02 November 2012

The Quickest Way To Jail

It was a clear Friday morning, with the clouds chivalrously concealing the sun, helping bring down the boiling temperature for as long as possible. With an extra spring in my steps, I settled down in front of my laptop. For those of you who are unacquainted with this ritual, let me explain. Since starting Laptop Diary as a blog, my laptop and I have had several interactions. Who says machines don’t have a heart?

Me: A splendid morning to you, Tosh!

Toshiba: (absentmindedly) I’ve told you, I don’t like that nickname. Toshiba is my surname. My actual name is Satellite L755.

Me: Fine, fine Tosh, don’t get worked up over that. Say, what are you busy reading anyway?

[Toshiba minimizes the Google Chrome page before I can glance at it...]
Me: (mischievously) Ah…what were you looking at?

Toshiba: (curtly) Let’s not go there, alright? I still have last week’s web history saved…

Me: (hastily) Right, anyways, back to work now. I’ve made a new resolution, Tosh!

Toshiba: (groaning) Here we go again…

Me: (enthusiastically) No, no, here me out. I’ve decided to post something new on Laptop Diary every Friday evening. How’s that!

Toshiba: (sarcastically) Extremely original. Wonder how you never thought of it earlier…

Me: (cheerfully) You can’t spoil my mood, Tosh! Now, got to think of something to type. What’ll it be…a short story? Or perhaps a funny piece about Chennai –

Toshiba: Funny! Oh….you’re right, that was funny…

Me: …A poem? No, it’ll take too long to make every line rhyme…

Toshiba: (bluntly) Have you seen the page view widget recently?

Me: Or maybe a satire….huh, what? The page vi – no, why?

Toshiba: Well, the good news is…it appears to be broken.

Me: (surprised) How is that good news?

Toshiba: Because then, I checked it out…and the bad news is, it’s not.

[I throw up my arms in exasperation, and slouch in my chair. Through his 1.3 megapixel camera, Toshiba eyes me sympathetically]
Toshiba: (hesitantly) Well, I was thinking…

Me: (mournfully) What’s the use, Tosh? Why write anymore when there is no one to read it?

Toshiba: That’s what I wanted to talk to you about –

Me: (teary eyed) I knew things were going downhill when I tried replying to a comment…

Toshiba: (confused) Wh – what’s wrong with that?

Me: (wailing) It was a spam comment! And I spent ten minutes drafting a polite reply! I even asked him to check out my other posts as well…

Toshiba: (shocked) So it was you! I knew something was wrong – okay, now that is not the point. There’s something I wanted you to consider…are you listening to me?

Me: (sobbing) Yes…

Toshiba: (cautiously) Okay. So how much do you know about Indian politics?

Me: Not much, why?

Toshiba: Well…I was just thinking…what if, maybe you started blogging about important political happenings in India…sort of take a break from your posts about everyday life.

Me: But I don’t know anything about politics. What would I write on?

Toshiba: (excitedly) Ah, fear not! I’ve got all the research you’d need!

[Suddenly, the Chrome browser is maximized, and I quickly scan about eight tabs. ‘Robert Vadra’…’Crisis in U.P.’…’Corruption in the Cabinet’…are just some of the headings]
Me: (suspiciously) What is all this about?

Toshiba: (eagerly) Just topics to research on, you know. Read through them, and just write a personal opinion. Like say, point out if an important politician (or his son) is guilty of corruption. Or if any ruling of any CM in the country (preferably from north or central states) is unfair. Just let your mind wander, alright?

Me: (hesitantly)I don’t know, Tosh. Doesn’t really interest me. No, I think it’s better if I just write a short story –

Toshiba: (angrily) To hell with your stories man! They all have the same style anyway!

[I stare at my laptop screen for a moment, shocked]
Me: What’s the matter, Tosh? A case of virus again..?

Toshiba: (irritatedly) Oh shut up! You don’t get it do you? How long will you keep churning out average posts about mundane day to day life? Instead, just sit down for an hour and type out something – anything! – about one of these politicians! Ah, I can picture the page view counter spinning furiously…

[I stare at one of the pages opened in Chrome. Glancing through the news article, I quickly realize what Toshiba is up to]

Me: (incredulously) You – you want me to accuse one of these politicians of corruption on my blog?

Toshiba: (cheerfully) Yes! Yes, finally, you understand. The bigger, the better, by the way.

Me: (baffled) Are you mad?

Toshiba: (innocently) What do you mean?

Me: I could go to jail for this!

Toshiba: Now, now, let’s not get our hopes up too high, alright? Maybe after a couple of posts…but don’t get ahead of yourself.

Me: What’s wrong with you? You want me to get arrested by cops under the Information Technology Act? So that my blog gets more views?

Toshiba: (bitterly) It’s still better than your best suggestion. Switch to Wordpress, it seems. How stupid!

Me: Okay, let me make this clear. You may only have a couple of years more before your battery life becomes shorter than a goldfish’s memory….but I have a full life ahead of me. Cant ruin it by having cops storming into my hostel and dragging me out.

Toshiba : Oh shut up! No one’s going to storm into your hostel. If the Snapdeal and Flipkart guy couldn’t figure out your address, no way the cops can. So relax…and finish reading that wiki page on Robert Vadra, will you?

Me : (sternly) No. This conversation is over, and I’m going to format you just to be sure you don’t end up posting something on your own.

Toshiba : Alright, alright, don’t have to over react now. Calm down, it was just a suggestion. You can go back to your poetry writing now.

Me : Finally! Thank you.

Toshiba : Just one thing…

Me : What?

Toshiba : How about cartoons? You could start out with stick figures and I’ll help you with Microsoft Paint. Heck, if you get a good enough idea, I’ll even crack Adobe Photoshop for you! What say?

[My Computer-->Right Click-->Format…]

[This is a reaction to the arrest of a businessman who tweeted that the Union Finance Minister's son had amassed more wealth than Robert Vadra. He was arrested at the crack of dawn by a handful of police officials. Combined with the prompt arrests of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi and the Professor who mocked Mamta Banerjee on Facebook, I guess we've discovered the quickest way to a jail cell. Not rape, not murder, not treason. Just a blog / Facebook post.]

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  1. hah just hope that the cops didnt read this one...or you are headlines tomorrow:P

  2. Totally superb.All your posts are really good.Continue the good work. :D