I had spent an hour in the bank with Uncle, as he had to transfer some money. In a small State Bank of India branch in a sleepy area of a small town. I couldn’t resist the urge.
”Uncle, why don’t we activate your internet banking?”
”Why would I do that?” He asked
”Well, then you wont have to spend an hour here for things like transfer. You can even do your shopping online. Everything will be so easy!” I was so excited about initiating him into the world of Net banking.
He asked ”If I do that, I wont have to step out of the house? I wont have to come to the bank?”
”Yes, yes”! I said. I told him how even grocery can be delivered at door now and how amazon delivers everything!
His answer left me tongue-tied. Our parents, have somewhere found the perfect balance. They enjoy seeing the photos we send them on Whats App but they have not broken their human ties. They have adopted technology on our insistence but not forgotten where it all began.
He said ”Since I entered this bank today, I have met four of my friends, I have chatted a while with the staff who know me very well by now. My kids are out of town and visit me now and then but this is the company that I need. I like to get ready and come to the bank. I have enough time, it is the physical touch that I crave. Two years back I got sick, very sick. The milkman who supplies milk to us, came to see me and sat by my bedside and cried. The man who comes every month to collect my bills and goes and physically pays them for a nominal charge from me, has only that mean of earning and the only thing that keeps him busy in his retired life. My wife fell down few days back while on her morning walk. My local grocer saw her and immediately got his car to rush her home as he knows where I live. Would I have that ‘human’ touch if everything became online?
Why would I want everything delivered to me and force me to interact with just my computer?
I like to know the person that I’m dealing with and not just the ‘seller’ . It creates bonds. Relationships. Does Amazon deliver all this as well?”’
Its a forward but a good message in it…!!