Facetime?

The techi-ness goes way back!

Yes, finally, JP gets to take over for a bit from his beautifully eloquent wife and share a small thought that has continued to amaze me. Anybody who knows me, knows the techie-side to me. I have always been very fond of taking things apart and finding ways to incorporate technology into my life, even if it is absolutely unnecessary. When I was about 9, my dad got me an electronics kit with instructions on how to wire it to do crazy things. As a result, I found a way to make it an FM transmitter, I learned how to make “disco lights,” and I even once learned how to bug a room. (This last experiment was a life-lesson to me. One evening, one of my teachers came home to chat with my parents about me. I thought it would be swell to be in the other room and eavesdrop. Unfortunately, my 9 year old fingers wired things a little backwards, so instead of us hearing them… yep… they heard us!). My electronic kit was my favorite toy. It unfortunately met its untimely demise when I wired up an annoying siren and put it under my brother’s pillow when he was sleeping. Needless to say, after James was done, my experiments with that unit were done also. In hindsight though, who knew that this seed that was sown in my heart would blossom into a fascination with machines and finding ways to humanize them in our lives to this day?

JP and his "Electronics Kit"

I had to put my reliance on technology on hold till I went to the US for my studies. My parents and I tried to write letters but when you wait for a month to receive anything, it can get a bit tedious. Fortunately, email was slowly beginning to take root in India by this stage. My parents only had a dial up connection but that was all it took. All of a sudden, what used to take us weeks, and sometimes, months became a daily affair. I knew what my mom made for breakfast, what the dog was upto that day, what the weather was like (not necesarily fun to listen to when we were in the throes of an Iowan winter), and so many more sundry details about daily life in India. It brought my worlds closer.

Katy and I dated long distance for almost a year and a half before we were married. I taught Katy how to set up MSN messenger on her computer, bought her an USB webcam, and almost every morning, I would wake up and chat with her. I thought it was pretty amazing. For work purposes, I even bid on a “memory bar” (think thumb-drive) on ebay. I thought 256 MB was a TON of space. (Bye bye floppy drives…GASP!) I even wore that around my neck like it was a gold necklace. This was only 8 years ago! Pardon my use of a cliche, but how quickly technology changes.

Oreo wants the famous "memory bar"

Today, I skype regularly with friends, churches, and groups back in the US. I am able to shoot and edit photos and videos on my phone that I can then upload to facebook or email to our parents. I regularly text friends worldwide. I can play the popular game “Words with Friends” with dear friends and families in the US while I wait at long traffic lights. Leila is able to color pictures on her little ipod and email her grandparents. Just this week, Amy, Katy’s sister and Katy had a video conversation on my phone over breakfast. She was baking cookies (at 7:30 pm Monday) and needed a recipe… Katy was eating breakfast with the family (at 9:00am Tuesday in Bangalore). Somehow Seattle and Bangalore seemed to fit together around that table.

I love technology. People have always told me how holding a kindle or an ipad can not feel as organic as holding an actual book. I get that. I also get how a face to face conversation will beat facetime/skype hands down every time. I know that power outages, spotty internet, travels, etc. can wreck havoc on communication if you depend on technology too much. But, in spite of all that, we (the Sundararajans) live in multiple worlds. We have people we love and care about. We would love to share coffee for hours on end and chat about our lives. Since we cannot realistically do that as often as we’d like, using technology to invite people to walk with us into the sundry details of our daily lives makes sense.

So, obviously, it goes without saying how grateful we are that we have a blog to journal parts of life with you. Another neat way in which our worlds collide.

(And just for fun, I am going to publish this post from the WordPress app on my phone… why not?!)

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4 thoughts on “Facetime?

  1. It’s always cool seeing you Indians on the cutting edge of technology. Working for Google/Youtube. Going to technology museums.

    I just got a webcam and setup for Skype, and it’s old news for you folks. You’re always a step or two ahead of me.

  2. These pictures are adorable, JP! Also, it’s hilarious that you wore your “memory bar” like a necklace!!! And only 8 years ago! Good thing you’re so cool now. I can’t wait for my own Skpe conversation with you!

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