Okay, to begin with, that isn’t an innovative title! There is a reason why I am using it. But I will come to it a little later. I am soon to be jobless, after all a maternity leave doesn’t equate to a sustained take home after 3 months. And more so since my Boss, after our little conversation yesterday said that I would definitely need more than the customary 3 months to return to work! After that, I am not left with much of a choice! I sigh a good-bye to my not-so-handsome salary…at least for sometime!
This is the first time I am entering a contest! I mean I have in the past, but this is the first time I am opening up my writing to public gaze…not for viewing, but for judgement! Without getting under the duress of being judged, let me do that which I do best…tell you a few stories!
I am not what you would say a ‘gadget freak’, but I am what you could say a Techno-Crat and then there was the case of sleepless nights that I suffered for an uncomfortable lust. A craving of a very strange kind that led to the acquisition of the New Toy!! I don’t know much about gadgets, except for their utility! I am an easy client, guided by my peers’ experiences I decide what to buy and sometimes switch loyalties based on familiarity! My history with phones in my previous posts will tell you enough of that!
The reason why this post is called ‘Gadget-o-nomics’ is because there are few tools that I absolutely need now, but don’t have enough money for them! I am struggling with my conscience to go out there and indulge in a few new buys, but then there is a hushed voice inside that tells me that I must practice restrain…again!
The first thing that I really want is something that I have never owned. A DLSR camera! I love photography, and there is a hidden desire in me to own a semi-professional unit someday! I learnt the ladders of the art a long time back, and to be honest I haven’t ventured out with my experiments too much ever since. I don’t even own a point & shoot now! I have a phone with a 5MP camera and there’s quite a bit of photography that I have done with it. It may sound really juvenile, but I have travelled to Goa and even Egypt (yikes) with it! The reason why I haven’t upgraded until now is because, well, I haven’t been able to save enough! There is a part of me that always wanted to take a trip…alone! I have a secret desire to go on a road trip around the country. To drive, halt, experience India, click lots of pictures and write about my experience! I had planned and hoped that I’d be able to squeeze in a smaller, modest trip before I got married. But the workaholic in me never had the time to scoot off!! The fact that I don’t have enough money to buy it is also an indication that I don’t have enough in my bank to undertake such an ambitious trip!! To me, a car, an unknown destination, my unfettered mind and a DSLR is something that would complete me…someday…the day will come…Inshallah!
The second object on the contrary is an object that I already own. And this one is not about the economics really. Instead it is connected to my matters of the heart. A connection that I share with a gadget…my laptop! One of the first things that I bought as soon as I started earning was a laptop – a Compaq V3000 series with a Celeron processor. Five years back she cost me a few pennies less than 40 grand and over this period of time she has been my constant companion. But there is a story behind how I got her. New to a news channel, the whole idea of ‘hot-desking’ was pretty scary to me. Since I was (and still am) part of the programming team, a computer was the most precious object in office besides, well, a pen! If you got one, you had to hold on to it with your life. Those were the early days of the organisation, even before it went on air and so there were a lot many faces usually seen around. Quite naturally, that meant the computers were all taken! For a team of 3 members, the organisation had deemed it fit to allot just one computer. We all had individual log ins, but it was hardly much of use to any of us! To settle this constant tug of war, I decided to abandon the useless battle and liberate my self. Like every newbie in the professional world, I ran to my father for advice! Now, to be honest, as I made that call I half expected him to volunteer to pay for a laptop, but he turned around saying, “Great! Buy it then…take a personal loan and pay an EMI!” With a puppy dog face that he couldn’t see (since this conversation was over the phone), I added, “But who will give me a loan??” I could imagine my father’s grin as he said, “Your bank darling! You have a salary account and they’d be more than happy to give you one!” And so, it was settled! I bought my first gadget, with my own, hard earned money and held on to her as the most precious object for the rest of the days. I lugged her to office everyday. Filled up the pockets of the laptop bag with useless pieces of paper and made her heavier! Those were the modest, struggling days of my life and I lived in an ‘affordable’ locality, took public transport to work everyday. Ferrying my own self, a tiffin bag (for want of home cooked healthy food) and the laptop for most of the next 2 years, I took away an important part of my physiology! The function of my spinal chord was mildly damaged and I was left with a rickety neck! “On the verge of spondylitis!” that’s what the doctor me…but by then, the damage had been done!
To say that I blame the laptop for my crooked neck would be a lie. She’s been a savior and a close friend if not anything else! She has delivered countless scripts on time, read and replied to thousands of emails, safely protected my pictures and music for so many years now. In her heart lies the first chapter of my novel, a short story that I am writing for my unborn child and some secret files from my own heart! I can never blame her…she is an extension of who I am. I was fooled by my vendor when I brought her home. I didn’t know where to look and didn’t bother to check the ‘Genuine Windows Certificate’. When she started hiccupping two years later, I was told by my IT friends in office that I should have looked better. She kept crashing every second day and I literally worked on back up files all the time. They installed several layers of anti-virus for protection, and that has saved it until now! Down the years, she broke her limbs. The adapter split in two with constant use and misuse (working in a news channel does come with its bad days)! She underwent a stitch (soldering) and when that too came apart, she had to be glued together. That too was not a long term fix. Today, she is all taped up with a cello tape. Held together, functioning like a grand old dame, her heart is weak too. Take out the adapter and her battery starts palpitating in less than ten minutes! She needs a makeover, perhaps…but my heart tells me that there is nothing more than I can possibly too. Like an infirm, yet loyal friend my retired hurt laptop is trudging along. There are times, after a long day of chronicling and searching, she has hung her boots for the day, as a gentle reminder of the fact that she deserves some rest and so do I!
Her days are numbered. I can feel it. Perhaps I should take another back up. Soon! I am not sure if I’d like to give her up…and I hope she is ambling along the difficult road just for me! I may sound emotional, but I am a loyal friend to my trustworthy companion. And I will stay with her as long as she doesn’t decide to let go… Dell says ‘Change is Easy’, I am not so sure…
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