Earlier tonight, I told my mother to check out this blog. It was a tall order to begin with, but I thought she’d enjoy my conversation with Azfar from the day before. ‘Tall order’ because my mother is one of the most computer- and web-challenged people I know. She still has a dial-up connection, which runs on her one phone line, incidentally. And if she doesn’t use the computer for a few weeks, she forgets things like how to enter a URL in a web browser. So if I want Amma to check something on the net, I have to call her on her cell and walk her through the entire process.
Trust me, if you’d been through the conversations I’ve had with my mum from Houston to Islamabad, you’d feel my pain. Classic example:
Me: Did you see Suleiman’s pictures?
Amma: Oh! No I didn’t! Remind me again how to check?
Me: Okay. Click on that blue icon at the bottom of your computer screen that says ‘e’.
Amma: What’s an icon?
Me: Just click on the blue ‘e’.
Amma: Nothing happened.
Me: The window didn’t open?
Amma: What’s a window?
Anyway. Being the perennial optimist, I asked Amma to check my blog. To her credit, she not only made it here but also read the first entry, Conversations with Calliope – Part I. After she’d given me flack for using… uh… the slang for ‘feces’, I asked her what she thought of my conversation with Azfar. It turned out she never saw it.
“How could you have missed it?” I asked, incredulously. “It’s the latest entry, right at the top of the page!”
“Okay, I’ll check again. I’ll call you back,” she said and hung up.
A few minutes later I received two mysterious phone calls from my mother on Skype, in which I could neither see her nor hear her. She then called me on my cell and said, “It was nice… but I’ve already read that paper of yours before.”
“Ma, please don’t tell me you still haven’t seen the entry at the top!”
“The one that says ‘Oh dear.’ RIGHT AT THE TOP!!!”
“The 28th January one?”
“What?! 28th… uff… it doesn’t matter… I can’t… this is… it’s right THERE… why on Earth… JUST SCROLL DOWN, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!!”
“I’ll check it tomorrow.”
Moral of the story? There is none, unfortunately. My mother will never understand how to use the PC and I will always be as amazed at this as if it’s the first time I’m hearing it. My annoyance is mildly assuaged, however, by the realisation that in the future I will be reliving this exact same scenario with Suleiman, except he’ll be shouting, “JUST DIRECT THE LASER BEAM AT THE TELEPORT FIELD, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!”. After which he’ll turn to his wife and exclaim, “She wants to drive over!!!”
Well you know what? I'm ready. I've learnt from the best. Bring it on, suckers!