Friday, August 17, 2007 Calls This A Premier Blog...

Hi Folks! chose this blog as one of India's premier blogs !

I received this bit of glad tidings with a mixed bag of emotions, akin to slurping an icecream cone and banging your head against a low entrance. Frankly it came as a shot in the arms to a writer who had given up on the fickle crowd reading his raves and rants. No matter what you do, writers, your readers will not be faithful or loyal to you. Remember these prophetic words... it will save you heart-burn.

Thank you, I needed your support. I had been neglecting this blog for too long. Now I shall write more regularly. Hopefully.

It's been almost a year now since I relocated from Chennai, despite several warnings and oodles of well-meaning of advice, I continued with the name which surely is highly misleading for I haven't seen Chennai even once during the intervening period. Am likely to be visiting it very soon, but that's an another story. So the name shall continue.

There indeed are some loyalists amongst my well-meaning friends who tell me they enjoy reading my rambling thoughts about various travels. 'Zen Writer' aka John Mathew, suggested I call it 'Max Tracks'. My wife said I run into trouble every time I travel so the name 'Travel Travails' would be more apt. I guess so. Why travel travails, you will get to know by and by, there are stories crawling out from the basket like restless eel-like fish one sees jumping up and about in an open rectangular tray under a Pipal tree, on the road to the Anna Nagar East side Poonga (the park for the Tamil-challenged).

The latest story here, is my trip to Ambernath -where I had been in Feb. this year and written a detailed couple of blogs -never posted. The laptop that supported me brightly through my Chennai days, concked out in the cooler confines of the hill station-like ambience of Bavdhan, the valley wherein we stay, in Pune. It didn't die out like a man with a massive heart-attack. It died slowly like a chronic case of diabetes, funnily, it revived itself so often, I erroneously concluded it was a mechanical fault. According to several repairers it was not a loose connection or some such mundane thing. It was the 'motherboard' -I have become a bull to tht red rag of a tag, 'motherboard'. There are lusty swearwords prefaced with 'mother' and I know several of them in several languages but none makes my bile levels hit the roof like 'motherboard' does. God help the next pretender who wants to take my Toshiba Satellite laptop and come back saying the 'motherboard' has kicked the bucket. It can't I keep telling them.

The first such adventurer was a UP-ite running a so-called 'we do chip-level repairs' sort of laptop repairer. It took me hours to reach him and since I have done extensive electronics repairs, even manufacturing, something no one will believe, I could see they were under pressure. Under way too much pressure to be free to do chip-level repairs. It is an easy way out to replace whole cards rather than replace chips... it was plain to see. I left the laptop with this young dark and ugly specimen, who said he would keep it for four days minimium. We were to go to Goa for the X'mas holidays, so even a week didn't matter.

His 'take-it-or-leave-it; attitude, coupled with a superb arrogance befitting the Prince of Xanadu, that only easy money, ill-begotten wealth can breed, didn't go down well with me at all. 'The motherboard is gone.' he said when I met him next. He said it pontifically, a statement five other guys with very different looks and outlooks on life were to repeat as shamelessly as experienced street-walkers. The cost would be Rs.19,000/- he also added. Since i had bought the laptop at just Rs7,000/- more, it sounded like the engine of my second hand car had conked out. I tried every trick with him but he clung to this mother-freaking motherboard like a desperate lizard sticking to the outside wall in a cyclone. I gave up.

Next to get my goat was good old Lalit, my hardware man who fixed my PC so well, I sent him to three more friends. He avoided looking at my laptop the way one avoids looking at the luscious sister of a new friend on the first visit. Instinctively I knew something was amiss. When a guy doesn't look you in the eye there's mischief afoot. Something terriby dishonest. He sat on my poor laptop for another two weeks and finally rang me up : 'The motherboard is gone.' I whispered extremely naughty words beginning with mother- but he was deep into some hardware explanation that sounded like a fairytale.

The third torturer exists in Nashik. I lugged my heavy laptop -why does it get heavier when it doesn't work? And he came to the factory where I have spent months designing, assekmbling and now testing India's largest and most sophisticated plasma ion nitriding system -fully automated. He seemed in charge of the seemingly advanced 'bluetooth' multistation internet services etc. I gave him the laptop and it rotted further for nearly a month with him. Today, tomorrow he went onmakin excuses and giving false promises. Whenever I increased pressure he sent the laptop back saying he was not free to look into it. Finally he too rang up and told me what I didn't want to hear :' The motherboard is gone.'

Now the mother of all hopes is gone. I have learnt how to live without a laptop.


(c) Max Babi


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