the evolution made those beggars rich so they could buy votes
15. Studies ? No way, I climbed the hill next to my house only to rest with the book
16. The color tube TV, rented Video cassette player, Private cable video (each street will have a video player connected to the cable system to play movies every day), Satellite cable channels, Direct dish TV and internet broadcasted TV are all happen in just matter of recent past
17. Calculators that my father used to for his work was the only electronic device that I was always fondled with until the first computerized billing machine(nothing but the cash register) at my home town at co-operative super market called karpagam suyasevai, it only lasted for few years as the first computer(PC-XT) that I knew over took my attention on the billing machine. Did I tell you, I grew up seeing no internal hard disk or 2MB memory capacity to only work on my personal laptop that hosts 8GB of memory and over a terra bite of hard disk ?
18. I was playing the snake games displayed on cga monitor to colorful dave game on a vga screen only to find virtual reality games on the current HD screens
19. I was amazed to watch the first 3D movie "My dear kutti sathan" and that experience lasted me for over 2 decades to catch up with a 3D theater at home.
20. It was always painful to go to school, I remember returning home with wounds created by the bamboo stick of my teacher. In my little world schools were hell and teachers are the devils. Man last week I went to my children school, I envy them as their teacher called the kids sweety and hug them. I saw a sparkle on my son's face and all I know he never says he don't want to go to school.
21. Ah, there was no social media but we always socialized in person
22. Love, Friendship, Affection and Fights were all in real world, in fact we all have had original faces.
23. The first borewell near to my home that made the water scarcity go away from the community but all our neighbors suddenly became enemies to each other. One should have witnessed the kind of fight on the queue every day!
24. Did I tell you, traveling to Chennai from Tiruvannamalai (190 kms)took no less than 6 hours? The national highways were single lane and accidents were always fatal. I amongst others who traveled on those days were luckiest ones to survive today
25. I saw the super-fast high ways constructed before my eyes
26. I know the how it used to feel, when we got a lift on the govt. owned willys jeeps
27. I don't think I need to mention this cattle and bullock carts were part of daily life. I also witness the transitioning of man pedaled rickshaw, bullock and horse carts to Auto rickshaw to ultra-modern cabs. Now I don't use public transport :-)
28. Festivals, Marriages and Family gatherings were happiest moments of life. I simply not able to connect any of them in this modern world.
29. We loved to eat with cousins looking at the moon on the terrace with a single plate / vessel filled with our food
30. The only pick nick or tour we always go is to the nearest irrigation dam, those days it was the only place most of the movies were shot (Sathanur Dam).
31. I remember how peaceful rusty town the Tiruvannamalai(my home town) used to be, We accessed the temple at no hesitation, there used to be a water stream just before the northern entrance that flown from the hills. Alongside the giant granite compound wall of the temple were the home for all the sculptures.
32. Chennai used to be an amazing city with broad sized multilane roads, no one was competing to each other as there was plenty of room to everyone the road. Do I need to describe the situation today ?
33. I saw another transition of all the terracotta tiled houses to RCC roofed one
34. Cars were a dream machine for the riches on the community
35. It used to be years of my excitement to see an Air Conditioner machine and feel how chill to sit in the air conditioned room
36. Until my 10th grade, I never had a full pant to wear(except 2 of that were presented to me during my kindergarten age). Ready-made garments were aanother dream to most of us, we always depended on the tailor shop to stitch our custom made dress. I wonder how privileged person I used to be, as all my dresses were designed according to my taste :-)
37. Mixer grinder, Wet grinder, Washing machine, Refrigerator were all reason for fight between parents to finally bring them home. I know how we survived without all these machines. Granites were so much in use for our daily life.
38. The only interior decoration we always had in almost every house is to hang ten and twenties of framed photographs all around the walls in the house.
39. Do you know how much fun to collect the 5paisa from grandfather to only go to the street corner shop to buy some crazy snack.
40. The street corner milk store queue transitioned to Milk man delivery and converted itself to processed pocket milk. I'm unaware of anyone else still drinks the hot fresh milk or hearing the sound of the early morning milkman's cycle bell.
41. The festival at the street temple was always a local community integration day, all the girls used to cook, walk and chat together while boys decorate the whole street and sit on the open street whole night to watch the same old movie ten times.
42. I wrote about water already, even though water water water was the only problem I remember always. We shared the public well system, We also had a private well at our home(I promise pulling the water out from 60 odd feet was no easy job for hours), the public bore well was the savior during the great drought, pipelined water was a boom and the ground water harvesting came in hand to fix all the long pending issues.
43. Another painful place to visit is to go to a doctor, I don't know why we had injection shot on all our visits. No matter what was the cause of our fever or illness the sharp bulky needle pointlessly punctured our butts.
44. When I was teen, the girls in my hometown never exposed to the western wears. It was always a great pleasure to sight them with traditional Dhavani (half saree). The sad story, today either northern Indian wear or western wear were buried those beautiful costumes and Dhavani is in near extinct state now.
45. Oh the vinyl players slowly gave path for legendary tape players. Do you know we always made it as practice to buy blank audio cassettes and go to local recording stores to get our music recorded for a fee. Internet and MP3s killed many of the music store livelihoods.
46. My story on the internet is huge, I started with Shell accounts that only had character interface and pine like email clients. The first TCP/IP accounts brought in a new era of excitement
47. The first internet browsing center in India was 5 star category, The 64kbps RF leased circuit, all the dial-in plans, broad band, wireless broadband, and all Gs were great progress to make all our life smaller than a 14" computer screen.
48. The evolution of Internet explorer, Netscape Navigator, Opera, Mozilla, Chrome is phenomenal. I find everything in the world through this tools. Did I say HotBot, Excite, WebCrawler, Ask Jeeves, Ask.com, Yahoo, Dogpile, AltaVista, Lycos, MSN Search, AOL Search, Infoseek, Go.com, Netscape, MetaCrawler, and All The Web and 100 other search engines were compressed to one single Google.
49. As on today, I miss all the traditional Tamil cuisine. I don't know if anyone will remember or aware of Adhirasam, Kai Murukku, Kozhukattai, Paal Kozhukattai, Seadai, Kesari, Souiyam and numours other southern snacks.
50. Rockets, Crackers and Deepavalis were the best combination to start a mischievous act.
51. Guys, How can I forget the pongal festival and the amount of business we have given to the postal department. Poor postal service faded away due to the electronic emails. You know how much fun to wet the stamp on your saliva ?
52. There is another extinction that I knew, it was the bad news teller (that's how most of them in the community remembers), yes the one and only telegraph service. Those days telephones are nightmare to call anyone outside the town as it took more than 24 hours to advance book the trunk calls; the quicker sharing of news like dismissal of friends and relatives were always through telegraphs. I learned how to form telegraph lines on the syllabus in the school it was so much part of everyone's life but today?
Man, It seems I have lived a longer life than anyone could have imagined. I still love those westerner referred backward rustic peaceful semi-civilized town life that never going to come back to us. The conclusion is that all the revolutions that we claimed in the recent past only eliminated all our physical work and the internet eliminated our intelligence and made the whole world a walking dead. The disorders such as diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure were outcome of the physical activity elimination while all the vote for money and pledging our traditions for western life is outcome of stalled brains. I wonder how and what will be the solution for me to fix this gigantic problem!