When they asked me to write about my most prized posession, I faltered. I closed my eyes and thought about what I really possessed that I hold dear. Quite predictably, I was drawing a blank. I mean, I’m not a hoarder of memories. I don’t store little trinkets away as memorabilia, never! The best that I did was to store some of the movie tickets, those that belong to some great movies and those that bring up some good memories. But apart from that, what else do I have? Family heirloom? Please, the closest we have to a family heirloom is a spoon holder that got passed down our family from one generation. That’s it.
Now that I think about it, I wonder why I never really paid materialistic things their due. I mean, they do mean something to some people, and they do have the power to bring back memories. But it’s funny how I never take something away from a memory to stash it for future nostalgia. But that’s just me, I suppose.
But see, I do have ONE thing that has stayed with me for a long time and something that partly bolstered my one true trait. It’s been staring at me for so long in the eyes and yet it took me this long to realize how crucial it had been to me all along. I’m not in the mood for theatrics, so I’ll go ahead and say that I’m talking about my Computer.
Yes, my loyal and obedient friend. Who gave me a lot but also asked a lot in return 😉
I guess I had always been fascinated with computers. And back in those days (I’m talking circa. 1997), computers were relatively new in the Indian market. And we had black-and-white monitors, mind you. Our school had been the first in our town to buy four computers for educational purposes. Though the truth is that all we did was play games on it (Prince of Persia, Dave, Paratrooper). There were thirty of us in our class so everyone used to get about 10 minutes of time to play with the computer. And I used to wait in line, with eager eyes, just to get my hands on the keyboard. I was mad. But of course, after that we moved to a bigger city and our new school actually had Computer Science as one of the courses. And they had color monitors with Windows 98, but best of all, they had one computer for one student which meant it was all yours for the whole 50 minutes. Ecstatic would be an understatement.
Anyway, to cut to the chase, after almost two years of constant pleading from my side, my dad finally gave in agreed to buy a computer!! So it was in May 2003 that a brand-new sparklingly white CPU and a CRT monitor entered our house. And the rest, as they say, is history. Ok I did go for a bit of theatrics there, but that is the truth. I was one of the first kids in our class who owned a computer and I loved talking about it to everyone. “You know, today I found out that you can apply custom themes to Windows 98! I put a Jungle one and it is awesome!!” Maybe I was showing off a little too.
And that basically took off and put me on my life trajectory. I was the Master Tinkerer. It was Windows 98, of course, so naturally there were loads of times when something would go wrong or the OS would stop to boot and I would have to troubleshoot and fix the issue. I loved that exercise, of finding out the precise cause of an issue and the smugness I felt when it starts to work again! I learnt to disassemble and assemble the innards of the CPU all by myself. The undeniable truth is that I saved my parents loads of money by never having to call a computer repair guy. 🙂
Well I guess I could go on and on about all the wonderful times I spent with my computer. How I discovered new things almost every single day. How I got certified an official geek by my friends, and how people used to come to me to fix any issues with their computers. We still did not have an internet connection back then, that would come almost seven years later. True.
I did revamp my computer in 2010. The CRT had to be replaced with an LCD monitor. The motherboard and everything on it had to be upgraded too as they just couldn’t keep up with the changing times. It looked new, after all the changes were done, but I still think of it as my old friend. That soul never really left.
Years later, when I sat for my first campus recruit interview and the old guy sitting across the table asked me what my most favourite childhood memory was, you can guess what I answered back without thinking for a second.
And that’s a wrap for Writing 101. Even though I’m so late for this last entry, that the official forums have closed down so I can’t post a link there anymore. Yet, I would like to thank each one of you who has taken the time to read my blog. You guys pretty much made my day whenever you showered a like or an appreciating comment my side. For that, I feel truly blessed.
This has been one whirlwind of a ride, and I enjoyed each and every moment of it. Write on, folks!