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A Story About Technology

I've said this before and I don't mind saying it again. There are times when I am convinced that technology, which is supposed to help us put our lives in order, confuses us far more than it straightens out our crooked little minds.

I became aware of this for the millionth time yesterday when my computer engineer came over to help me synchronise a new gadget with my desktop. (A hand held PC). He took one look at the mess of wires sticking out from behind the computer table and offered to straighten it all out for me. I thought why not, it wont take more than about fifteen minutes. Believe me, the clean up operation took Jamshed more than one and a half hours and Jamshed is QUICK and organised, himself!

When he pulled out the work table and I actually SAW the tangle of black wires I almost fainted. You know how it is. There is what they call the CPU, and various things like the mother board (why not father or Uncle board, actually?) and there is the monitor, and the UPS and the modem and the stereo speakers and and and ... Each of those separate objects comes with its own heap of wires which get tangled up in each other so in the end you have no clue as to where one begins and the other ends, and it all somehow looks like the messed up thoughts in a giant messed up human head.

Well J. began sorting out the wires very patiently, to do which he had to unplug each device, one by one. While he was doing this, I had the eerie and totally mad fantasy (hello paranoia!) of the bloke taking advantage of my dazed status and blinking eyes to quietly and smilingly walk away with the whole damn equipment, leaving me feeling like Dr. Livingstone being caught and dragged off to its den, by a stately lion (though, Dr. L. did manage to shake himself free from the beast's mouth and crawl off to safety.) I imagined my entire computer and the associated paraphernalia being walked out like an obedient dog, and me sitting there sucking my thumb and robbed of the source of my primary addiction.

Then I went on to more practical things and asked myself the inevitable question - which I have asked myself at least a thousand times before: if something like this impossible scenario were to really unfold, if my comp and all that was associated with it were to disappear overnight due to whatever ... earthquake, floods, theft, what would happen? The answer was - nothing. Nothing would happen. Or then again, left without ANY source of diversion (I have given up the usual people associated diversions for a long time now) maybe I would become truly enlightened.

Well, I didn't get enlightened yesterday evening. J. finished his work like a good boy and three hours after he had arrived, packed his bag and got ready to go, leaving my work table looking spic and span. Not before wishing me Happy Diwali with a firm handshake, though, and offering to bring me home cooked Biryani in the coming week when his family would be celebrating Id.

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About the author:

Uma is a writer and psychotherapist. Her book "Bombay to Eternity - Memoirs of a Laidback Rebel" was published by Penguin Books (India) in 2004. She has worked in various fields ranging from advertising to environmental conservation and teaching deaf children and adults. She is currently engaged in networking with people interested in the development of community spirit - across the boundaries of time and space.