Looks are deceptive. So are the camera phones.

Collecting memories is an integral part of our everyday lives. And it isn’t difficult to guess the easiest and most successful means of doing so. Yes, it’s our camera phones.

The rise, affordability and accessibility of good quality, in-built camera phones have paved the way for a convenient way of recording information. Scores of pictures can be taken for any chosen event in our lives. We might not always revisit them but a snappy moment is often irresistible.

I have particularly been unable to resist the temptation while bringing up my kids. It’s hard not to reach out for your smartphone when you find even their little acts adorable. Taking pictures is more like a reflex action. Whether they are playing in a park, or messing up mealtimes, ruining their art or just pulling faces, they are never more then a click away. Camera is a constant companion.

And there could be lots of fun coming from click time. Before you know, kids learn to pose and put their best face forwards. They compete for attention and command more lens-time than the others. “Take my pictures, mummy, with no baby”, often demands my 4-year-old. But all that be for good fun. I am no advocate of using camera to boost self-confidence. Only that it does sometimes lead to a pure fun-filled family time.

My recent experience with my camera phone is a case in point. It has a feature that recognises faces and indicates what age and sex you are. Not many people will honestly tell a woman how old she looks. So one morning, I thought, “Fair enough. Ask the camera. Let me see mine.” I was almost itching for it to confirm that I looked younger than my early thirties. It was a satisfying moment when it did; indicating that I was a female in late twenties, sometimes early, when I tried too hard.

I had scored a point there and it was my husband’s turn to take the test. Surprisingly, he too turned out to be in late twenties (and a male)! He is a couple of year older to me, though. Almost desperate to prove myself to him, I got into the frame again. But, I felt betrayed by my new friend, when it indicated that I was 37 years old. My husband laughed hard, as I was quiet flushed. And I wondered for a second what it was about the idea of a younger self that I momentarily got carried away with.

Anyways, it was time for a litmus test. So, I called my boys and put them in the frame. Shockingly, my older son, barely four and a half, turned out to be a teenage female in the camera. And my 2-year old, showed up as just a few years younger, but still a female face.

We had a great laugh as we dismissed all our unfavourable results. It was a good, hearty one in a long time. The whole episode, complete with the morning pictures in our dishevelled avatars, will go down the memory lane. We were just being ourselves, in our everyday lives, when a camera brightened up the day for us. Thank you technology and your lovely features that make life special.

That night, just out of curiosity, I whipped out the camera phone again, and took a picture of my sleeping tot. There was a huge smile on my face as he was still a 10-year-old female! Well, looks are deceptive. So are the camera phones.

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