Saturday, June 5, 2010

Motoring Mayday

A month-long vacation can hardly be something to be wary of. Unless, of course, you have had to contend with a week-long bout of viral fever. And downtrodden cricket performances on the TV.

May is hardly a significant month. No country I have heard of rose to independence in May. No formula 1 championship was won in May. And I’m sure it means nothing to you that my amazingly lethargic dog came home in a basket, on the third day of May in 2008. May is hardly an example of vibrant nomenclature, as opposed to, say, January, which sounds like a flame orange berry, picked by full-lipped women, and grown in valleys surrounded by snow-capped peaks. May, is just that – may; uncertainty.

May 2010 wasn’t any different. The first week was a blokey affair – endless beer, surfboarding nude towards newly-weds trying to make their presence ‘felt’, filling dozing mates’ trunks with mint toothpaste - try it; apart from letting through a gripping cold sensation, it takes three hours of vigorous scrubbing to rid oneself of it (private parts can take longer, and may come off) .

The rest of May was quite a revelation, honestly. Basking in the glory of not having lost any private organs, I spent the month at my best conduct. This means more free mbs were eaten into on my beloved point-and-shoot, the dog was walked that extra mile, and most importantly, the iPod got substantial updates.

I have often found myself to be noticeably hateful of electro-wizardry. Most of it, I consider unnecessary, and the rest, garbage. But still, my kit-rack is piled with the most comprehensive of gadgetry. There are a few USB drives, at least eight cables which plug every audio device in the world to a car or to a set of ice-cool portable speaker units (of which I have four), a spare Nokia, more cables, and a pretty elaborate calculator. There is also a digital compass, needless to say, for the day I decide to go for a spot of climbing up Mt.Everest’s famed sidewalls, on my way to a haircut. And lastly, but very much the centre of my daily life, is the iPod.

It connects to the car, all four portable speaker units, the home theatre (it took some indigenous cabling), the amplifier in the gym, and INSAT – your friendly neighbourhood satellite. Well, of course I made up the last bit, but what the heck. Great, so now I have music on my way to the barber’s, music in the gym, and music when I’m with people I’m pretending to listen to. I even have an album of Osho’s discourses, thanks to a generous download offer I found on the web the other day.

But last week, disaster struck. Almost the same day as the Boeing 737-800 went down in Mangalore, my father’s laptop (I don’t think I’m ever going to buy one) crashed. And my entire audio library was, in a word, gone. Now, I have no clue how I managed this, but the moment I plugged my iPod in for a fresh update, everything on my iPod was gone too.

A friend later said “Ah, you idiot! That can’t be it. I’m sure you must have got a prompt asking you whether you wanted sheep in your jelly.” Or something like that. Now I never really bother with prompts unless they’re glowing red, with skull-and-bones imagery. But now, every time I plug in an electronic device onto a laptop, I read everything, even all the fine print. Actually, I don’t.

Last evening, which is when everything happens in my life, I took to the best alternative out of more such digitally processed misery – the motorcycle keys.

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