In August, 2018 Apple became the first ever Trillion Dollar Company.
My mom, even in her late seventies, insisted on being independent, living alone in her Mumbai apartment, making her own tea, cooking her own food, shopping for her own groceries. She would occasionally chat with her neighbors, who were kind and always, they assured us, at her service if she ever needed anything, and would check up on her regularly. She’d visit nearby relatives and stay for days. They’d visit her.
In her eighties, she began to weaken, couldn’t leave the house as much. The neighbors shopped for her. We hired a maid to cook for her. She complained about the food, we changed maids—again and again, but it was never *just right*
As she became more isolated, we worried more than usual. But she was still happy to be independent. I got her an iPad. At first it was just for FaceTime. She loved it and we talked often. Then on her next annual visit to us in Thailand, I set it up so that she had only a few icons to worry about. I showed her music, and YouTube and how to search for her favorite shows and old Bollywood movies. I installed Hindi and Gujarati keyboards. She mastered what she needed to and she was delighted.
She’s 88 now and lives with us here in Thailand, too frail to be independent. She had to be persuaded, but she’s settled in now and happy. I learned to cook so I could make the foods she likes. Even better, Wa makes soups that she loves; it’s easier for her than chewing. But mostly she’s happy because I’m close by and because she has her iPad, and most of our relatives in India have iPads and she can FaceTime them anytime she wants. When they have family get togethers, she joins in via FaceTime. And she can listen to religious hymns and sing along, and watch old Bollywood films she’d heard about in her youth but couldn’t afford to watch.
She cannot imagine her life without her iPad. To me and to her, that’s a trillion dollar gift, from Apple, to us.