“What could I possibly do to make it special?” I thought. There were only hours left to my Avva’s (Maternal Grandmother’s) 75th birthday and I was yet to come up with a decent idea for a gift. It would have been easier to gift something if I were with her…but I was more than 500 kilometres away, and running out of time. I turned to my cousin brother a couple of state-boundaries away for ideas.
After a quick brainstorming session we agreed on a gift, which would not only make Avva smile, but also allow us cousins (more than 10 of us) to be a part of her birthday celebrations. The task was more or less cut out for us – we cousins are spread across four continents. The challenge would be to present the idea to all of them, coordinate with them and get them to send a video each, and finally, to integrate individual videos into a big one.
Had such a problem been presented even half a decade ago, we would have concluded that it would be nearly impossible to coordinate with all of them and come up with something in less than 6 hours! Technology made it possible, and more importantly, easy. It took us less than 15 minutes of efforts to get everyone acquainted with the idea (courtesy WhatsApp), and in an hour-and-a-half or so, we had the videos (hearty thanks to Google Drive). The only part that we had to rack our brains about was how we were going to present them, that is, the order. And a little while later, we were done. Although the output wasn’t very fancy, I was satisfied. 12 grandchildren, scattered across continents, uniting electronically to wish their grandma a happy diamond jubilee – it doesn’t get better than that. If only there was a way for all of us to taste the birthday cake….
The icing of the cake (not literally) was to see her reply and thank us for the wishes by the means of the same media – a video. We met her, without physically meeting her. Technology really redefines togetherness, uniting people by virtually erasing any geographical boundaries that exist. I realized its true power today – its ability to bring a smile to the face of somebody you love.