Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Talking from the Troposphere

To my left, through the window, I can see clouds below.

To my right is a passenger watching a movie on his laptop. He has an external hard disk connected to it, and is probably watching from there. He has headphones connected to computer, and is enjoying the movie.

And the lady beside him is probably enjoying the music on her iPhone. Her rhythmic-nodding of head - from either sides of which, two thin white wires curl down to the phone in hand - are indicative of that.

And here I am, tapping away on my iPad. In spite of other entertainment available. Well, the new age cyber world has 'virtually' sucked everyone into it. Pun unintended.

Like in the flight that brought us a few days ago from Abu Dhabi to New York's JFK Airport, the stewardess here too announced that we are now at the cruising altitude, and we can now switch on our mobile devices and access the plane's wifi system, or make calls from our mobile phones.

At about 38000 feet above ground, I never thought I'd be connected to the rest of the world from my plane seat. It was a dream just a couple of years ago.

Just like it was a dream, during my early childhood - for people of one Indian city to connect to connect with another city barely 400 kms away, by phone.

Yes. I remember, as a child, once when someone had died in Hyderabad, it was impossible to talk to someone in Bangalore for a whole day. The distance between the cities was only 354 miles. The "trunk-call" didn't easily get through. Even a telegram (wire service) used to take many hours.

I clearly remember the big news of STD (subscriber trunk dialling) starting and spreading across India, like some swirly friendly tentacles, connecting the cities, town and villages of the country in months and years. Then the world itself got closer home through IDD and ISD.

I clearly remember Pranoy Roy talking about 'information superhighway' calling it the Internet that is going to change our lives. And it did.

Today, I can talk to anyone , anywhere, from this plane on Skype from my iPad.

We have come a long way.

n my left is a lady munching peanuts listening