During the last week of 2009, the newspapers were full of count downs, ‘Top ten‘, ’50 Best…’, ’50 worst…’ and other such recollections of the past decade. Along the same lines, I started thinking of the major events and changes in my own life over the past decade. It has been a decade of changes, especially in the external world. These have produced a big change in my life style. It is amazing how life has changed with the fast changing pace of the external world !
2000 was a landmark year in my school life. I wrote my 12th std board exams that year and joined an engineering college. I took computer science as my major because of the recent Y2K boom, because I hated electronics and also because my closest friend chose that stream in a college.
We used floppy disks to take printouts of our lab records in that crappy paper given by college. None of our WORD or PPT files exceeded the floppy size :) Last week I made a PPT that was 40 MB in size :)
It was also the time when I was just starting to get used to the Internet which was a relatively new phenomenon in India. I had entered the Internet only about an year back and the first website that I visited was not Google, not Yahoo, not MSN, but ‘www.mahindra.com’!!! My Uncle had connected his computer to the internet and I went over to try it out. I did not know any website. So, I opened the newspaper, scanned the advertisements and typed the URL that first caught my eyes. My first email ID was VIJAYDAV@hotmail.com. (Seriously, I had an email id all in caps). Today, we are hopping across Gmail, Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Wikipedia and what not. I’m sure I’m going to laugh at this list when I read this post in 2020 :)
I got my first computer in 2001 at which time I asked the assembler to actually install winzip and IE for me in the system (after getting that advice from my cousin)! That guy loaded a CD full of small flash games, PPTs with those nice wordings and photos. He claimed that he is loading all superb stuff into my system. I went around proudly demonstrating all these things to whoever cared to venture near the system. I remember telling my friend that I had bought a PIII, 128 MB RAM system with 20 GB of Hard disk space. His remark was, "Wow, you can go and sit inside it. What are you going to do with 20 GB? ". Only last month, one of my friends here bought a 1 TB external drive because he had already filled up his other 1 TB drive :)
There was a time when we had to wait for years to get a telephone connection. We got our first connection only in 1998. Now, in addition to two landlines, all of us in our house also have our own mobiles. A lot of us including the elder generation has hopped on to the internet bandwagon. At one point of time, my uncle has his son in the US, one daughter in Switzerland and a son-in-law in the middle-east. And he could see them and chat with them every day through his web cam in Chennai ! Nowadays my father is trading in stocks online ! And there is a very high possibility that my cousin will meet his future wife only over the Internet :)
The bicycles of 1990s gave way to the good old TVS champ in the 2000s. Me and my friends used to roam around the place in a bunch of TVS champs. The moment we turned 18 (also in 2000), we rushed to the transport office to get our two wheeler licenses. The end of the decade is seeing us owning Hero Honda glamour, passion, splendor, Yamaha Rx, Wagon R, Maruti 800, Alto, Honda Civic, Nissan Altima and many others.
And between us (around 7-8 of us) we have visited at least 12 countries - US, UK, Netherlands, France, Bahamas, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Spain (and probably a few more that I've missed)
Three of my closest friends have got married. One is waiting to get married this year, while the ‘bride-search’ is vigorously going on for two others. Yesterday, I met my school friend after 10 years. He is married with a one year old kid. Of course, many of the girls in our school and college have got married and have already had kids.
I have quite a few cousins and I am one of the youngest of the lot. During one of the holidays in the late 1990s, (I was around 16) I was staying in my uncle's place when my grandmom wanted to buy some milk. My cousin (an year elder to me) was going out. But she felt that I would not be able to buy milk on my own and asked my cousin to take me to the shop, buy the milk and drop at the front gate of the house :) Last year, my Project Manager gave me a very wierd and amused look when I called myself as 'Anna' (elder brother) in front of his kid. I'm now introduced to kids as 'Uncle' :( (See my post 'UNCLE, Uncle, uncle...')
Back in the 1990s, even the thought of me, taking the school final exams would make me laugh. Somehow, I could not picture myself in that situation. It seemed so far-fetched. 10 years have passed since and during this time, I’ve completed my Engineering studies, worked in a firm for almost 5 years, lived in US for almost 3 years and am now doing my post graduation, that too across two countries. And the best thing in this – yesterday, the friend whom I met after ten years remarked that I have not physically changed much except for an increase in height :)
I don't know how the next 10 years are going to be. I just hope that they are as interesting and good as the previous 10. I'm so looking forward to read this post in 2020. I hope that the blogs can be preserved till then and imported into whatever technology and format is in vogue then !!!