Friday, November 18, 2011

Inspiration or Addiction?

Blessed are those on whom the Internet has not cast a spell :)

Around 1994, the Internet went public. People everywhere began realizing the enormous possibilities of an interconnected network that spanned the Globe. We all witnessed the rise of dot com and the bubble bursting with many failed enterprises. But this was just a pause. Internet came back with a bang around 2003.

Equipped with technologies like Java, Flash etc, a new trend of social networking began to rise in popularity. Today, internet is no longer something we accessed from  Cyber Cafes.  Today every middle class home has a PC with every  professional student boasts of his own very Laptop. Thanks to the popularity of internet we access the net on our mobiles. It has merged with our lives. And is here to stay.

In my opinion, there are three categories  of people. Firstly, are those  who are blissfully unaffected by Internet. Secondly, those who have to log in compulsively.  The more free time you have, more is the frequency. And then, there is the third category. The poised, well in control people who know just how much is enough.

So, the question is.  Do we turn to Internet for Stimulation or are we getting addicted to this gift of the IT world?

The virtual world has held us in a fierce grip.  We communicate online via Facebook, Twitter, Email or Skype. Somehow, somewhere aloofness and loneliness has crept it. So much so that we actually derive immense pleasure in interaction in real world.  Recently, i went to spend the weekend at a  relatives place and it was bliss to be away from the digital world for two full days.  True, i carried my mobile but i rarely ever use the mobile to go online.  This exclusion is simply to keep my sanity :)

Today, Wedding Cards are scanned and sent in one go to numerous  friends staying out  of time.  Saves both time and money spent on Courier or Speed Post.

Regular Tweeple dream of cutting themselves off  from Twitter for a month long break. For two reasons.  To be free from  addiction and as a test of will power.

Before the Internet, friends, colleagues, parents and siblings would exchange notes on information.  Debate on burning issues. Come to a consensus.  But now, any information you require, ranging from your favorite  song's lyrics to an organization's domain to your favorite video is just a click away.

And yet, there are people who speak against Google and  Wikipedia.  Some professors in Universities ban their students from using Google and Wikipedia to do research assignments, emphasizing , " You don't come to the University to learn to  Google".

Professor Tara Brabazon who teaches  Media Studies  at University University of Brighton has likened Google to 'White Bread for the mind".  Check out this video:

So, with Online  Education fast becoming a convenient way to acquire a fancy PG degree and upcoming schools brazenly advertising of Digital class rooms, where is Education headed?. Something to ponder on....

When a Sitcom Inspires

The evenings at our home are usually spent in the living room in front of the TV. My hubby besides being a news addict is a big fan of SAB TV.  He loves the light hearted serials SAB shows on its channel and for a long time  he has been a big fan of the hugely popular Sitcom  'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah  Chashma.'

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the show:
"The show is produced by Neela Telefilms and the series writers are Raju Odedra and Rajen Upadhyay. The show and its title are based on the column Duniya Ne Undha Chasma (which translates loosely into "seeing the world through upside-down glasses") written by Indian columnist and journalist Taarak Mehta for the weekly magazine Chitralekha. The show recently completed 700 episodes.
In August 2010, it beat Baalika Vadhu to become the most watched TV show in India. It has often been noted for its frequent references to issues of social importance in the country and its positive approach towards the problems faced by the society. Lauded performances by its lead and supporting actors alike have also contributed in making the show a success. This show is by far the longest-running daily comedy show on Indian television.
The serial is based on the happenings of Gokuldham Society and the day-to-day life of its members. The Gokuldham society is like an ideal mix of India's social fabric. In the society, they have Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Bihari, South Indian, Bengali, Parsi people living together in harmony.
The story mainly revolves around Jethalal Gada and his family. Jethalal is a successful businessman and runs an electronic store in Mumbai. His wife, Daya Gada, is an uneducated, my-family-is-everything kind of woman. They have a son Tipendra (Tapu), who is smart but very naughty. Champaklal Gada, father of Jethalal is an ideal man in his late sixties, religious and often scolds Jethalal when he disrespects Daya.

Taarak Mehta, is a writer by profession and is the narrator of the show. "

The lead roles are played by Dilip Joshi and Disha Vakani. Yesterday as i joined my hubby in the living room, the 743rd episode was being aired.  And this time the episode was about Children's Day.
As the episode unfolded, the hugely popular song , sung by Hariharan ,  from the movie 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' played in the background.
The entire Tapu Sena performed a slow dance to the beautiful and poignant  lyrics:

Yeh To Sach Hai Ki Bhagwan Hai,
Hai Magar Phir Bhi Anjaan Hai,
Dharti Pe Roop Maa Baap Ka,
Us Vidhaata Ki Pehchaan Hai...

Janmdaata Hai Jo, Naam Jinse Mila,
Thamkar Jinki Ungli Hai Bachpan Chala,
Kaandhe Par Baithke, Jinke Dekha Jahaan,
Gyan Jinse Mila, Kya Bura Kya Bhala,
Itne Upkaar Hain Kya Kahen,
Yeh Bataana Na Aasaan Hai,
Dharti Pe Roop Maa Baap Ka,
Us Vidhaata Ki Pehchaan Hai...

Janam Deti Hai Jo, Maa Jise Jag Kahe,
Apni Santaan Mein, Pran Jiske Rahe,
Loriyan Hothon Par, Sapne Bunti Nazar,
Neend Jo Vaar De, Hanske Har Dukh Sahe,
Mamta Ke Roop Mein Hai Prabhu,
Aapse Paaya Vardaan Hai,
Dharti Pe Roop Maa Baap Ka,
Us Vidhaata Ki Pehchaan Hai...

Aapke Khwab Hum, Aaj Hokar Jawaan,
Us Param Shakti Se Karte Hain Prarthna,
Unki Chhaya Rahe, Rehti Duniya Talak,
Ek Pal Reh Sake Hum Na Jinke Bina,
Aap Dono Salaamat Rahe,
Sabke Dil Mein Yeh Armaan Hai,
Dharti Pe Roop Maa Baap Ka,
Us Vidhaata Ki Pehchaan Hai,
Yeh To Sach Hai Ki Bhagwan Hai..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         As the dance ended, the children opened up a banner which said:                                                                                                                                                                                                                             'GOD COULD NOT BE EVERYWHERE, SO HE MADE PARENTS'                                The episode ended with each of the kids hugging their parents, and everyone in tears.  With every episode, the serial gives out a message, but i personally felt that this one was very relevant to our current  times where the Gen X often blurs the boundaries in a parent child relationship, and sometimes takes their parents for granted.
                                                                                                                                                                   It is heartening to know that even in this age of Internet and mass com where our kids are exposed to hazards like violence, porn etc, , there are people like Neela Telefilms  who are working dilligently on raising social issues concerning our times today and awakening the masses of our country through entertainment. So popular is the Sitcom that celebrities like Salman Kahn, John Abraham, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, Ajay Devgan, Irfan Pathan, Raju Srivastava and many more have made guest appearances. And in the end , all i can say is Three  Cheers to Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah  Chashma!