Desi geek ke laddoo

Published: Mar 24, 2010, 08:46 IST | Shubir Rishi |

I didn't grow up with computers, but when I did finally come across one, I took to it exactly like I took to beer.

I didn't grow up with computers, but when I did finally come across one, I took to it exactly like I took to beer.

It was a revelation, an excuse to study (non-existent) math models, and the 30 billion other things you could do with it. I am still so taken by this newfound toy, that I am regularly accused of ignoring the living.

Anyway, the point was not to brag about my vast computer skills. I have often thought how monosyllables would touch a new note, with two computer-savvy colleagues in close proximity. 

I am so taken by computers, which is an excuse to study a billion things, that I am accused of ignoring the living.

Secretly, I have often fantasised about the exact opposite of what I just said, and more often than not, my wish has been granted. I have had the honour of working with deliciously unaware colleagues, who, to my visible delight, had no qualms about this 'condition', which became folklore.

C, a diligent co-worker, hated computers, which was quite appalling, since she was a web designer. She was usually goggle-eyed at the ease with which I changed songs rather rapidly on my playlist. Many moons later, after she could no longer hold her curiosity, she popped the inevitable question. "Hey boy, how do you do that?" "Simple. All you need is Winamp, and songs to play. And a computer, of course." "Wow. I'll be your slave. Teach me how."

So I explained to her without being 'jargony', and she went home with great excitement and a retarded grin.

The next day, she came back with large eyebags, and a look that didn't look quite right. "Um, how was the music experience, C?" "You are evil." More sulking. "Um?" "The music never played." "You have songs in your computer?" "I have MP3 CDs. I am not dumb!" "Of course you downloaded Winamp?" "Yes!" "What did you do after it was downloaded?" "What was I supposed to do? The download just sat there, and I inserted CD after CD. Nothing!" "Did you install it?" "HUH! What do you mean?" A legend was born.

Another colleague, G asked me how to open a new tab in Firefox. It's a common question that makes me groan almost every time. "Do a Control + T," I said after benign deliberation.

She said "Ok", and famously went on to type Control Plus T in the address bar. She denies it to this day.
G, if you are reading this, you are an object of affection, inspiration, and a source of relief. For millions like you.

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