It is 135 years now that Alexander Graham Bell said the famous words ‘Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you’. The words were relayed to his assistant, Thomas Watson in the first telephonic conversation ever recorded in the history of mankind. These words marked the beginning of a technological revolution. A revolution which showed that nothing is impossible in this world in the face of human endeavors. But all human endeavors have needed the power of imagination to fire them up. And most such imaginations have initially been rubbished by others who never got the gift of dreaming things well beyond their scope. It took one man to imagine that maybe voice could be transmitted over electrical currents and within two years he was uttering those famous words in 1876.
Will our children believe that there was a time before India’s first telecom revolution in the later 80’s when to talk to a relative or friend in some other city we had to book a trunk call and had to wait for hours near the phone just in case we miss that treasured call. Today, we just press a few buttons in Delhi at our time of leisure and talk to people in Mumbai, Bangalore, USA, Europe, Sahara Desert or whatever. These technological accomplishments were preceded by the vision and imagination of a few.
I still remember the excitement I got when I received my first pager working for a company in Melbourne in 1997. Though I was using a mobile phone at the time (they did not have the SMS facility then) but it was exciting to receive personalized messages on my pager. And anyways, you all will agree it was better to report the day’s activities in this format than facing the boss’ wrath over the phone. I can recall the rush I got when I called up the Australian paging company operator on 15th August to transmit the message to my Indian friends ‘Happy 50th Independence Day. So proud to be an Indian today. JAI HIND!’. Just a few years later I was typing these messages and sending them myself from my mobile phone. Must be the result of a person or persons imagining things sitting in the office of their telecom companies in some part of the world.
It was due to his power of dreams that a successful Indian businessman importing push button phones from Taiwan started manufacturing them and then dreamt even higher. He bid for and bagged one of the first mobile phone network licenses in India when the government opened the skies and in the process has created an Indian telecom giant which is now conquering territories far beyond the boundaries of this nation.
Some years ago, one of the biggest corporate groups of this country launched its mobile service operations with much fanfare and cheap tariffs unheard of before. In those days mobile phones could mainly be afforded by a certain class of society. The group said that their legendry and visionary founder who had departed for his heavenly abode recently had dreamt of India’s common man to be able to use mobile phones. Few months later my wife returned from one of her shopping sprees (I can picture all married men twitching in their seats right now). She was in a state of bewilderment with eyes almost a meter wide. She exclaimed “You know what happened just now! I was coming back to the hotel in a rickshaw when I heard the sound of a cellphone ringing. As I reached into my bag for my mobile, the ringing stopped and I heard a man say ‘Helllloo’. I looked left, right and behind the rickshaw but didn’t see anyone. Still the conversation continued and the sound seemed to come from somewhere very close to me. And then my eyes fell on the rickshaw puller and believe me or not but it was him talking on his mobile phone!”. Instantly in my mind I saluted the vision and imagination of that great visionary.
So friends, whatever you do, don’t ever let the fire of imagination die down. It doesn’t need to be for the purpose of inventing technologies but for the purpose of your own growth and betterment. It is only when you dream of reaching a pedestal in life that you will put your efforts in getting there. As you do good for yourself, so will you do for your family, society and this beloved country of ours. So be it that plush villa or a simple 2 room apartment, that swanky car, that appointment and designation you will die for, keep dreaming and put everything you have to realize those cherished dreams.