On life and its vagaries


with 20 comments

To be frank guys, I am a complete dud as far as computers are concerned. Not that I am any better in others, to keep you guys happy. In fact I find so many gaps in my understanding that I sometimes despair of understanding anything at all. I don’t even know what the bungling electricity is!

It works is all I care about.

The other day a little child asked me what electricity is, I told her its sheer magic and sent her to the nearest super intellectual for confirmation. The guy was an electrical engineer. Engineers are duds, I happen to know a few, and they bunch together to cry when I smile at them.

So I did not expect any lucidity from one of their ilk.

Surprisingly the girl came back quite satisfied.

I could barely contain my curiosity. Did he know what electricity is after all?

I called her to me and queried.

What did he tell you?

Oh, about electricity? He told me that it’s a little girl called energy that has run away from home. She came here from the Sun and fell into this wire and lot of other things besides and can’t get out, we are trying to help her find a way out to get back to her family…..

Whew ……A little lengthy perhaps, anyway………

I must tell you, it was the one time I felt a real respect for an intellectual. If the dude could cook up such a yarn at a moment’s notice as to satisfy a little child well there is some hope for the community still.

Well coming back to computers,

I had a machine which was working fine till it got electrocuted by lightening the other day. It had a TV Tuner card in it (Oh, I watch the TV too, in case you want to know).

Now the cable from our cable suppliers is directly connected to the lower lumbar region of my computer. I know the learned call it by some other name, maybe it is the back panel or it’s the rear panel. Lately I am totally confused to know which is which.

Anyway, the day began quite dark and dangerous. The tropical storms are mighty; they can ignite even a rock face. I grew apprehensive about the mortality of my system immediately, though I have a stabilizer connected to it to safeguard the thing. Don’t ask me what a stabilizer is. The wise say that none in the other parts of the world knows what it is. So how in the god’s name am I supposed to know it?

The intellectual who came to install the system was emphatic. He was a computer technician.

You need it big brother. He said. It regulates voltage fluctuations, and grants you a full five minutes time before the system shuts down.

It has a trick of shutting down by itself does it? I asked quite awed.

The intellectual looked at me with unconcealed compassion. I could see thoughts taking form in his mind. ‘Not all are blessed with brains in this world’.

He sighed in resignation and went on to explain it all to me.

Chetta, when the power goes the system can’t function, it has to shut down. It’s like the lights you know, no power no light. You switch the lights on and there is no light, there is only darkness. See that fridge, no power no cooling. See my point?

Well could I say I did not see it after that?

So I installed the stabilizer. But that was no guarantee that the system would be safe if it stays connected to the power sockets.

And I did every other thing right on that fateful day, I unplugged all the electrical lines from their sockets and switched off every mechanical, electrical device in the vicinity including the only human device in the periphery, that of course was yours truly (The wife has a definite aversion to the ‘computer room’ as she calls it. She views the poor computer as her sworn enemy and is unbelievably antagonistic to it. She wants me to compute with her all the time it seems).

Anyway my short term and long term memory being what it is, I forgot to unplug the damn TV cable from it. I had not used it for over a few months, did not get time enough to watch the muck on display.

The storm thundered and flashed for a long time. The wife had placed her fingers in her ears and was leaving me alone for the time being, a rare event if I am not with the computer.

But she suddenly asked me after a terrible piece of lightning and spine chilling thunder had just subsided.

What’s that globule in that room?

Globyu……. What globule? I said alarmed. I always had this fear of the supernatural.

That’s flickering over there, in the computer room?

Being the man of the house I had to investigate the mysterious event. Normally, if I can manage it, I would send everyone including the house cat first to look into it before I ventured out. But the wife hates cats and she would not budge if the world shook like hell in situations like these. If she has fear of anything in the world it is of thunderstorms.

Thinking that it’s my sorry lot I took my courage in hand and moved cautiously towards the source of the light.

It was what she had described. A globe of fire the size of a foot ball was flickering in the air just above the computer; it did not last long and dispersed into thin air.

There are moments of extreme lucidness in our lives where everything becomes crystal clear to us. It was one such moment in my life.

It’s a thunder ball. I declared.

It’s what?

I recalled my experience with the intellectual technician and patiently explained to my wife.

It’s a ball of thunder, you know, lightening…… discharge of energy……amalgamation………combination of…… know a sphere of electrical charge.

She is much sharper than me at all times and quickly responded.

Check whether it came from the computer.

What are you saying! How can the computer produce an event like that? It’s switched of, for god’s sake. It’s a phenomenon of nature.

If the phenomenon of nature shows up in that particular room, then the computer is gone. You haven’t unplugged it.

As you can imagine even a saint can get exasperated at such baseless criticisms, but I have been a husband of some years standing now and know the sweetness of peace and quiet. So I toned down the tirade that was forming in my mind and said simply and proudly.

I did, pretty one, I did.

Then you haven’t unplugged the TV cable!

My head reeled. I felt all giddy and dizzy. Dollars, Francs, Rubles, Rupees, my mind wailed.

I have lost it all.

So the matter was, after the storm passed and the power came back I switched it on with dread, well there was nothing to be frightened about, the system was smoked.

I called our intellectual technician in.

He said the brother-mode is gone or maybe it’s the mother board.

It is trouble?

Not if you live in the Buckingham palace. He said wisely.

I was fast catching up this time; adversity has a way of brightening up our brain neuron activity. I asked very, very cautiously.

How much should I buck?

He nodded his head in appreciation at the alacrity of my mental activity and named something astronomical.

Although a bit faint, I had to congratulate him heartily.

Man, you are a mathematician!

He didn’t exactly bow like a matador, but his bow seemed very like it.

Occupational hazard, my dear sir, occupational hazard………

Well anyway I Okayed the purchase. What else can I do, can anyone live without computers in this time and age?

He brought the mother board in and fitted it the very next day, cautioning all the while,

It’s a branded system sir; and this mother board is not compatible with the cabinet and other electrical connections inside. You might encounter problems

Well I have experienced none so far. The system would start, boot and would shut down. Then it would restart, boot, and shut down. Then it would……..

I am waiting it to go beyond that…….


20 Responses

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  1. thanks for sharing…


    September 10, 2009 at 9:12 pm

  2. You are very welcome Arnold


    September 11, 2009 at 5:42 am

  3. its hilarious.. loved it from beginning to the end.. well, though it costed too much but you saw a sight of lifetime.. thunderball inside room!


    September 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

  4. Thank you. Though I introduced elements into it to make it funnier, the thunder ball was real. That was the only consolation in the loss.

    I had never seen one before. Actually it was a very beautiful sight. Myriads of many colored and luminous filaments laced together in an incredible and intricate network to form a ball of fire. There was even something supernatural in the sight. I was awed. I have heard that in houses where the wiring is bad such an event might occur. Some in my village is said to have have seen it. It is rare for it to occur in modern houses, that is unless we forget to unplug cables coming directly out of a dish.

    Well luckily its an after effect of a lightening-strike and seems harmless to people. That is, if you are lucky to see the thunder ball you are well and safe 🙂


    September 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm

  5. hey I enjoyed reading it a lot and I think I’m gonna read your other posts as well in the future. You write in a way too good!


    September 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm

  6. Thank you stranger for those kind words. I am happy that you liked it. You are most welcome to my blog. And thanks a lot for the nice compliment.


    September 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  7. dear sam,
    this was a rare luck.. it compensated a little for the monetary loss.. one thing is for sure its a chance of a lifetime, you will never forget it. lucky you though i dont want to swap my place with you.. 🙂
    today it was thundering a lot and the first thing i remembered was your “thunderball” 🙂


    September 12, 2009 at 6:08 pm

  8. I can’t gainsay your words. It was rare luck. The money side doesn’t seem to matter now when looking back. Its true, its the chance of a life time.

    I too don’t want you anywhere near a thunderball. That would be far too dangerous. I am happy that you remembered my sad tale of loss during the time of thunder 🙂

    It should keep you safe from venturing anywhere near an electrical appliance at such times


    September 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm

  9. dear sam,
    i was sitting right infront of the pc and thinking if i will turn it off and disconnect the internet 🙂

    though fortunately i never forgot the cable connection.. i think they are the risky ones, we had cable television cable connected to the computer earlier.. now we have grown out of idiot box we have crawled inside the web box and are going to stay here..


    September 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm

  10. I hope the storms are not anywhere near you now. Yes the TV is truly an idiot box. It loads our heads with wicked images and sounds and keep our brains numb. I do enjoy an occasional HBO movie in it though. Yet we can only sit and take what it gives us. But the net is a whole magical realm. You have the freedom to call information to you. The resources are immense. I am intrigued by this strange sort of reality, the virtual one, where does it reside? ‘The blue nowhere’ as one writer called it.

    If there was no net I would not have met a wonderful heart like you. I am all for the net


    September 13, 2009 at 7:27 pm

  11. dear sam,
    before i started to browse from home i never thought that i will become addicted to internet or any thing.. i never got addicted to any thing before internet.. (other than tea).
    i too rarely watch movies, that too in CD, so i can do my things and watch the movie.. i have lived such a busy life that i almost never had those hours (which it takes in cable television to show a movie) to sit at a place and watch a movie so i never got addicted to idiot box.
    but internet is something completely different.. it helps you to develop yourself, in the field you want to.. to me its a real blessin.


    September 15, 2009 at 6:19 am

  12. Yes I too have noticed how busy you are and the late hours in which you post your comments and poems. You must love it very much to sit up so late. The net is addictive. To me it has always been. I love books and the free resources available would boggle the mind. Project Guttenberg is one. It has all the books upto 1920’s I think. Then there is a wonderful site called Truly Free org. I know you have heard of it. It tries to bring the most contemporory books to you for free. I love the site. You can only download 5 books at a time. But there are about two thousand of the comparatively recent books on it.
    I love the non fiction section of the site. Fiction contains everything from Agatha Christie to even the most recent ones. It is an absilute wonder site.

    I am always at such sites. Yes the net is terribly addictive.


    September 15, 2009 at 9:58 am

  13. dear sam,
    no i did not knew about these two sites, will sure check them. do you like agatha christie? i dont like her stories much, i love arthur conan doyle’s stories, where he gives clear hints through out the story but you can never catch the thief.. 🙂


    September 16, 2009 at 6:29 pm

  14. I only mentioned Agatha Christie because it is the lightest the site has. In Thrillers it even has John Grisham. I will do one thing, I will leave the URL in your site. Check it out . It will delight you.


    September 16, 2009 at 7:33 pm

  15. john grisham is tooooooooo gory and pulpy.. i am very choosy about s and v.. 🙂


    September 18, 2009 at 12:02 pm

  16. I did not get that last part. Anyway, I thought you were interested in Christie type stuff. Grisham stands at the top of such stuff now. If you want classics , check the site, Umberto Echo, Milan Kundera, Italo Calvino , Gunter grass, Trueman Capote, Henry Miller, Ayn Rand, Coetze, I could relate names without end, you name it they have it. In non fiction the choice is even great. I was not leading you to a trash site. It is the greatest site on recently published books on internet at present.


    September 18, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  17. No i am not that interested in crime thrillers, doyle is the only one who impresses me.. because of his exclusive stories.

    i prefer writers like maupassant, maugham, o henry.. who write stories about you and me 🙂


    September 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

  18. Maupassant is my guy too, O henry of course, Maugham a little too off for me. Among the older ones I like Graham Green, Huxley, Waugh, Wilde, Thomas Mann. Well there is a lot. Now I prefer guys like Kundera ( wonderful writer), Eco, Coetze, among the contemporary ones.

    Dosteyevsky is my all time favourite. No one to beat him really. Used to like Hemingway.

    Masters like Joyce, Wolf, Proust always delight.


    September 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm

  19. i did not had any chance of reading any of your favourites..

    i have a book of maupassant’s short stories and i have read it again and again, same with a big collection of maugham stories which was at my home, and as for o henry i have read only one book of his short stories.

    i like louis l amour, arthur c doyle too.

    apart from these i have read a lot of translations in bengali.. hugo, duma a huge number of them, have forgotten most of them

    as a child i loved the stories of Tarzan 🙂


    September 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm

  20. You can go to that site I mentioned earlier and read all you like. It is good to get in touch with the current trend 🙂


    September 22, 2009 at 9:09 pm

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