What’s App, Grandma?

By Hema Ravi

Whenever I text “what’s up?’ at once pops up Ammamma’s reply.  “Fine.” “How was your day at college?”  And believe me, ever since she learnt to text messages a month ago, she’s become so tech-savvy, that we are unable to keep pace with her.

Pradeep, my elder brother gifted her an android phone on her seventieth birthday.  “Why do I need this at this age? were her comments at that time when I quipped, “Ammamma, I’ll teach you.  I’m on vacation right now.”

The following day our face to face classes began.  With child like enthusiasm, the suptugenarian  first learnt to receive phone calls.  Initially, she was upset that whenever she tried to slide her fingers down the screen, some number got dialled or else, she swished her finger in the wrong manner that the call got disconnected.  This hurdle however was overcome in no time after making innumerable calls to her daughter who was away at work to the point that she  screamed “Amma, stop disturbing me,  am at work!” I was chided too for disturbing her.  We did not pay much heed to this, consequently, the enthusiastic learner soon mastered how to receive and make calls.

Seeing me texting my friends all through the day, she remarked, “Lali, will you teach me to send messages?” As an ‘SSLC,’ she could read the newspaper and communicate in English with a little hesitancy, though.

Amma again was the guinea pig although she had not volunteered.  The dictionary mode proved to be a nuisance this time, for, it keyed in words of its choice even before one did. Often, food became good, chittapa became child and several words got altered that the messages were more hilarious than a slap stick comedy.  Notwithstanding, the determined warrior strode on to victory.

Mom literally jumped out of her seat to read this text on what’s app one winter morning: “Hello Meena, Lunch was good.  Chittapa is coming for lunch tomorrow.  Get some veggies on your way home. Good day, Amma.”

My winter holidays were coming to a close, Ammamma was both upset and delighted.  She was upset that there was no one to clarify her doubts, delighted that she could exchange text messages with me day after day.

And the valiant lady aced it when she sent me a voice message on what’s app – ” Lali, Vishal’s grandma taught me how to send voice messages. This is even faster and easier. How was your day at college?”

Beaming with joy, I sent her a reply voice message, “Ammamma, may your tribe increase!”

Author Profile:  Hema Ravi is a Communicative English and IELTS Trainer, Co-author of Sing Along Indian Rhymes and Everyday Hindi, she is a prize winner in the 26th ITO EN Green Tea Haiku Competition, Japan (2015). Her verses and haiku have been published in HSA Anthology (2015), Atlas Poetica, Poetic Prism, The Enchanted Verse, Rainbow Hues, Contemporary Literary Review, Metverse Muse, write-ups published in The Hindu and a multitude of print and online anthologies.


  1. O K R Sivagnanam

    When one is introduced to a new task, and if followed with diligence out of interest and sure conviction,he/she can scale to newer heights as in the real story on Ammamma!

    Learning with passion cannot fail one, no matter what the issue is!

  2. Thank you sir, your comment adds value.
    Please excuse the typo of septuagenarian.

  3. Hat’s off to dear Ammamma! She has definitely proved that age is no bar to learning provided one does it with an open mind & positive attitude.

  4. O K R Sivagnanam

    How about sending your haikus through Indian Periodical for the benefit of viewers?