Day 31 100words100days Navigating the internet for a senior citizen.

305 words. Love you, Ma and Da *grin*

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The background:

Where I come from, a person becomes a senior citizen upon turning 60.

Additionally, where I come from, using computers and such new-fangled technology, including smart phones, are the norm among my cohort. Our parents are crossing into their senior phase now. Many of them are comfortable with PCs for such simple tasks as writing a letter and then printing it, sending and forwarding emails, playing solitaire, and using spreadsheets.

The situation:

Using Google the way we do (i.e. several times a day) is not something most of their generation is prepared for. They also haven’t yet realised that there is no such thing as “just five more minutes” when it comes to the Internet (it feeds off your time, didn’t you know?). They are unprepared for the poor representation of humanity that can be found in the average YouTube comments section. They don’t know when something is a spoof, or how to distinguish between faking news and the real deal. They have not seen enough Internet ads to tell when something is genuine and when it is some creepy spam/virus-laden nonsense.

They are gullible, naive, trusting, and they need practical exercises to help them remember how to get from point A to point Z in two clicks or fewer.

In this natural switching of roles, they are the children, and we are the wise ones who must teach and defend them, without losing our tempers at them for asking for the zillionth time where files go when they are downloaded (to the Great Folder in the Sky, of course).

And if you feel the irritation welling up inside you: keep calm and consider this prep for when you have children of your own. (If you don’t plan on having kids, consider it prep for when someone you love has kids of her/his own.)

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Day 32: Famous people (real/fictional characters) you didn’t know were (partly/fully) from your country or state.

Ooh History!

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Day 28 100words100days What if Hindi were the lingua franca instead of English?

400 words, almost all of them my own. Thank you Ann May and Marv for your suggestions, whether or not I used them.

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If Hindi were the lingua franca, I’d be writing this post in Devnagri script. I could do that even now, but most people would not be able to read it. I’m considerate that way.

If Hindi were the lingua franca, schools would start teaching English late, and make it optional, and Hindi would be the medium of instruction everywhere. Words starting with W would not be common since Devnagri does not have a letter to represent that particular sound. Watt would be Vatt, the West would be the Vest, Wales would be Vales… you get the drift. Of course these changes in pronunciation would occur only if Hindi speakers deigned to use English.

Goans would not be considered weak at Hindi, and would all speak it as fluently as they do Konkani/English.

Nationals of Western countries would find it very hard to get jobs in the almighty East and Middle East, because employers would not believe that their first language could be Hindi, even if they grew up in a place that was primarily populated by Hindi-speaking peoples (reverse racism isn’t nice, is it?).

The people of the subcontinent would be content to communicate in Hindi and their regional languages and would not take the trouble to learn the ‘exotic’ languages of Europe.

To wish people on their birthdays, you would probably say janamdin ki shubhkaamnayein.

Shaktimaan and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi would be as popular worldwide as Heroes and The Bold and the Beautiful.

All the scientists in The Big Bang Theory would be subcontinental except for the token white immigrant.

Bollywood would be even bigger than it is. The aam aadmi still wouldn’t know Shahrukh Khan (to answer the question that everybody wants to ask). In fact the mango man (inside joke: please like if you got it) would be even less likely to interact with the stars because there would be billions more throwing vorldvide themselves at them.

Slumdog Millionaire, on the other hand, would not have created quite so much buzz.

Some hypotheticals I can’t take credit for: India would be a superpower, the INR (Indian Rupee, for those who don’t know) would be the currency against which all other currencies would be measured – only to fall woefully short, and people would migrate to India in search of the Bharatiya Sapna (Google’s translation of Indian Dream. I do not accept responsibility for its accuracy).

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Day 29: Write a letter to yourself in a past life.

Day 12 100words100days Write an article about women in stand-up comedy

More op-ed than objective piece (I really need to work on that). 194 words.

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Type “Stand up comedy” in your search bar on YouTube, and it is more than likely that YT will reward you with a list of the usual suspects: Russell Peters, Gabriel Iglesias, Kevin Hart, Trevor Noah, the Achmed ventriloquist and a host of other funny, funny guys. But that’s just it. They are Funny GUYS (and I don’t think it’s only because I’ve been watching male comedians).

Where are the women in stand-up comedy? The strong, or soft, female voices that present the other half’s take on the world?

It turns out that they are there; they’re just way down on the list . Thank goodness for women like Ms. Bossypants Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and of course, Ellen, whose names do come up when discussing the funny.

What is bizarre is that female comedy is still a bit counterculture. Women are part of mainstream society. Therefore their comedy should be too. Humour has no gender.

The next time you are looking for someone to amuse you with a story about the human condition, try one of the following:

Kaneez Surka
Aditi Mittal
Radhika Vaz

Consider it part of your diversity training. LOL at that.

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Thank you to Merl, MC, AMD, Mandy, Cyn and Ros for their suggestions, and to my sister and father for enduring all the comedy I shoved down their throats!

Day 13: Make a list of ways the average person can be an Earth steward

Day7 100words100days Write a parody of the List article

160 words parodying the list article. The question still remains: will I be able to break free from its chains and never read another?

The 7 things I have not learned from a list article:

1. To think beyond the list. I mean, come on, there must be more than THREE easy ways to do something, but I’m not really going to look for them, am I? (except for the purpose of a print-screen)

3easyways

2. To use all my letters at one shot at least once in every game of WordFeud (I believe it’s called a bingo)

3. My ABC’s, 123, do re mi… (My parents took responsibility for these basics, and did a fine job)

4. The finite rules of writing a list article (They must be finite- every list article has a number in its headline)

5. Why lists need numbers

6. My Life’s Purpose

7. Why we will read things that are blatantly nonsensical in the vague hope that we will be able to derive some value from them even though we know it is futile to want the worthwhile from something that is all sparkle but has no value.

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Thank you to Ann Marie and Wally for the input!

Day 8, what have you in store for my readers and me? *reads chit* LOL! Here it is: What if we didn’t have to worry about Big Brother, but about Big Sister?

Day 5 100words100days Write a sales script for a hair band

A 265-word kooky sales script. The best kind!

Good morning Sir. I see you have noticed our lovely hairbands. They are very nice to look at, aren’t they? And the quality is amazing.

Allow me to tell you a little bit about them. This lovely peacock blue one with the paisley print- that brand, Sir, is made in India by a community of women who were affected by the tsunami in 2004. This one over here- it is made of pure velvet, in a town called Velvetino in Italy. Feel it, Sir; see how soft it is. Oh, you want to take a look on your own? No problem, no problem.

(Three minutes later) May I ask, Sir, whom you are choosing a hairband for? Would it be for yourself, or for a friend…? Your teenage cousin? I see. Then Sir, may I recommend one of our water-resistant, shrink-proof hairbands with a lifetime guarantee on the elastic? You see, teenagers sweat much more than adults, so it’s better to go for something that can withstand the pressure. The range comes in quite a variety of colors, with several prints available. And if I’m not mistaken, there are a few pieces left with lyrics from the Most Recent Hit of the Latest Superstar In Music.

You want one? Sir, if you buy seven, you get the eighth one free. No, Sir, there is no offer if you buy only four, sorry.

So one hairband? Shall I gift-wrap it for you?

Yes, sir, if your cousin brings that receipt and the hairband back, we will be able to make an exchange.

Thank you, Sir. Come again.

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What does Day 6 promise?

If Gulliver had had GPS.

Hmm. I sense an anachronism.