Monday, May 26, 2008

The Gnome syndrome!

Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The mystery of the misbehaving laptop.

Windows Error Funny

If it hadn’t happened for the fourth time now, I would have dismissed it as a mere coincidence. But today is the fourth time this is happening and it is leading me to the illogical conclusion that my laptop has a mind on its own. It reminds me of this story of the car being allergic to Vanilla Ice-cream. Which I reproduce here: (If you already know it--skip it and scroll down)

A complaint received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

“This is the second time I have written you, and I don’t blame you for not answering me, because I kind of sound crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of ice cream for dessert after dinner each night. The kind of ice cream varies so every night after we have eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It is also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem.

You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream, when I start back from the store my car wont start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds: ” What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind? ”

The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an engineer to check it out anyway. The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well-educated man in a fine neighborhood. The engineer had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night, and sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn’t start.

The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got chocolate, the car started. The second night, he got strawberry, the car started. The third night he ordered vanilla, the car failed to start. Now the engineer being a logical man refused to believe that this man’s car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged therefore to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And towards this end he began to take notes: he jotted down all sorts of data, time of day, type of gas used, time to drive back and forth, etc.

In a short time he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to find the flavor and get checked out.

Now the question for the engineer was why the car wouldn’t start when it took less time. Once time became the problem - - not the vanilla ice cream the engineer quickly came up with the answer: vapor lock. It was happening every night, but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

All models then had their gas systems changed. The guy got a new car and also had his car repaired (now it likes vanilla flavor). General Motors disseminated an internal official statement, demanding employees to take seriously any claims, even if it sounded bizarre, ” because maybe a great innovation is hidden after a vanilla ice cream.”

This morning my laptop refused to start. We pressed the power button and nothing happened. We checked the power chord, checked the power point, checked the battery (Took it out and put it back again) and even tried plugging it from different power points. No use.

I was working on a story for a newspaper (click on the word if you wish to see my published pieces) and it was almost complete. And I had promised to send it in today. So I badly wanted it to start---and wished for the nth time that I had saved my piece on my pen drive (Which I usually do, but had not done last night)

We (Satish and I) tried and tried to start it—the power button seemed fine but the laptop was completely dead. Then I had to take it to the laptop repair shop. The guy there just switched on the power button and lo behold, it started!

This is not the first time it is happening. It has happened three times before. Each time, he just touches it and it comes on. Fortunately for me, the last two times, it was my husband who had taken it and not me. (I don’t want the guy in the shop thinking that I have a crush on him and am making up excuses to take my laptop to his shop!) The first time, it was I who had taken it and a similar thing had happened. At that time I made them check the power button for any loose connection and they had assured me that it was perfectly fine.

Today too, we re-started it thrice in his shop and each time, it was working just fine.

I have no idea why this happens. Maybe my laptop enjoys the ride in the car! Or may be it is my laptop that has got a crush on that guy who owns the shop!(One touch from him and she splutters to life!) I felt like a complete fool when he just switched it on and it worked. (That too, I had to wait in the scorching sun for 15 minutes, for his shop to open. I, in my enthusiasm and desperation was too early to arrive ) I could almost hear the laptop chuckling when I was coming back.

Maybe the engineer who solved the vanilla ice cream mystery (Or maybe the engineers who read my blog) will have some logical explanation? I am flummoxed..

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chronicles of Purvi! Happy 7th birthday darling!

Purvi turns seven tomorrow. My baby is becoming a little girl. She still gazes at me with adoration. She hovers around me when I am getting dressed. She watches me as I apply my lipstick. And as I comb my hair. She looks at the clothes I have chosen and the perfume I use. She inhales, smiles approvingly and puts her arms around me.

She squeezes me tight. Then a little breathlessly and in complete awe she says “Mommy—you look beautiful!” She means it from the heart. I can see the adulation in her eyes.

She makes me feel so good. At times like these I think that I need her more than she needs me.

Another conversation that took place a few days ago

“Maaa…Will you please brush my teeth?”

“ You are big girl now.Almost seven. Brush it yourself.”

“Maaaaa… please. Pretty please with sugar and cherries.”

“I don’t like sugar and cherries.”

“Please Mommy—Please—No sugar and cherries then—Please can you brush for me?”

“No. I don’t know how to brush teeth” (and I pretend to be really busy)

“Okay—can I brush for you then?”

“No.I already brushed.”

“You piddly little Liar. You know how to brush teeth!”

I was so surprised. I didn’t know from where she picked up that line! I suspect it must be from ‘Home Alone’ that she watched a few days back..Or maybe her older brother coached her.

I chased her into the bathroom (She ran screaming, pretending to be terrified) and waited outside till she finished. If I don’t wait outside, she will pop right out and start pestering me in that whiny voice again.

Sometimes when I don’t agree to her unreasonable demands, she says “ Maaaaa…I know what will irritate you. Just wait and watch. I will whine and whine till you give in.”

What do you do with a child like that?

You just hug her tight—that’s what you do!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Feeling needed

not a morning person

Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Good things

For our 13 th wedding anniversary, we had made a week end trip to a lovely beach called Kashid, which is about 170 kilometres from pune, on the Konkan coast. The trip was lovely, memorable, soothing. The best part was that we were totally cut off from the outside world. Mobiles (and black berrys too. I HATE those things—heh heh!) did not work there.

We had almost the whole beach to ourselves. When we went to the beach, early in the morning, the tide had washed ashore hundreds of colourful pebbles. They were so beautiful, embedded in the sand. (see pictures.Click to enlarge) It made me think that they are like people who come into your life, at different points in time. I have moved all my life and I feel blessed that I have the ability to make friends easily. Whatever place I have lived in, I still have good friends there, whom I can just call and say I am visiting them and they would welcome me with open arms. (Another good thing about moving is that you can lose touch with the ones you do not want in your life!)

Lying on the beach, watching my family at the distance, and listening to the ocean sounds was really tranquilizing and I could not help philosophising. At different points in our lives, different people are important. We change every day. The people around us change every day. I am sure that you are no longer the person that you were five years ago. Satish always says that in life, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. I used to argue with him about the permanent friends part. I used to tell him that some friends ARE permanent. Yet, time has proven that even good friends do drift apart for various reasons. Sometimes, it could just be that your friend was really busy getting on with their life and after a while you began getting on with yours. Sometimes, it could be that you changed and you outgrew the friendship. Sometimes you drift apart as your spouses cannot stand each other’s spouses after marriage! (All married couples here would agree!)

As one grows older, one becomes really picky and choosy about whom to let into your life. Most of us who have crossed 35, would agree that unlike in your twenties, what people think, does not matter at all. You become aware that time is indeed running out and you are getting older. (Perhaps a thought which never occurred in the twenties) You want to make the most of NOW. You are so much more confident (Perhaps, having seen life and faced birth and may be death too. Both change you.) and so much surer of what you want, where you want to go and whom you want to spend time with.

As I lay there thinking, I was so thankful for the good friends, currently in my life. Secretly, I still feel that some things never change. Some things are indeed permanent—and some friendships do last forever.

At least in your heart.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Magic of faith

little girl
Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.