S for Skype Aug23

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S for Skype

By Mariam Saeed Khan, our ambassador at Next Generation Pakistan

Well the title says it all but I am not here to tell you the review of how Skype works or what we can do with it. It’s about the story of how Skype has helped bridging the gaps between the countries of the globe, hence making us connect. People say nothing in world is free but if you have internet access, you are just a click away from downloading this software and entering into a virtual call. This is free of cost too. Of course if people need more of advanced features who are laid back and do not want to     pick up the phone to dial, they can sign up for their premium package.

The story is about my nephew who wakes up early morning to come to Skype as he says in his language- “skkpe mama!” His day starts off with him messing up with the keys of laptop and if he’s busy playing with his toys, he is ready with an iPhone to video chat with his aunt. Mind you he is only 2 and half right now. Still going too techno to be in touch and have his little stories of the day to be conversed in his way. He thinks and imagines that if he will touch the screen then Skype will be able to transfer that touch virtually to the audience. He even brings the screen close to his eyes as if it will help him connecting more with us. His audience is right here in Lahore and he is in Usa, still his innocent face brims up whenever he listens to the word “Skype” and he runs all the way towards his mother to ask for it. Thus he is ready to share what he watched, how he played and the list goes on.

I have seen him growing up through the early hours of morning of Washington via Skype and night hours of Lahore. He was a new born sleeping all the time aloof to the existence of the people around him and the people waiting for him to be up online. He had no idea he was being watched for two hours or an hour if the busy routine of life offered us the time. But I had all the time in world to watch him sleep, crawl, converse, learning to walk and all the baby tasks that an adult goes through to teach the new born. Even his snapshots and videos are locked up in my mind as if they are replayed whenever I want to see them. This takes us to this point that babies are a way back to our own inner child which we shouldn’t in any way let them die. Because paradoxically when we teach a baby, a socialization tool and to be human in numerous ways, we get to learn our childhood of how our parents must have taught us to be that way. Therefore we learn and reminisce of what we were as a kid and baby. Of course our memory was developing than. No harm in imagining yourself in the place of that little miracle of life that itself creates an impact. That’s the circle of life; the Hand of Nature takes us to where we all started from: the road of our birth. In short making us remember and recollect the pieces of how we transformed because truly we shouldn’t forget how a baby transits as at the end we ourselves become older baby. Older baby self-term because we grow older and to keep up with the world, grown up. As we die in the same way the babies are born. The only difference is that babies are meant to be taught and older self-baby unlearns what it learnt throughout the life. In fact, the bed of life and death is same, only one walks up to be in life and other to sleep away. Frankly speaking, a part of me will never want to be all grown up. Don’t want to be trapped in the “Busy phenomena of Marxist system” where we don’t even get the time to set aside time for ourselves and for the people that matter to us.

So let me come to the story of my nephew that made me realize through Skype video conversations that when the call ended he won’t be there hanging for me.  He will be off to playing in his little world. He made me realize to laugh and smile randomly just like that even if it meant that you seem silly but we should keep it simple, right? Moreover his existence of first baby in the family gave a new name to my name for him.

Many of you will be reading this and wondering that didn’t I meet him in the last two years? I did meet him once when he was In Pakistan and twice in Washington. His first year of life was captured through the Skype shots, videos and calls. He could easily differentiate in his memory by looking at the screen who he was talking to, the names, the faces everything was registered. Even the caller tone of Skype rings a bell in his head and he comes running from whatever he is up to. My headphones too reminds him of his aunt.But the way he acts and reacts to the technological world was different; he wanted to show his new clothes, games, toys and his talents. Like this is how we communicate usually as it became part of our routine. For him I am his aunt who will be there whenever he wanted. And so I am. Just a Skype call away.  His magical innocence reminds me of how his face lightens up when I am there on the screen. For that he has to Whatsapp via my sister –his mother, obviously I am not available on Skype 24/7.