“Oh!! Great! So, when exactly is the ceremony?”
“Next week, Wednesday, St. Cathedral Banquet Hall, California, check if you people can do something about it” I could hear, my didi almost in a threatening tone from the other end, “Ma, this wedding has to be in India, I am not gonna marry without everybody’s blessings!! Not fair”
That was my Mashi (Aunt) signing off on the phone, expecting her young brigade of engineers to pull off a cameo by bringing in part of Detroit, Carolina, Texas, London, Auckland, Calcutta and Delhi here at the Bay Area, California on the 18th of January 2012, 9AM EST sharp (if not physically then mentally). No wonder she reminds me of my manager.
The occasion? Well. My cousin sister – the sweetest person living till date and a darling of the entire clan (read family) is getting married to her almost-childhood sweetheart. Oh! And this occasion does call for a party, yes! A family gathering; and can it get better than this?
After the news of her marriage reached us here in Calcutta, there were much… much animated discussions about oh well… about everything. The venue, the couple, the arrangements, the guests and of course the free flowing advises from the eldest of the family about the color of the sarees, the tailors, the gifts and the intricate details of the marriage. Some heeded to and some not! Now, the fact that almost 60% of the family stays right here in Calcutta, the City of Joy won the vote for the marriage venue on the popular category by a mile. But the balance finally tilted towards to the Bay Area and it was sealed. The reception party however would be thrown at Calcutta when the bride and the groom come down to India sometime during the winter of ’12. But the fact that most of the guys who wouldn’t be able to make it to the US, did make us a bit twitchy and morose– especially my aunt who was the closest and most attached to her family. But how do we manage?
“YouTube?” - I blurred out on phone to TJ – my brother in Texas.
“Dude, we are talking about something this important, and YouTube would be like, uploading a stale video the next day and make people watch a documentary, where is the fun in here?” He growled.
“Hmm! That’s true, but what else do we have? How do we put in live streaming video and that too without buffering? Lets YouTube it and people can download it at ease and watch it at their own free will.” I asserted exasperated, devoid of any idea.
- Silence -
“Let’s webcam it from your laptop” I snapped out of the line.
“You expect me to run around Diya, with my lappy wherever she goes? Listen, did you hear about the app called Justin.tv. Fred once mentioned it to me long back; I guess that might help us here.” TJ rumbled over the phone.
“The only Justin I have heard about is the Timberlake guy” not really speaking it out in case I incur his wrath. I said, “And what exactly is that?”
“Google it out, let me check if that will work and I will give you a call in an hour”
~Bleep~ (the phone went silent)
Hopelessly clueless, I threw myself on the bed and typed in URL in search of the other Justin. I could have gone on to my laptop but I wanted to check out my new Vodafone 3G connectivity. Here is what I found –
- An app called justin.tv.
- All you have to do is to set up an account and send the link to people you want to share with.
- Basically, justin.tv will generate a webpage with live feed from the webcam.
- You can do the same thing with your cell phone, if you have an android or I-phone
- You download/install the app and then log in and broadcast from your phone camera.
- And of course you would need a super fast internet to watch the live stream.
After an hour, when TJ called back, he had already half decided. Skeptical, (provided the kind of internet services we have over here) I decided to go with Fred’s idea.
Since most of the relatives were computer half literates they were banking on me and my other cousin for the technical stuff to be conducted on the D-day.
“Okay, who has good connectivity at your place?” that was TJ’s direct question.
I fumbled for a split second, and said it’s only me and Dada (my cousin), he has this latest android so I guess that would be good.”
“Excellent!!” I have already downloaded the app, and created an account. Will mail you the link and you be there at the right time, with all the set up in place. Call up Dada and explain the process. Pass the word to the family so that they can all be there where you two guys are! ”
“But, dude it’s on a Wednesday and I have a client call that day. How do I manage to take the laptop?”
“Dude, it’s your sister’s wedding and…”
“Okhay, okhay! I will be there” I cut him short, wondering at the back of my mind whether the phone would work out.
I was excited no doubt and as the word spread that TJ have devised a way to broadcast live the wedding ceremony, there was cheer all around. Everybody was like, “Diya r biye internet e dekha jabe” (Wow! We can see Diya’s wedding over the internet). My Grand-mom was ecstatic, when she heard of the live feed to her favorite grand daughter’s wedding. She was ga-ga about it and constantly talked about how graceful she is to God.
If this succeeds then it would one of the never before high tech weddings at our family and then there were plans made, dates and times fixed. We started working on the setup and using my uncle’s 32 inch LED to connect with any of the cell phones, so that we can have a bigger screen, greater fun and much cherished moment.
My aunt called up and enquired, gave the final details on the whereabouts of the ceremony, chirped nonstop with my mom for the next two hours and everybody just couldn’t contain their happiness. Finally the D-day arrived. I haven’t seen people in our family so punctual and enthusiastic consider the average of the dynasty was nearing 40. From my Dida (mom’s mom) who is in her early 90’s to my 10 old year cousin, it was a happy ground. With a constant supply of fish fries and Coke and home-made potato chips served by my households, everybody was in their seats by the time it all started. The exchange of the rings, the oath, the blushes and apprehension, everything was life like. And then there was the kiss and the entire family burst out laughing and cheering. Surprisingly nobody really blushed or twitched. The video was spic and span. With TJ at the venue (he flew from London) broadcasting with his android and Vodafone, and every minute detail being shot at and captured and sent live and buffer free to 7 cities miles apart – class apart. It lasted for almost 2 hours and it was unadulterated fun. With an old school family of ours everybody thought it was close to P.C Sarkar’s magic show. I took half of the praise since I was at reach, and the best wishes were sent to the newlyweds over phone and long emails later in the day.
1 live marriage ceremony -7 Cities – 100 people – 1000 of miles apart!
Yes technology is fun. Internet is funnier.
This post was written with love for The Vodafone Internet Is Fun Contest at Indiblogger.