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Growing up in the 1980s

While we were growing up in the 1980s, Sam Pitroda ably supported the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s computer and IT agenda that led to the advent of television, albeit black and white. One switched on the set some two hours prior to the start of daily programmes for the valves to heat so the pictures on the screen develop clarity. A solo channel and a characteristic sound with a blue screen left an indelible mark on our generation. "Sorry for the interruption", was a recurring message though; however, articulate newsreaders and good programmes kept us enraptured. Colour transmission started with live coverage of the 1982 Asian Games. Television then was synonymous with DD, or Doordarshan.

Growing into the college years, the youth in us wanted to explore the world to develop better survival instincts. We frequented standalone theatres that dotted our cities to watch Hollywood movies. The accompanying ride on our bicycles around the central business district was our favourite pastime. In our early 20s, a drive in a car was a dream-come-true. A visit to the local pub added to our youthful exuberance.

Growing out of our engineering degrees in the late 1980s, most of us drifted towards a life in IT. Engineering graduates from various disciplines converged on plush IT jobs to find a firm foothold. People made a beeline for learning programming languages — BASIC, PASCAL, FORTRAN, COBOL and so on. The freshly minted IT professionals engaged in client-facing roles in early stages of a software development lifecycle. DD now meant Due Diligence, an exercise to collect all relevant requirements and interact with the client stakeholders to kick-start a software project.

Growing our family wings to step into middle age, many were diagnosed with this disease. ‘Digital Intoxication’ has overtaken our life interactions mandating screen-view compulsory, as in Smart TV, laptops, mobiles and so on. Symptoms have led doctors to diagnose various syndromes such as carpal tunnel. On a recent flight, my co-passenger was headed directly to a retreat camp from the airport. A ‘ring-fence’ experience to relive the life in its back-to-roots sense. DD here is the Digital Detox programme.

Growing into the 50s, having leveraged digital platforms, we started to connect with our primary, high-school, and college mates, and journeyed through the bygone days. A get-together meal to break the ice was a template proposal. This provided an opportunity to size up our true-life journey — priorities, personality, and philosophy among other things that define each one of us. It was noticed that many friends trundled along an esoteric path dwelling in the spiritual well-being. A question popped from a corner — are we ready for DD, only this time it meant to be Demystifying Death!

By the time we understand life and its trials and tribulations, DD would have taken us over — Done & Dusted. We will remain a name for our next generation in a memory series.

Growing through the life stages begets many streams and paths, and in the multitude of DD avatars is life’s exhilarating journey encapsulated!

p_harihar@hotmail.com


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 1:46:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/growing-up-in-the-1980s/article34177423.ece

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