Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Plain Broke!

I'm always fascinated by man's desire to hold on to things that are absolutely worthless. As a result, ones life is overly populated with objects that serve no purpose whatsoever. Seriously! Look around you. 

I have two sets of desktop speakers that have collectively done little else than occupy space and collect dust  since 2009, three phones that I used to carry before the one I’m currently using (which again is over two years old) and my old iPod shuffle that still contains the latest album I’d downloaded shortly after its release,(which is Ministry of Sound Annual 2007). Does the iPod still work, you ask. Well, I couldn’t say. I haven’t found the earphones that I last saw in…That’s right. 2007! Not to forget three expired ATM cards that were forced upon me every time I changed a job (and hence a salary account). Now I wonder if I also have the chequebook that I’d applied for in the summer of 2008. It must be here somewhere among all the 6 years’ Airtel bills that are still neatly tucked inside their respective envelops. (Just kidding! I switched to an email option three years back, so I only have bills up until June 2010)

I’m starting to believe that every object that is created today, especially those built for the betterment of mankind, is “designed” to serve the purpose only for a short while. After which, it only piles on. This applies to every modern-day gadget / appliance / tool except that VCD player you won as a gift at a game show. And that’s because you never even opened it from the case and packed it off as a gift at the next wedding you were invited to. And besides, you’d already graduated to DVDs by then, hadn't you?

The other exception is probably the 2 GB pendrive you got when you redeemed your Credit Card points for the first time. It still does its job of carrying as a souvenir a virus, at least one each from every single system it’s been plugged into.

 Now let me have a look at all the other things around me that I Once fell for like a ton of bricks when I first lay my eyes on them, but now only compete with me for some precious space in my room. A visiting card book, containing cards of people I'm never going to call again. An organizer with a parker pen neatly placed in a holder, used only once when my name had to be written. A 2009 Calendar featuring Bollywood hotties as shot by Daboo Ratnani. CD Album, carrying freeware CDs that still contain demo versions of Sonic the Hedgehog. An off-white coffee mug, that’s only been used to hold pens that don’t write anymore. 24 issues of GQ magazine, which I subscribed to hoping I’d upgrade my style as I approach the 30s. 36 issues of Time Magazine, which I subscribed to hoping that it would help me sound my age. And a digital weighing scale that needs recalibration every time I add a kilo.

But here’s where you’ll really feel shortchanged. When you are sold the idea of how functional these things are “designed” to be, they seem like something that’d you’d give your arm and leg to own. Like a spare kidney or something.  And for a while, it actually seems like your life actually depends on it. Like it is your only kidney or something. And all hell breaks loose when it suddenly stops working. Like you need a kidney transplant on the pronto or something. But after a while, it only contributes to the junk around you. Just like those empty bottles of alcohol, which might be the real reason why you need a spare kidney or something.

Your mobile phone is a fine example of how unnecessary these luxuries really are. As a device, your phone is actually meant to help you make calls when you are on the move. But surely, that’s not good enough. Today a phone needs to come with a PS3 integrated into it, along with a 52 inch LED screen, a Home Theatre system with surround sound, and if that’s still not enough, the whole of IMDB Top 250 loaded into it. So you never really find the time to use it make one phone call. How could you? (Battery) Life is too short and you have so much to do.  

All of which leads me to believe that thanks to all these - pardon the oxymoron - unnecessary necessities, life has become way too expensive. Which is why if any of these oddities broke one fine day, you feel really broke. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I were ever to live my life again, I’d reside in a distant village that was completely devoid of all these gadgets or luxuries. Yes, really. Okay, maybe I’ll carry just one iPad… and get a good broadband connection…and a functional microwave…oh wait, and a fully automatic washing machine…okay, and a set top box with all the sports channels…and a 52 inch LED TV…and a PS3...Oh and some good B&O speakers...and one e-book reader, with thousands of e-books…and a large refrigerator…and a lazyboy with a beer bottle holder...and a titanium credit card…That should suffice. Or would it?