As a result, standard avenues of communication with the younger generations have always eluded me. Not long ago, I started taking up cudgels on behalf of people with disabilities, in the cause for inclusiveness, barrier-free environments, etc. The methods I was using were those of my generation. I got a sympathetic editor of Times of India to give me a bi-monthly column where I could scream from the roof-tops. My solitary technological achievement has been that I have been maintaining a home-page on my institute web-site - at the url http://www.imsc.res.in/~sunder/ - for a while now, where I would post my various papers, talks, etc., as a convenient source for quick access to many pies I have had a finger in. So, when I started writing articles periodically in `my column', I started to religiously give a link to each piece in my home-page. Again, because my column appeared only in the metros of
I also began to realise that if one did not have fairly high speed connectivity, then it could take ages to be able to get to see pdf files to which links had been provided on my home-page. One of my most recent Ph.D. students, also of the technically savvy generation, told me I should start a blog and post my stuff there. My daughter Radha had also been saying this for a while, that this was the way to ensure that more people would know of my efforts, that I did not have to be constrained to the newspaper column, that people who wished to do so, could post responses on it. (God knows I have been receiving so many heart-warming email responses from readers of my column. Many of these emails were far more illuminating that anything I had written.)
When Radha came home last month for her Christmas break and again suggested the blog idea, I was happy to cede to her reasoning. Especially when she most sweetly offered to set up the blog for me, I gleefully agreed. Of late, she has been systematically uploading my pieces from my home-page, and it has been wonderful the way she has been voluntarily entering the currently most important sphere of activity in my life.
Meanwhile, I had, some time ago, also got Madhushree, a current Ph.D. student (tantamount to another daughter) and Vasan, (a cheerful young systems administrator in our institute who runs to help me when I hassle him, at least three times a week, with pathetic pleas like `my printer doesn't like me') to help modify an existing emblem/logo to something I could possibly use. Finally, things were converging to the inevitable conclusion. I have asked Radha to put up the logo created by Madhushree and Vasan and my blog - no prize for guessing the name - has come into existence, at http://differentstrokes-vss.blogspot.com/
Thank you Radha, Madhushree, Ved, Fatima, Jojo, everybody who has been part of this entire experience.