Tuesday, 18 September 2007


Some 20 years ago, when I first heard about the search engine, I was a greenhorn and computer was Greek to me. Then, today’s humble television was virtually ruling the roost in my country India making the dwarf looking radio sets things of antiquity. I must reveal to you that some years prior to the golden period, I along with my best friend rode a dilapidated bi-cycle and pedaled hard to reach a particular spot of my city to have a rare and exclusive glance of the queer looking TV antenna carefully mounted atop a freshly whitewashed double storied building. Though, like the other inquisitive onlookers, we could not discover the TV in question in black and white, nevertheless it was a rare experience for us—or we thought so, somehow not being fully convinced. I took a vow, then and there, that I would open a bank account in a nationalized bank to save enough money to turn my dream in to reality, of owning a real TV someday soon. I did not tell this to my friend for reasons not known to me as yet. I did so living a life of fine balancing by nearly starving myself and other family members including my girl friend of that time for a long torturous period of about five years. It certainly bore fruits and finally I brought a small box like b&w TV set with much enthusiasm. I took my time in private to settle score with the proud wretched fellow who had the courage to hide the TV and was crooked enough to show the antenna only—that too on a hot day.
With the new TV set, came a newfound status, though it was short-lived. The much jealous and extra cunning neighbors and sundry city dwellers were smart enough in quickly acquiring bigger and bigger and still bigger TV sets with color screens, remote control gadgets and god knows whatnot to mock at me. Failing to compete with them, I resigned to a fate of despondency. Intermittently, I tried find solace by tuning my ageing radio sets. Than suddenly my problem got compounded as my TV set started to play varied tricks on me. On quarterly basis as a routine, it made me to run to the half educated ugly looking stunted technician hiding in a small shop in the downtown area, who most probably sided with my ailing TV set and not me. Both of them almost drenched me of my scarce energy, punctured my ego, social status and converted me into a skeptic with pockets full of holes. Time definitely went by and I grew matured. I continued with my first (and last) TV set as an item of decoration at my house, by deciding not to join the mad mad rat race of acquiring the extra inches or true flatness in the newly paraded TV sets like others. For I knew I was different and not in the crowd.
For the last several tears, I have been accosting prospective customers of secondhand goods, including the TVs belonging to diverse socio-economic-ethnic-religious backgrounds and strata, but to no avail. My newly added woe is that these cheap goods customers are somehow trying to make me believe that due to excess production in Korea and Ivory Cost, etc. the TV market is in a glut and that for that reason and many other novel or innovative causes, my old TV set’s cost roughly equals to or goes below the rate of any non-descriptive scraps.
So far so good. May be the world has changed much and much water has flown down the holy Ganges or may be these people are out to bamboozle and con me by belittling the value of my TV set so that they can auction it at the Sotheby’s and chance upon a windfall for a song. Though not sure, I have decided to lay in wait with my old flickering TV set for good and meanwhile to take to the computer.