Skip to main content

Electric blues

You know the scenario... there you are, sauntering along the street, minding your own business and whistling tunelessly. Maybe the sun isn't shining. Birds may not be chirping away in the trees. All may not be joy, jollity and song. But, things are not gloom and doom either. While there isn't a spring in your step, there definitely isn't a droop in your shoulders either. Maybe... err, I suppose you do get it. Anyway, like I said, you are sauntering. Then, it happens. Of course it does. You either walk into a lamp-post or fall down an open manhole.

I contemplated leaving my laptop in Birmingham. It made sense to do so, considering my destination. Apart from the numerous horrible and highly imaginative tragedies that could have befallen it, that laptop is very heavy and I was not looking forward to giving my best Quasimodo impression as I lugged it all over. I discussed the matter with Grandpa. It was one of the days the neurons were firing in that cranium because he eventually convinced me that it'd come of some use over here. Besides, there was a slight lack of enthusiasm among the crew when it came to shouldering responsibility for my laptop. Just a tad, mind you, but it was there.

It came in use alright. The first day I came to work, I was politely directed to a dusty pile of boxes and wires. On closer inspection, that eye-catching arrangement proved to be the computer assigned to me and a keener ocular inspection confirmed my initial fears. Rather than bore you with details, let me put it succinctly - I would not have been surprised to discover that you needed to use punch cards to feed in data into that antediluvian piece. Pinnacle of technology, it was not. Enter the laptop.

After I was assigned or rather cobbled together a much better PC, the laptop stayed home. Not having the internet back in my excuse for an apartment (trust me, a good-sized Godrej cupboard can compete rather well with the floor space I live in), it was used mainly for music and whatever work I needed to bring home. Like I said before... sauntering along.

Yesterday, it refused to start. It got to the introductory screen cheerily reminding me that it was a Dell product. About 15 minutes later, the same screen was leering at me rather triumphantly. Now I don't claim to be an expert at gizmos, but it is a fact that I'm rather good at repairing them. One of the less dubious talents, you might say. But the laptop defeated me. Short of going at it with a hammer, I tried everything. At about 11:30 pm, finding myself absently pleading with the screen, I had to admit defeat. And then I wondered where in this city I'd find a capable comp-tech chap.

Our office technician, on examining it today for about 20 minutes, turns to me and remarks rather brightly that the system seems stuck. I kid you not. This enlightening bit of 'nollij' was delivered after he'd turned the computer on and off about 7 times, mind you. While I struggled to decide between laughing helplessly and swearing colourfully, he suggested we take it to his office and have another crack at it. About an hour later, another bright bean at the aforementioned techno-temple calmly tells me it's a hardware problem and that they'll let me know the verdict tomorrow. Nature, wanting to get in on the fun, decides to pick that moment to announce itself with thunder and rain-showers. Very umm... poetic.

Unexpectedly, a few hours later, I get a phone call from the very same bright bean who monotonously announces that they have found the problem. The culprit is the cd-rom drive which has become corrupt. Thankfully, it is the one part of the laptop I barely ever use, which now that I think of it, may be the reason for the revolt. In protest, as it were.

Anyway, since it couldn't be repaired, the chaps, thoroughly helpful to the end, removed the cd drive. Leaving the laptop with a gaping hole on the side, covered by cello tape.

It could be worse, I suppose...

Song for the moment: Fixing a hole - The Beatles


Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Last of my kind

(This post hasn't come out as well as I wanted. But I'm still pissed off, so.)

Why do we have heroes? What is it about someone that triggers a decision to nail our colours to their mast? I don't have a neat answer so what you read from here on is both an explanation and an exploration. In a post-modern world driven by counter-points, certainty is a luxury.

I missed the boat when it came to India's ODI cricket madness. We moved abroad in the late 80s. When I left, my friends and I wanted to be Kapil, Kris or Sunil. When I returned, god was getting comfortable on his heavenly couch and all was right with a world I did not recognise. I had missed Sachin's opening batsman debut against New Zealand, the hullabaloo of the Hero Cup and other notable moments. So, I was interested in cricket, not any particular sportsman. Not even during the '96 World Cup. When India muffed it against Sri Lanka, I hurt for the team, not for a player.

Then came Dravid. And, personally, …

Let her go

Have you noticed how we throw things out a lot more than before? Of course, city-dwellers like us have more, now that disposable incomes are the norm. Does it also allow us to dispose of things so easily? I was the object of much mirth/ridicule at work today because I wanted to get a golf umbrella repaired. One colleague wondered if it was worth the effort, another asked why I did not just buy a different one while others chuckled when they realised neither of these thoughts had occurred to me. I trudged off, wondering if they were right. What exactly was driving me to take the trouble?

I think back to to the 80s and living in my Thatha's (grandpa) house. Today's 'use-and-throw' culture would have shocked him to the core. The man was the epitome of prudence. Since we weren't exactly floating in doubloons, the family followed suit. Thatha wore the same watch for over 50 years. A small umbrella, bought by my mother with her first salary, was well on its way to becom…