Give me a call or text me!

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Smoke signals

The smoke signals were among the oldest forms of long distance communication. Cumbersome , slow and dependent on weather but it still served its purpose of communicating over longer distances by visual signals.

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The good old rotary phone

Many from this generation would have seen the good old rotary phone only in pictures and museums. When Alexander Graham Bell, a man of vision , a public speaker an expert on sound and a teacher of deaf children made that historic phone call to his assistant Mr.Watson on the 10th of March 1876, he carved a name for himself in the history of mankind and also revolutionized the way people communicated. Telephony has gone a long way since that fateful day. The terminal equipment has become smaller lighter and more aesthetic. With more electronics , better sound quality and bundled features it bears no resemblance to the cumbersome instrument that Alexander Bell first used.

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An early version of the mobile phone

With Motorola producing the mobile handheld mobile phone in April 1973 , communication was further revolutionized. Martin Cooper , a Motorola executive made the first mobile call from a handheld device to Dr.Joel S.Engel a researcher at Bell Labs , thus signalling the new era of talking and communicating no matter where you are. This device has taken the world by storm and it has become as much a part of our daily life as a pen or a wristwatch.

With technological advancements , we are now in the age of the apps, when our mobile phone serves multiple applications so much so that it has become a device which is also used for voice communication. The ubiquitous mobile phone is now our banker, identity card, a reasonably good camera, a reasonably good video camera, a music player, an alarm clock and so on.

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In Dec 1992 a developer Neil Papworth sent the first text message to Richard Javis and thus the SMS or Short Messaging Service was born . With SMS communication became even simpler.

We now live in the age of communication with a variety of communication platforms voice calls,text messages, whats App, On line chats and so on. We live in a world with excessive communication capability where the latest news, happenings, personal thoughts, moods etc are broadcast to the world at large.

Living in an Apartment Complex

Just a few decades ago India was a cluster of small villages, rich in natural beauty, plenty of fresh air and plenty of sunshine. The nearest dwelling would usually be a good distance away . Privacy bordered on loneliness and peace and quiet was never in short supply.

With development came the need to migrate into the cities where space is at a premium. Vertical space being cheaper than horizontal space , apartment complexes of various size and shapes sprouted. No matter how hard the designers tried, the ultimate product always resembled a stack of matchboxes. Lack of options and the convenience of shared facilities forced more and more people to opt for residing in apartment complexes. Very soon large gated colonies with all kinds of shared resources developed. Slowly people adjusted to the confined space, got used to the shared facilities to the point they became essentials. Living without CCTV, common Solar panels, common water treatment plants, Gym, swimming pool etc became unthinkable. The comfort of having support and company so close was also a big advantage.

Very few took the trouble to practice the extra care and discipline required to ensure one does not cause inconvenience and annoyance to ones neighbours. Most of us living in such well designed residential complexes have had the experience of an unwanted shower in the dirty water dripping from the top floor neighbours clothesline; a neighbour who conveniently parks his car in the common driveway thus blocking all vehicular movements till he chooses to return, an extremely musical neighbour who forces you to listen to his choice of Jazz music at midnight and so on. Polite requests don’t work. Mention it a little strongly and you have an enemy for life. Maybe the only choice is to bear it and grin at the cost of increasing your blood pressure.

Author: Padmanabhan Nair