My Meeting with Mr.T

Mr. T is not a most wanted gangster or a high profile businessman as some of you would have thought. Far from it, he is a school going kid. A true millenium kid, to me Mr.T represents the generation of children who are fed on cell phones, computer games and countless other gadgets since birth. And probably because of such an upbringing, I do not see much difference in the levels of our awareness. Hence I prefer to consider him as equal and that is why the ‘Mr.’ part that I added to the kid’s name is important.

This is how the conversation went. The way it went, I had an irresistable temptation to blog about it and by the end of the post I am sure you will know why.

Mr. T : Hey! I am ______

Me : [A little startled by the kid’s boldness to initiate the conversation in no time] Hi dude…

Mr. T : Are you on facebook?

Me : [Now definitely shocked] Umm… Yeah! (followed by a ‘So?’ expression)

Mr. T : Will you add me on facebook?

Me : Umm.. Yeah sure .. Why not!

Mr. T : Whats your name on facebook?

[I tried to ignore that one, to go easy on ‘facebook’. I prefer to keep my facebook activities very much restricted to close friends. But… ]

Mr. T : Whats your name on facebook?

Me : Uh? [followed by a ‘talking to me?’ expression] H-N-S-H-Y-A-M hnshyam

[Following this, I went into my ‘I am thinking’ facial expression. I do this whenever I want to avoid some conversation. But this time it was more to relieving me from the shock of this conversation I was having with a ten year old kid]

Mr. T : What’s the full form of HN?

Me : (This is one question I have learnt to conveniently evade in the last twenty two years, simply because it calls for further explanations. So…) Umm.. Nothing dude.. Its a single thing.

Mr. T : Really? You are joking…. Right?

Me : [smile] (and thankfully, the topic was changed)

Mr. T : You have a computer?

Me : Yeah, of course!

Mr. T : Can I use it?

Me : Sure. Come with me, let’s go to my room.

In my room,

Mr. T : Oh, so you have this small laptop?

Me : Yeah, its called a netbook.

Mr. T : Let me add you on facebook. Whats your name you said?

Since my profile was already logged in, I did the honours myself. And he promptly logged into his id and accepted my friend request.

Mr. T : You know my bro has got a new tattoo on his hand! You want to see?

Me : [Startled again] Umm.. Yeah.. Sure.

Mr. T : (While loading his brother’s facebook profile) You know, all his friends wanted to get his profile pic clicked with his new girlfriend. But he smartly avoided it.

Me : (Girlfriend!! WTF? Oh Btw his bro has just joined undergraduation) Umm.. Yeah? That was smart of him…

Mr. T : All his friends have girlfriends. You don’t have a girlfriend?

Me : (Now this is terribly embarrasing, everytime!) No dude… I don’t.

Mr. T : Oh… I see.

Me : [Relieved for not being asked ‘Why?’, and amazed by Mr.T ‘s maturity or thoughtfulness you may say!]

Mr. T : BTW you know I joined facebook only last week and I have 114 friends. How many ‘likes’ do you have?

Me : How many ‘what’ ?

Mr. T : (pardoning my ignorance) You know, my brother does dissection in his college. The other day they dissected a frog, and all the intestine were out but the heart was still beating!

Me : [Surprised to see this amount of science knowledge in a ten year old] Yeah? I dropped biology way back in class 11 dude. So I never had a chance to do any such thing.

Mr. T : (Hardly interested in my reply. Now showing me some of his brother’s pics) You see this boy in this pic?

Me : Yeah.

Mr. T : His mother died. She was only 56, you know?

Me : Oh is it, thats sad… (Not expecting knowledge of any further detail from the kid, and also not feeling it right to quiz him on such a topic. But…)

Mr. T : Apparently she was sleeping in the back seat when the accident occured and the balloon (air bag) came only in the front seats. So when they finally tried to wake his mom up, she did not get up! She had died by that time.

Me : (Now, literally lost for words) Hmmm…. I see.

We moved to the living room, where his mom was talking to my parents.

Mr. T : [Looking at my phone] So you have a blackberry eh?

Me : Yeah.

Mr. T : [Turning to his mom ] Hey mom, the model of your phone is popular. See even he has a similar blackberry.

Me : [Shocked again. The first time I learnt about Blackberry phones was barely a few years ago. Here is a ten year kid discussing Blackberry phones with his mom! ]

Mr. T : You don’t have games on you comp? What do you do with it?

Me : [Smiling in an effort to hide my mixed emotions at this strange question] I work Mr.T. So I have something or the other official to do all the time.

Mr. T : [Giving me a ‘what a loser’ look. Now looking at the golf club in my house] So who goes for golf coaching here?

Me : Golf ‘what’?Err… No, no one does. I play around inside the house, sometimes. Haven’t gone for any training and all.

Mr. T : Oh… [Browsing through the television channels] Did you watch any tamil movie off late?

Me : Yeah, I watched Enthiran.

Mr. T : Oh.. I watched Manmathan Anbu! Enthiran was long back, right?

Me : Yeah… I guess.

By this time, Mr. T’s mother had decided that it was time for them to leave. And in matter of no time, Mr.T got himself ready to leave and he was ready at the door.

Mr. T : Ok dude… Tata! Take Care.

Me : [Now quite use to think of Mr.T as any other friend from college or work] Yep mate! You too…

Mr. T : Hey, is there any sports shop around here?

Me : Yeah, there is one right down this road.

Mr. T : Oh.. k!

I saw Mr.T off from my balcony, as he got into his Manza car with his mother and they drove down the road.

As their car disappeared from my sight, I thought for a second about myself as a ten year old. I still remember the excitement of my visit to a McD (near Andheri station) to have a burger and softy, and getting my first email id ‘@usa.net’ (I don’t know how many of you remember it, but it was a craze in those days to have a usa.net email address). Those were probably the biggest things in my life until then, besides a few flight trips and eating American Choupsuey in a chinese restaurant! That was the extent of my exposure.

I looked at the calendar hanging on the wall. It said ‘January 2011’, and don’t know why everything seemed to feel perfectly in place then.

I heard someone tell me, “Its just normal man; 21st century kid afterall! ”

I smiled to myself affirmatively and walked into my room.

25 thoughts on “My Meeting with Mr.T

  1. >that was funny! 🙂 21st century kids indeed & we are all turning to uncles & aunties 😛 ,as is clear from the blog!! 😛 😛

  2. >imagine this kid writing a similar tale 12 years later… technology gap is narrower than generation gap!

  3. >that 10 yr old's probably me gone back in time to screw with your happiness.. 😉

    but actually a very good one.. a very very very good post man… it just shows that we are growing OLD!!!

  4. >@bagrat- technology is 'the' key factor in the generation gap in this case, but I wonder if it will b so profound in the immediate years to come. Mainly cuz we are the set who actually saw the information age coming of age thru emails, google, wikipedia, iphones n smart phones etc as we grew up. But whatever we see now are more of improvisations on these things to a good extent. My thought. 🙂

  5. >oh my goodness! You literally scared the shit out of me. By the time we will have ten year old kids, imagine what will they talk about!

  6. >lol! anshu, so you can imagine how every line of that kid came a thunderbolt to me when he spoke! 🙂 was truly shocked man!

  7. >nice article.. but i think it wasnt much of a conversation .. rather the kid was interviewing u.. may be he was thinking if this guy is fit to live in 21st century 😛 .. and big lol on that gf part !!! u shud have borrowed some from abhi's list and used them !! 😉

  8. >Shyam U write very well!…but frankly speaking this is a lil scary.Food for thought!I'd like kids to be like lil innocent 10 yr old me.Actually at times I wonder these kids have much more knowledge than I do . I would get embarrassed talking to them.

  9. >@sathya- rofl! yeah, in a way it seems to b a perfect interpretation! 😀 the 'gf' part, was i admit the MOST embarassin in the whole conversation! 😛

  10. >Really interesting, and made for a fun read! Well, I'm actually glad, rather than shocked, that kids are soon catching up, especially in India! I'm pretty sure I wasn't as chatty and out-going even at 16-ish, especially with people twice my age! At the same time, I wish they aren't obsessed with technology, hooked up to their BBs (I'm sure Mr. T would have one for himself soon), or get influenced by various ill effects (you-know-what 😛 )! Its the age for them to be involved in outdoor activities, sports, hanging out with friends etc. The internet, (in some ways) by bridging the gap between people, makes us lose the human touch. Hope that doesn't happen with kids of this generation 🙂

  11. >Thanks Rachit. In a way the internet manages to create such a beautiful and personalised 'virtual' world that the needs to be in touch with the real one narrows down to bare minimum levels (say, in the school alone)and this problem is definitely not only with kids. I see it very much prevalent amongst each one of us. The inclination to fall for the comforts of this virtual world!

  12. that is a nice one. in 1994, i used to say – in normal jobs, the senior is the expert but in computer the junior is the expert. organisations will grow unless they accept this truth. The youngsters are curious, their canvass is vast and vibrant, and they are impudent because of their subconscious mind hold no ruins of superstitions unlike their elders, .

  13. i remember this kid! Lol pardon me for my less intellectual comment on ur blog, but mate i am just happy the kid spared the golf club set!! He asked me , if i played, nd i casually aired his question away, saying “naa”. Nd th kid just said, ” okay, i ll take it when i go” nd i ws like , ” :O :O um..ok ” lol

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