Struggle stories have the potential to destroy us as much as they have for inspiring. A Shah Rukh Khan may eject himself from Delhi in order to find stardom in Bollywood, having gone through the necessary agonies and sporadic ecstasies on the way. An Anupam Kher may land in Bombay from Simla possessing little more than two pairs of khadi kurta-pyjamas, walk daily from Bandra to the Prithvi Theatre and survive on vada-pav bought with money obtained through tutoring children... and eventually become a star. For every SRK and for every Anupam, there are thousands who ruin their lives in the alleys and byways of Bollywood.
Standing in the autumn of life, I look back and pat myself on the back for not harbouring big dreams. I wanted to be a writer. That was the only dream I really had. And I became a blogger. At least that. Small dreams, smaller achievements, no disappointments.
It’s only when my laptop went on strike a few days back that I realised writing was not a dream for me at all, but an addiction. I tried to write blogs using my tab but found it extremely tedious. All the ten fingers flying on the laptop’s real keyboard is part of the addiction which cannot be gratified with one finger typing on the tab’s virtual keyboard.
The laptop could have been repaired in a day. But hartal is an addiction for the political activists in Kerala where I have found my latest abode. Two consecutive days of hartal (one of which was specially designed for my district only) for reasons that are yet to become clear to me kept my laptop locked up with the mechanic.
When the mechanic rang me a few hours back to tell me that the work was done, the cool breeze that passed through my breast which had been drenched by the sultry summer heat made me realise that there are still some things that make life interesting to me. This narcissistic raving, for example.
Anupam Kher’s protest against the attempts of JNU to decimate the country has already become stale news by the time I am reunited with my laptop. SRK has learnt the lesson about his right to silence. Our Prime Minister, who is also proud of his rags-to-supremacy story, thinks that JNU protesters and Haryana Jats are conspiring against him because he ascended from a lowly background.
The problem is not the background. I’m sure the PM knows that though he pretends otherwise for political and strategic reasons. The problem is our addictions. Some love power. Some love fame. I love my laptop, it seems.