Life’s so much easier with the Internet

woke up this morning and realized that three children’s videos I had
borrowed from the library were due today. I didn’t feel like going to the
library, so I went Internet
online and renewed them. It took barely a minute. My laptop
was on the nightstand, so I didn’t even have to get out of bed. My children will
grow up to take such conveniences for granted. But I was raised in the pre-internet
era and continue to be amazed at what I can do with a few taps and clicks.
Here’s just a partial list:

  • Banking: I can check my balances, transfer money from one account to
    another, and celebrate whenever the bank credits me with 11 cents of
  • Paying bills: I can pay all my bills online, saving me the trouble of
    writing checks, sticking stamps and sending my wife to the mail box.
  • Buying tickets: I can get almost any ticket online, including airline
    tickets, train tickets, concert tickets and sports tickets. If my Internet
    connection weren’t so slow, I’d also be able to get speeding tickets.
  • Buying gifts and other items: I can buy all sorts of stuff
    online, including engrossing books at, enchanting music at, and enduring love at (if I were single).
  • Reading: There’s so much to read online, including articles, blogs,
    stories and tattoos.
  • Watching videos, looking at photos: I can watch scores of shows and
    events online, including amazing performances such as Zakir Hussain on the tabla and amazing feats such as a person crossing a road in
    . I can also look at photo galleries, not just my friends’ vacation photos,
    but also the wedding pics of Shwetha and
    and other people I don’t know.
  • Getting directions: No longer do I have to listen to my wife (or someone
    else) tell me to stop my car and ask for directions. “I’m not just going in
    circles,” I can say to them. “I’m using Google Maps to go in circles.”

Yes, I can do a lot on the Internet, but there’s so much more I’d like
to be able to do. For example:

  • Shopping for groceries: I can do this on a limited basis, but I’d like to be
    able to shop at my local grocery store through the Internet. I’d like to “walk”
    down a virtual aisle with virtual shelves, click on items such as milk, bread
    and eggs, and have a clerk from the grocery store bring them to my home, put
    them in my refrigerator, and cook me breakfast. Is that too much to ask?
  • Renewing my passport: As I’ve mentioned before, if there’s
    anything worse than watching your house on fire, it’s spending a day at the
    Indian embassy. Whether I need a passport or a visa, I’d like to do it online, instead of having to face that person behind the counter, the one with the button that says, “A friendly
    greeting, a warm smile and good service. Get them all at Starbucks.”
  • Getting a haircut: This would, of course, require me to use a webcam, as well as a special HairClipper2008 accessory that would be controlled through the Internet by
    Pallani, my barber in

Photo by dro!d

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks so much for naming our gallery in your blog. It was a nice surprise to find a message leading back to your blog.
    What do you do? Are you in India?

  2. Jeffrey says:

    How true!!! I tell my adult children about life with Black and White TV, No Internet or Video Games, they act like I’m from another planet. I wonder what our “Brave New World” will bring us in the future. If they can deliver my “Starbucks” to my front door by 4:30 AM Life Would Be GOOD!!

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