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Lost in the laptop

There is a saying in Tamil that when we do not expect good luck, we are literally swamped with it in abundance. It is true with bad luck, too.

Let me add a few words about myself. I am an 89-year-old retired engineer who has had a happy life in different parts of India and a short eight-and-a-half-year stay in Zambia. I used to be a voracious reader of good books in English until I was about 75 years old, when, because of my failing eyesight, I had to cut down on my reading habits. No problem at all!

My daughters had gifted me with a laptop about 10 years ago. I enjoy writing, and I use the laptop to write or type articles on various subjects. These articles are 100 per cent about what I have seen and personally experienced in my life at different places and periods of time. As long as the laptop works well, it is a sheer pleasure to type out anything you want and save it. But then the laptop, on occasion, develops a mind of its own, and then you tend to lose your temper! And do not blame me.

This kinky behaviour starts when I am trying to type out some very interesting topics. Of late, I have found that two or three completed articles have ‘disappeared’ overnight, even though they had been saved as required. I have choices like (a) redoing the whole article when you find that a few redone lines could have been better! (b) The second choice is to drop the whole topic of the article and chase a new idea for a new article. And trust that this writing will go smoothly!

The problem now is that in my earlier days, I could think of fresh, interesting topics to write about and enjoy writing. In fact, I could write anything up to 500 words in a jiffy. Now, I do find it very taxing to write even 100 words, and that too becomes very disjointed text, making me wonder if I had written that text! In such situations, the only remedy is to redo the misfit text and hope that it works!

A good example of this quirky behaviour of my laptop is this article written, corrected, and rewritten a dozen times—do believe me when I say that I had completely forgotten when and what I started writing as I wrote this article, and worse than that, WHY this?

(Published 25 October 2023, 19:15 IST)

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