The Lost Generation
Kumar, was a first generation NRI, living in an upmarket suburb with his wife Nalini,old ailing mother Velamma and Appy, a generation Alpha baby who was part of the most technology supplied generation ever. In fact, Kumar and Nalini, vividly recollect the commotion in the labour ward, when even after 24 hours of labour, the little Gen Alpha refused to come out. Emma, the veteran obstetrician, who specialised in delivering generation Alpha babies was frantically summoned. Emma’s leading edge research on generation Alpha babies was widely acclaimed as the holy grail for obstetricians and gynaecologists worldwide. Emma stormed into the labour ward and gasped in horror when she noticed that the Wi-Fi router was switched off! Generation Alpha, need to be constantly connected and cannot survive without online connectivity and nine months of being offline as a dumb foetus had sapped the baby’s strength. Emma screamed and switched on the Wi-Fi router.The green lights of the WiFi router had a magical effect as the 2.5 Ghz frequency made its way to the womb, enticing the baby and instantly little Appy slid out into the hands of Emma, announcing his arrival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The weight was recorded, a healthy 256 Mega Bytes.
Appy, was a child prodigy and displayed a great passion for sports and it was actually Nalini, who had spotted his budding talent and nurtured it and now he excelled in all formats of tennis and cricket, whether it was Wii, Xbox or mobile gaming. The Ipad, gifted to him when he turned 512 Megabytes, now boasted of 200+ games and 93.5 apps(one app is still downloading at the moment).
Velamma, who was born in a period when age cohorts were represented in decades and not by alphabets, came to know about Appy, two days after his birth through the family maid, who happened to see the update on her Facebook. Nevertheless the naive old grandmother, who to till this day, is proud that the first word that Appy said was “Siri”, (meaning smile in Tamil), not realizing that Appy was alluding to the Apple’s intelligent assistant.
“Is it raining outside?” questioned Kumar, as he was getting ready for office one Tuesday morning.
Appy, who had by now mastered the incredible ability to be online in milliseconds, jubilantly summoned Siri, “Is it raining outside, Siri?”
Meanwhile the old grandmother, Vellamama, faltered across the hallway, opened the window, looked outside and said, “Yes it is raining. Can you smell the sweet earthy fragrance, with the parched earth devouring the rain? And look at the poor cat, taking refuge under the tree!”
Appy immediately switched to Google Earth and within a fraction of a second, narrowed on to the image of his house, in an attempt to catch a view of the wet feline.
Kumar smiled and nodded, ostensibly happy with Appy’s instinctive thinking.
Appy again summoned Siri, “Tell me how does the earth smell after the first bout of rain?” Kumar and Nalini surrounded Appy, while the frail old digital outcast, stood by the window soaking in the petrichor, ALONE.