Monday, April 4, 2016

Analog man in a digital world

I was bubbling with excitement as I entered my friend's house. The sight of a few other mutual friends gave me pause but did not dampen my enthusiasm, as it normally would. Yeah, it is true, that when more than one of my friends congregate, the consensus on my IQ is a full 50 points below what it would be with a single person thereby putting my IQ in the single digits but, I really had a brilliant idea.

"Say, listen guys! I have had a brainwave"

"You must mean brain-fever", said one.

"Come on, yaar! Brain-fever? How is he going to get it? It is only when you have a brain..."

Yes...things had got into the usual rut too fast. The only reason these guys were friendly with each other was because they agreed so totally on one subject - me. That was also the only subject on which they agreed.

"Come on, guys! Just listen to me", I whined. Well, there really was no other word for it. However masterful I intend to sound, it always comes out like a child begging for a chocolate. Surprisingly, they fell silent.

"See! My problem is that I am an analog man in a digital world"

"Is that the title of the latest Lit Fic sensation?"

"Nah! Lit Fic would be more like 'The devourer of souls' or some such. More likely some Science Fiction"

"Please..." I was near-weeping.

"Alright! Let him speak before he dissolves into tears. Can't spend the night mopping up the house", said my host.

"You see...if I say something is not-Zero, people automatically assume that I am saying it is One. You know...the digital way. Whereas, I may just be saying it is 0.1 or 0.2 or..."

"Or 2 or 3 or..."

"Or -1 or -2 or..."

All this mathematics was making me feel slightly dizzy, as mathematics normally does.

"No! What I mean is...just because I say that it is in bad taste to call Durga a ..."

"I knew it...YOU are a Bhakt. An idiot blindly adhering to outdated traditions..."

"THAT's what I mean", I said, excitedly. "See, if not Zero, then one. But I also said that bans on beef and all..."

"I knew it. He IS a pseudo-secularist. He is not brainy enough to see that..."

"Leave it guys. This is too hot a topic. But, even when I see no reason to deride Bhagat for his writing..."

"There he goes. Always knew that he was a functional illiterate."

"But, then, good books should also enlighten people..."

"So, what? You think a book is going to make a man toss away his beer, grow a beard, adopt saffron as the only preferred wardrobe color, and find caves better to stay in than a/c apartments?"

"See what I mean? Should a book do all that to be meaningful?"

"Yeah! Thus spake the guy who would not open a single engineering book all through college"

By now, I was feeling truly dizzy. All the excitement of the idea had drained off. It has truly gone out of fashion to even speak as though everything is not black and white. It is truly perilous to be an analog man in a digital world.

"Alright, guys! You win!" I muttered.

"There! THAT's something we all can agree on. You are a loser."


  1. Good one, Suresh. What we have so often discussed. Bit more direct than usual.

    1. Yeah - some things work better when they are more direct :)

  2. Ha ha:) Wonderful as always:)
    Loved the opening para and the finishing masterstroke..
    I found myself in,'The sight of a few other mutual friends gave me pause but did not dampen my enthusiasm, as it normally would..';)

  3. Brilliant take Suresh, we now live in a world where either you are with us or against us. My way or the highway. Black or white. When shades of grey are a reality.

    1. I always wonder whether it is merely a ruse to fight your battles or whether people really do think that way, Alka! It is frightening to think of the latter possibility

  4. Epic sir ji, epic :) Loved this piece :) Not commenting as frequently as before; but am reading all your posts :)

    1. Great to hear that, Mahesh, though I would love more comments :)

  5. This does put it so well, doesn't it?

  6. How do bums manage to be heard so loud and clear when we have trouble even making our sensible statements acknowledged?

    Very nicely put Suresh.

    1. A commentary on what we want to listen to, maybe? :)

  7. Awesome Suresh. I loved the title.. completely apt for today's times. You are either a bhakt or a traitor and there are no two ways about it..

  8. The tug of war between black and white is prevalent on so many topics that no one has time or puts in effort to seriously analyse why something is black or white itself.... Leave alone the gray hues!

    1. Too busy looking at our own pov to see anyone else's :)

  9. He was a confused soul. He couldn't make up his mind whether to be a 0 or a 1 or a 2 or a 2.1... :P
    Hahaha! But I get his point. I've been in his place too. Oh wait! Maybe I'm as confused as he is? :D
    - Chicky @