A Matter Of Life And Death


http://www.deccanherald.com/content/185059/matter-life-amp-death.html

Sometime ago, I noticed that the cord molded into the adapter of my laptop had frayed with age.

I put a plaster over the exposed wire and mastered the art of toggling the cord, to allow the current to pass and keep the computer alive to serve my needs. I intended to repair or replace the cord within a couple of days. However, it appeared as if the gods could not stand my pragmatism.

Two days later, the cord of life broke down completely and eventually the battery drained out, imprisoning all my contents on the laptop indefinitely. When I took the cord to the nearest electronic shop, it was promptly diagnosed as “brought dead”. A replacement of the cord was out of the question because I was told that the company which made my computer no longer makes it. After this brusque revelation, I was advised to buy a new computer. When I broached the subject of my buried data, I was superciliously asked to excavate it from my “back up” copy.

I nodded vaguely and went out to another computer clinic only to meet my Waterloo again. I was repeatedly told to trash my ancient relic and buy the latest model, by all and sundry whose help I sought. What had appeared to be a mundane chore at the outset, turned out to be a formidable challenge too tantalising to ignore! It teased me into a dogged determination to accomplish the impossible.

Strangely, I was reminded of the tale of Gautami who went to Buddha to revive her dead child back to life. She was asked by the Buddha to get a handful of mustard seeds from a home that had seen no death to make her see sense.

Days flit past; I clung to my dead wire even as I was educated about exchange schemes and markets which sold duplicate spare parts. I gained the contacts of people who had possessed the same model of laptop not until very long ago. I was subtly told that I was mulish, miserly and miserably obsolete. These comments made me resolve to scrutinise my psyche once I overcame the crisis on hand. I decided to try one last time to restore my e-companion before going in for a replacement.

A young hardware amateur offered to try out an unconventional method which may or may not restore my set. The proverbial drowning man who found a blade of grass to cling on to could not have felt more grateful than me! I gave him the green signal and watched him at work.

He gleefully brought down a little hammer on the adapter and slit it open. He cut out the frayed length of the cord tactfully and tossed it aside with a flourish and soldered the healthy part of the cord to the adapter. Then he taped the processor in three places with the dexterity of a surgeon and plugged in the cord. Electricity coursed through the bandaged adapter and the amputated cord brought back the glow of life to my e-friend.

My joy knew no bounds and I spread the good news the e-way, waiting to be commended for my perseverance and the young man’s ingenuity. Sure enough, congratulatory messages poured in, but they were punctuated with sincere sinister warnings asking me to shrug my smugness and get around to buying the newest equipment, lest I am relinquished as a fossil in the e-world!

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