Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
I had gone to an agent nearby to get my rent agreement printed on stamp paper. Two maamis (elderly ladies) were there in the shop. One was 50 plus and the other must have been 70 odds. The former asked me for my USB and she seemed at ease. I was happy that old ladies were using computer and were abreast of technology and all of that. Providence couldn’t bear my happiness I guess.
The USB wouldn’t open no matter what. The machine hung. She was clearly at a loss and kept clicking the mouse randomly. I asked her to restart the system and she honestly switched the monitor on and off!! I then told her to switch off the processor and switch it on again.
To that she replied, “Adhu romba time aagum”. !!!! (That will take a lot of time.) I said that it didn’t matter, that I could wait and requested her to proceed. She reluctantly agreed and switched the system off. She waited in front of the switched off system for a full two minutes until I asked her what she was waiting for. The older lady got irritated, then touched the top of the processor with her hand and said, “Sooda irukku. Konja neram aarattum.”!!!! (It is very hot, let it cool.) When I said all that was not necessary, they looked at me as though I had asked them who Rajinikanth was. You know what I mean….
I avoided their gaze and stared at the system instead. I noticed that the system was ancient. It was one of those bulky ones and had XP. After a full 5 minutes, she restarted the system. This time, the USB opened but she was unable to copy the files. It had hung again. I asked for my USB back. Veetu pakkathula irukke nu ivanga kitta vandhadhu thappa pochu. (I made a mistake coming to this place because it is closer to home.) She asked me to wait until she tried a couple of things.
She tried moving the USB to a different port. Then, the older one asked the younger one “Oru vele voltage kammi ya irukkumo?” !!!! (May be the voltage is low.) My head was spinning. I wanted to run away. Then, she delivered a bigger punch.
“Naan venumna TV ya anachudren. Nee try pannu.” (I will switch off the TV, then, you can try again.)
My Mind: “Vere auto kannadiya thiruppina auto epdi odum?
“Illaye fan nannaa dhaane suthardhu.” (No, the fan is running properly only.) I would have cried. They tried some funny stuff and when finally they realized that it wouldn’t relent, they came to a decision.
“Ungalodu drive la dhaan edho prachanai. Neenga vere engayaavadhu poi print out eduthundu vaango, I will give stamp paper. En payyan illai. Avan irundha apdi ipdi nu edho pannuvaan, adhu vandhudum.!!!!”
(Some problem with your drive. Go somewhere else and take printout. My son is not here. If he were here, he will do something and get this to work.)
I imagined a guy in a black coat and hat successfully pulling rabbits out of a hat.
I didn’t get to meet her magically smart son. Thank goodness for that. I remembered those ICICI Lombard smart 16 year old son ads. It was exactly like that. Sheer nonsense!!
But I was glad she had asked me to go. She said “Nera Happy xerox ku pongo, avaa kadaila work aaradhaa nu paarungo.” (Go straight to Happy Xerox and see if your drive works in their shop.)
I went to Happy xerox and took the prints and then came back to these two to get the first page printed on Stamp Paper. The first question she asked is “Avaa kadaila work aacha USB?” (Did the USB work in their shop?) When I said yes, she wondered aloud, “Appo idhula dhaan edho mistake irukkum pola.” (Must be some mistake with this only.) Endhula irundha prachanai, avangaldhu la irundha mistake!! (If the issue is with my thing, then it is a problem, if it is with theirs, it is just a mistake.)
Thankfully the printer worked and I was out of the place in 5 minutes with my agreement. I came home and downed a full bottle of water to recover from this.
Dear Magical son of that maami,
Wherever you are, please don’t leave these two alone in the house with instructions to operate a computer. They are bullying people. And please, for goodness’s sake, tell your grandmother never to talk about voltage. She gave me a good shock!!
If ever you have to leave your house, put a big board outside that says ‘CLOSED’.
An affected customer