Saturday, May 27, 2006
It was a long dark stormy night, well not exactly, but would have been great if it was. Anyway, it was an evening like any other evening in my life. Lonely, in my room, me staring at my PC & she staring back at me occasionally. I type the words "google.com” in my browser's address bar & bam, it says “Page cannot be displayed”. I get a little frustrated, this has never happened before at that hour of the evening. I hit the refresh button intently to see if the browser changes its mind & gives me my google page. But it has different plans. After fiddling around with the refreshing thingy, it gives me that error message again. I quickly check my internet
connection, all the cables are connected, all the necessary lights are lit & even blinking to show that there is a some sign of life. But the page still refuses to open. I get disgruntled. I groan in a low voice & let it rest in my head for a while. Then I pick up the phone & dial for my ISP's office. The half-wit receptionist inquires about the problem. I call there almost twice a week & she still needs reassurance & needs to ask my address, I provide with the redundant details & she “assures” that she will send someone to have a look at my internet connection.
Now let me be very clear about the assuring part. I have been an esteemed customer of my ISP for about 3 years, probably one of those right-from-the-start customers. Even the guys who work on the line fixing & connecting cables know me on a first name basis & I am being assured by a lady at the front desk that it will be alright.
Being online for more than 8 hours a day, makes you a part of the machine. Me & my PC share this unique bond, we have this symbiotic association amongst ourselves through which, it gives me internet & I give her her oxygen, power supply. It works perfectly well & we have adjusted our lifestyles according to the frequent power outages & internet connection outages. But today was different. I desperately wanted the internet, to work on something really important & in the backdrop of the frustration I completely forgot what I was about to do after getting online. So I decided to wait for the linesman to show up & check my internet connection. But the wait gets longer than I excepted & I shut her down, I actually shut down my love, my machine, my PC. She doesn't complain.
When I hear the silent hum of the cabinet's fan ward off, I realize how utterly useless can a PC be without an internet connection ! I visualize the circuits, the cable, the signals flowing through the cable to & fro from my ISP to my PC, enlightening it with the power of the internet. I look back at the nights spent on my machine reading amazing stuff on some site & the extra long chat with my special friends that went hours into the night. I remember reading the product reviews for my new cell phone & dreaming to buy the next version that was soon to come out in a matter of months. Well, its always disappointing, the model which you like is either not affordable or isn't launched yet. Well, its still free to dream about them & I remember every moment of those dreams.
I slump in my chair & hope that the linesman shows up. But deep down I know they don't give shit, atleast not not as much as I do, so he will take his time. It's only a matter of seconds after the 'linesman' thought that my brain sends a sudden impulse to my right hand & makes it pick up the book lying on my PC table. It subconsciously tells me that its time to “read”. I flip the pages to my last bookmark & get up from my chair. I goto my bed & tug in comfortably against the huge soft pillow. I begin to read. I soon get detached from the worldly disruptions like, hunger, thirst, breathing, internet & I get involved in the book. I glance at my cell phone which still sits next to my PC & I start reading again. I am in a new world. In a world ruled by dendrites & neurons who work tirelessly to make me comprehend what I am reading. My brain forgets pleasures like free speech & socializing & keeps me confined within my new found freedom. It thinks, it generates opinions, it stores important information from what I am reading, it 'disconnects' me from the world.
Its been almost 4 hours & the door bell rings. Its the linesman. He asks me to check if my internet connection is now working. Apparently he had been working on the line when I was engrossed in reading. I turn my baby on & run my browser. I punch in my ISP's homepage & voila, it shows up. I thank him & he leaves. I get back to my machine. The book I was reading lies on the bed, with the bookmark peeping out of a corner, it looks at me intently & expects me to pick it up. I don't, & it slumps, just the way I did when my internet connection didn't work. It silently weeps, but I'm too busy to notice. I found another world just waiting to be clicked.
I type the words “google.com” in my browsers address bar, I place my hand on the mouse & click “GO”.