Friday, December 24, 2010

A Keystroke

On this lazy Saturday afternoon in Office, I am typing away softly but continuously on my Laptop, as if it mattered to some one. The place is mostly silent, save for the distant chatter of the IBM maintenance engineer explaining away at the phone, the clatter of the fax machine, a couple of phones ringing softly but with the distinct quality of urgency characteristic of Land phones.
The place is mostly still, as if in a photograph, save for the weirdly moving set of fingers on my key board carefully placing itself on each key one at a time. I have never observed the key board of my Lenovo T61 so intently, as i do now. It may be silent, may be passive, may be harmless, and may never seek my attention !! But there it stays, in its own world with the dynamism of a small city where each key is a tower standing beside the if with a life of its own.
I wonder whether the keys compete among themselves, for fun, or for sake of social superiority, claiming to be the key that is touched most often by their master, the owner of the T61. I wonder whether it matters to them, who is typing, whether they care about the nails in my fingers , or do they love the sweet scent of the nail polish when a female colleague types her password carefully with the elegance of a queen. I wonder whether they enjoy the rare moments that the user decides to give the keyboard a glance once in a while, just to make sure he has hit the right key, and whether such moments call for celebrations or parties in the key board land!!

Even as I type these lines, i can almost feel the keys smiling with joy, because i am typing this looking at the keyboard and not the monitor. This may have been the longest i ever looked at the keys ever since i owned this device. its strange but true. The keys certainly have character and identity. Each key is different from the other and cannot be replaced. Its almost as if each key has its own story . The smile of the "S" , the boredom of a lazy "Z" or even the obesity of the "B". Each key is different. very different. It feels like the "space bar " is the mother, the base of all keys and yet silent without anything written on it at all. "Ctrl" looks like a father, in control of things all the time, but never in control of the keys themselves. These Keys are friends, brothers, sisters and have already bonded. You cant separate them, unless you are a sadist and don't care at all.

Now as i look closer i see a cube of sugar somewhere between the keys J and H . I had never noticed this cube before. I feel it might not have been there for long, or I would have seen it. I am not even sure if its a cube of sugar or a small tiny shiny stone. For I somehow feel if it was sugar the ants would have found it before me. There is just such a huge world below these keys, a world that I didn't know existed. A world that I didn't care for. But as u know, in the end , it doesn't even matter.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Are u a Fitness Freak?

Bitten by the fitness bug, (whose harsh sting may last for a maximum of a couple of months in my case), I realised that everytime I walk into the supermarket to buy some food, my eyes naturally tend to scan at the nutritional information at the back of the pack.

I had made a mental note of what my fitness instructor had told me. "Try to avoid fatty foods, helps see results faster". It sounded as if it were straight out of some well funded research project. I liked the "see results faster" bit. As if, the results were by themselves discrete entities of existance, that will choose to find me one fine evening while I am running on my treadmill, and say "Ah! here he is, ....still diligently working out, ..lets show up".

The contradiction however, is what another friend and a fellow "fitness freak" told me. "Its never about what you do....its about how consistent you can be" --literally destroying every bit of faith I had in my programme to show me the results. It was almost like Lord Krishna advising Arjuna, to keep sticking to his duty , come what may , and that results were not his worry. I am supposed to be consistent, in burning 250 CALORIES through regular exercise, remain consistent in my diet and consistent in my passion to health-irrespective of whether or not I see any fruit of all the persistence. It was the consistency that paid off, the joy was in the journey and not the destination.
Hundreds of Gyms, have sprung up in a neighbourhood, that was once a pensioners' paradise. Large SUVs , remain parked outside these gyms, as if reminding you about the passion of their respective owners who wake up 5 AM every morning and drive 500 meters every morning, to go to the gym. All gyms have elevators, that land directly on to the "Cardio floor" where the "fitness freak" can improve his body metabolism by regular exercise.
News telecasts run on television sets ,even as young men clad in track suits run at 110 rpm , level 4 of the "cross trainer" , enabling them to relish the sight of themselves sweating, in the mirror and the sight of the sensex touching 19000 on the television.
Its a very strange world. The world of the fitness freak. Often, bordering on insanity under the guise of passion, and determination to walk on a journey , whose destination was but just a mirage. A vicious cycle, that starts with dreams of a "lighter" existence, ends up as another reason, to expose the share of your wallet, to ever booming health industry, of Incredible India.