Friday, September 6, 2013

e-mail: miracle of modern technology

By Rabin Man Shakya

I was in the former Soviet Union from 1979 to 1989 for ten years doing my Masters and PhD. Away from home and the motherland, I had to rely on writing letters to my nears and dears in Nepal, since it was the only cheap and easy available medium of  communicating with the friends and relatives at that time. International calls were exorbitantly expensive and were used only in emergency cases. Plus, one had to visit the post office to make the international calls. It took at least three to five weeks to reach letters from Minsk (where I used to live) to Kathmandu and vice-versa.

As far as I know, modern e-mail communication started to gain momentum  in the year 1993. However, my first personal experience with the e-mail was in the year 1996 when my spouse Naveena Shakya who worked as a Food Research Officer at the Central Food Research Laboratory under the then HMG was sent  for a training first to Israel for two months and then to the Netherlands for three and half months in the year 1996.

Just like in the letters, you  can write whatever you want. The only difference is: the addressee gets your mail in the drop of a hat, quicker than even the telegrams. I used to go to a cyber cafe at Chhetrapati and sent her e-mails from there. I used to visit that particular cyber cafe very frequently to send e-mails. Taking a trip down memory lane, still in 1996, e-mail was something I could marvel at. It was really one of the miracles of modern technology. For the first time, I got rid of the (postal) letters. And that was in 1996.
Even though there are plethora of social media sites nowadays and people across the world are taking advantage of them for exchange of information, ideas and messages, yet the role and significance of e-mails are relevant to this day.

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