One more of those hilarious conversations with my family back in India!!! You just can’t make these things up 🙂
I made my daily call to my mom on my way to office today and she wasted no time to let me know that I should call up my sister – she was in dire need of my help. After hanging up with her, I did call up my sister fully expecting “How do you solve this geometry problem?” or something like that. However, what followed was one of those reasons why I miss being around my family so much.
Evidently, my niece Rima was in some kind of Math Olympiad recently. My sister rattled off her roll number to me – A213567. I had nary an idea of what I was expected to do till she very helpfully clarified (as most sisters do) “Net thekey or score ta baar korey de”! She wanted me to find out her score from the internet!! 🙂
More confused than perplexed, I asked “What do you mean ‘get me her score from the internet’ ?. How am I supposed to do that?” I had inevitably underestimated her preparedness for this question. “Eta jaanis na? Googly kore de – peye jaabi”, she pressed on. She wanted me to Google the roll number! Other than making a mental note that next time I meet her, I should explain to her the nuances of a cricket ball delivery called “googly” and “googool” which is essentially a search engine, I was overwhelmed by her vision of the power of the internet 🙂 Long live Al Gore!
But by this time, I was getting curious about what got her down this path. I explained why I could not do that. I needed something called a URL – she would recognize it as something starting with three “w”s. That struck a chord with her instantaneously. I could sense the palpable excitement from the other end of the phone as she exclaimed that she had seen it and a minute later started rattling off from some piece of paper – “w,w,w facebook com”. Her disrespect towards the lowly dots in a URL was exceeded only by her disrespect towards my lack of knowledge of the internet 🙂
Desperately trying to suppress my laughter, I asked “Facebook? Really? Read me the whole line”. And she read “Visit w w w facebook com and like us”. That “like us” was enough to plant some seed of doubt in her mind. So, she asked me “Why do we have to like them? I still do not know how Rima has done in the exam” 🙂 I let her know I completely sympathized with her that it would be ridiculous to like Facebook if we later found out Rima did not do that well to begin with 🙂
By now, I was trying with all my might not to get too distracted on the highway. So, to be helpful, I enquired “Who told you that the results are out on the ‘net'”? She let me know it was the parent of a friend of Rima. I pointed out the obvious to her – “Find out from them the webpage address”. She acknowledged that that parent herself had heard from somebody else 🙂 But, of course!!! If I followed the chain any further, I was sure somebody would have said they got it from Wikipedia or something and then my sister would ask me how can she get to Wikipedia and I would say that it is on the ‘net and the whole cycle would start all over again 🙂
Presently, my sister gave up too and we wrapped up. I called my mom back to let her know that I was useless for what my sister was looking for. Ever supportive of his eldest son, my mom said “Tai to! Americar net ekhane kokhono choley naaki? Soma-ke kobey thekey bolchhi ekta sosta dekhe net kiney nitey”. Roughly translated, “Of course! How can American internet work in Kalyani? I have been telling your sister for some time now, to buy an inexpensive internet for themselves”. My mom thinks that internet is something you buy from the market at the end of their housing complex!! She probably thinks it is a neatly packaged item that is delivered to you in a box. Preferably with the sender’s name on it!! Past experience has taught us that it would certainly save a trip or two to the police station 😉