Happy Diwali! A bright time on the Hindu calendar, the five-day festival of lights is celebrated all over the world. And Skype is helping families to stay in touch during this holiday as never before.
Movie script editor Sara Adhikari appreciated that more than most after moving to India from the UK, where she is awaiting shipment of her belongings.
She found Skype a godsend at internet cafes, despite the fact that her Skype-enabled PC was stuck in customs at Kolkata.
She said: “In the ten days I’ve been back I’ve used Skype three times already to talk with my daughter in the UK. Seeing her in her own flat talking to me eases the pain of separation.”
And Sara is experiencing at first hand just how friends and relatives value Skype at this time of Diwali.
She says: “For many families geographically separated because of education, jobs or both, Skype has come as a huge blessing – especially during occasions such as Diwali when families want to stay in touch.”
And Sara has a fascinating insight about how India has taken to Skype and other technological advances.
“I have returned to live in Kolkata after 20 years, after first relocating elsewhere in India and then abroad.
“At one level nothing seems to have changed in Kolkata – there are puja pandals (temporary marquees built with bamboo and canvas) in every locality.
“But there are also internet cafes round every corner and mobile phones in everyone’s hand – communications technology has revolutionized the way Indians keep in touch.”
“A friend told me today that Skype could be used by friends across India and the globe to play Teen Pathi (three cards), the gambling card game intrinsic to Diwali. Now, that would be interesting!”