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Friday, February 08, 2008

Technology Tag

This time the tag is about technology and the difference that it has made to my life.

A little less than two years ago, I visited Pakistan along with my family. This was a unique experience, not only for me, but also for my parents and younger brother. None of us had been to that country before and, given the mercurial relationship between India and Pakistan, it is always difficult to say as to when or if at all there would be a next time.

Being Punjabis visiting the part of Punjab that lies on the other side of the border, we were glad to note that almost everything, apart from the religious faith that most people practise over there, is very similar to that in the Indian part of Punjab. There were a lot of interesting asides too, in addition to a heavy dose of nostalgia and a nice, warm kind of feeling inspired by the shared Punjabiyat.

So, when we returned home, after having spent ten days that were among the most memorable ones of our lives, enjoying the neighbours' hospitality, I wanted to share the experience with friends and family. I would have written a series of emails to them, but then I discovered blogging and it offered the prospect of not only sharing a lot of all that I had seen and heard with a lot more people, but, possibly, could also afford me the chance to make a tiny contribution towards the promotion of peace and friendship. So, here we are!

If it had been the pre-internet era, or, at least, those times when I was not too familiar with the World-Wide-Web, I would have written a series of letters to the editors of various newspapers, though it might have been rather difficult to get all of those published and there would probably have been no readers from outside of the sub-continent, which would have reduced the impact considerably.

I quote from one of the earliest comments on my blog (which was posted at another online location, where I had initially started blogging):

"Thanks for posting this, as the only time the West hears of the borders you speak of is when there's fighting. This leaves the impression that all that exists is violence. We know this not to be true, of course, but every message of peace, understanding, acceptance and tolerance counts massively."
Besides, since blogging allows for instant feedback, I have, in fact, had the privilege to interact with those from countries as far as the U.S., the U.K., the U.A.E., Belgium and Romania, aside from readers from places closer to home i.e. in India and Pakistan.

The searchable nature of information on the internet has more than once led to those whom I have written about landing up at the relevant blog-posts and posting comments.

Also, as I am the writer, editor and publisher of the weblog, all rolled into one, I have complete control over the content, which would not have been possible otherwise, unless I had the resources to bring out my own newspaper or journal.


Sidhusaaheb said...

ah.. that’s a nice way of looking at things. technology has sure made our lives easier but at the same time increased distances between people (if you get what i mean). but reading your piece, it makes me think otherwise as well

my paternal hometown is lahore, and i am dying to be there and walk its streets someday
nomad | Homepage | 02.09.08 – 1:28 am | #


As I had commented on your blog-post, technology, I suppose, has its own positives and negatives, just like everything else.

I hope you get to visit Lahore soon. It’s a beautiful city with unique sights and sounds, besides being populated by wonderful people! As they say, “Jihnay Lahore nahi vekhyaa, oh jammyaa hi nahi (The one who has not seen Lahore is as good as not having been born)!”
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 02.10.08 – 12:13 pm | #


true, blogs are a great way to own a publication. my father was born in kakul – wish to go there sometime to see what it is like!
cyberkitty | Homepage | 02.11.08 – 5:25 am | #


That, definitely, is a distinct advantage that blogging offers.

I’ve never been to that place, but let’s hope that you’ll be able to visit soon as well as to blog about it. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to look for blogs originating from thereabouts.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 02.11.08 – 9:21 am | #


This is a brilliant post – how well said. How would I have known you had the internet not crossed the borders and divides..

I will crosspost this on my blog, if that is Ok with you..

Keep it up- we need messages of peace as you rightly say. We are different countries but why should there be acrimony and war…

cheers, Raza
razarumi | Homepage | 02.15.08 – 5:32 pm | #



You are absolutely right! We have those who put the internet in place to thank for getting to know each other.

As for cross-posting, neki aur poochh-poochh!

Thank you so much for the compliments and I agree completely with you!
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 02.15.08 – 5:40 pm | #



Kudos to you for adding your bit towards promoting peace and inspire me to do the same… if the educated youth on either side of the border take responsibility for contributing a little towards this cause we could have a tremendous chain reaction..
and why not.. everything is pretty much the same on either sides of the border, its the same air we breathe, the same sun we see setting across the horizon, the same green fields, the same traditions of hospitality we learn to pass on to our kids and so much more..
mayG | Homepage | 02.16.08 – 4:15 pm | #


Thanks and welcome aboard!

I can only say “Amen!” to that and hope that it happens.

Unfortunately, there are still many among the educated youth who subscribe to the ‘Hate the other side’ campaign. However, we could always make an effort towards bringing about a change of heart and the first step towards that would of course be to initiate interaction between like-minded people.

The similarities, as you have rightly pointed out, are endless and should be celebrated, I believe, as should the differences be!

Let’s hope all that happens within our lifetimes…

You’ve reminded me of John Lennon’s lyrics…”You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one.”
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 02.16.08 – 9:31 pm | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

I am glad you had a good trip to the other side. Anger and hatred among people is often made up to the point that people start believing it to be true and act accordingly.

I hope our countries become amicable neighbors someday!
Akira | Homepage | 03.06.08 – 5:30 pm | #