It was 1970. The ramnagar agraharam was busy with people returning from the Ram temple after the Sunday pooja. Subramani was all enraged and the reason was simple. He didn’t know the name of the current president of America. And that too it was Sambu, Subramani’s arch-enemy, who asked that question to him.  Sambu was the son of Raman, a bank officer and a colleague of Subramani’s father. If Sambu knew something which Subramani didn’t, it was not just a disgrace to Subramani but to his entire family. It will make Subramani’s father go “HOW CAN I FACE HIM IN THE OFFICE, LOOK AT HIS SON, WHY CAN’T YOU BE LIKE HIM” and stuffs like that. Subramani couldn’t resist. He asked his mom if she’d knew who was the current president of america. Failure. Next stop, the ramnagar library. But the library never opened before 8 A.M. It was just 7:30 and 30 mins was just too much for him. He had no other choice, but to ask “The-hindu-mama”. The-Hindu-mama is Mr.Sadasivam SSV, retired Engineer from Indian railways. His daily routine was to read the entire Hindu Newspaper, solve the crossword and also pass his comments on how current day journalists lack art of expression. It you were a teenager like Subramani your last resort would have been to ask Mr Sadasivam. You will be given an hour of lecture for not knowing things like that along with insults. really bad insults. Subramani had no option but to ask sadasivam mama. With much hesitation subramani went to hindu mama’s house. On seeing subramani , sadasivam mama was very excited . He went inside, wore his shirt, and  promptly jumped into his arm chair and switched onto his listening mode. Sadasivam’s swiftness gave Subramani the jitters, as his question , in Sadasivam’s terms was ”just silly”. ”Mama, who is the president of America?” asked Subramani. Sadasivam’s face gave a silly look. “Enna da edu kooda va theriyathu. Kids these days. They never read the newspaper and know nothing. It is Nixon. Go read Hindu everyday.” barged Sadasivam. Subramani’s face was glowing. Inspite of the insults he learnt something that he didn’t know, and that too after much struggle. He knew that the president of America was Richord Nixon. Subramnai happily jogged his way to his house.

“Subramani, come for breakfast” yelled his Mom. It was Subramani’s favorite Dosai, crispy and hot. It just can’t get better thought Subramani. “Chutney illaya? ” asked Subramani. “Chutney a? Molaka podi than” said his mom, placing the molaka podi container and the hot filter coffee on the table. Subramani happily ate his crispy dosa and dreaming of pwing Sambu about Nixon, he happily sipped his filter coffee. Bliss it was.


2011. Ram, 15 years old, second son of Subramani. Ram was the ususal teenager who loved facebook and internet was his alcohol. His gmail chat was open, his friend rox123 IMed him

rox123Dude, you know what this Obama guy said?

Ram didn’t know who obama was. He didn’t bother asking his mom or Mr sadasivam. He googled “Obama”. He learnt from the wikipedia page that Obama was the President of USA.

ram4you: Uh, the president guy?

rox123Duh, yeah. He said that India is already a developed nation. wtf man?

Now ram didn’t know this. He google “Obama twitter + India” he found a tweet that had an article about Obama saying that India is already a developed nation. “ram4you” started following Obama on twitter, learning what he does everyday, every hour. Now Ram knows a lot of things about Obama. About him: from the wikipedia page; What he thinks: from his tweets, and what his fans think about him from the Facebook fan page. He knows a lot. But there wasn’t any glow on his face after knowing all this.

ram4you: yeah dude, just read that. These americans. Duh. dude g2g . mom yelling . wanna have breakfast, bye!


It was Ram’s favorite Dosai . “Amma chutney illaya?” asked Ram. “Chutney a ? Molaka podi than” said Mrs Subramani, placing the molaka podi container and the hot filter coffee on the table. Ram happily ate his crispy dosai and sipped his filter coffee. Bliss it was.


There are a lot of things that change. The way we learn things, the way information is presented, but there are few things that never change; Like Dosai, molaka podi and filter coffee.

Few things don't change