The Computer

I sometimes feel so lazy that I don’t even like stretching my arm a little and reaching for the keyboard. The mouse is closer to me, so I just start the on-screen keyboard to type stuff out. And it’s not like I’m going to be writing a novel, probably just a username-password, so that works.

My mother was the one who forced my father to buy a computer for me and my sister. It was supposed to help us study. I was in class 2 or 3, when my father finally got one home. At that time, he also used to dabble a little in the computer assembly business. It had a Celeron processor, even though Pentium 3 and 4 were already out, but it worked fine.

All I used to do was play games. Age of Empires mostly, and especially the Rise of Rome expansion pack. It wasn’t the full version though, just a demo off those CDs that used to come packaged with the magazines. I loved the game, but there were only three levels on the demo. And all the time, the soundtrack of Saathiya used to play; I know all its songs by heart.

First, the machine was in my parents’ room, on a trolley that we had. Actually, I don’t remember much about that and I think I am confusing two totally different objects. Hmmm. Later, it sat in the hall under the bookshelves, and there it has stayed ever since. I mean, the machine has changed: the CPU cabinet, the monitor, everything, but the computer has sat there.

Another permanent fixture has been the red revolving chair with armrests that is the computer chair. My father and uncle had taken up a franchise of STG, a sort-of NIIT knock-off, and the computer centre was on a floor in my nanibari. But it wasn’t very successful and they lost a lot of money and had to shut it down. (Shut it down, see what I did there?) And so the red revolving chair is perhaps one of the last surviving members of that establishment. The two armrest-less chairs in my (and my sister’s) room also trace their heritage to that defunct haven for people to wanted a Java course to their sorry CVs.

And a couple of days back, one of the armrests broke. The left one. It’s not really broken because it’s some sort of rubber-plastic material, but the screws that attached it to the main body of the chair came off. The rubber-plastic stuff is also in pretty bad shape on the right armrest. It’s completely worn out in the middle, and the steel bone is almost exposed. It’ll do.


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