“उह्…. मुझे यह् computer नही चाहिये … इसका mouse छोटा है !”
The girl sitting next to me in the cyber cafe yelled in disgust and stood up in evident anger, pushing back her chair with such force that it nearly toppled over. I had just settled down at my cubicle and had barely glanced at the day’s developments on my monitor, when this mini tempest ruffled my rather tranquil feathers, and forced me to turn my attention towards her, something I rarely do in a cyber cafe except when besotted by extraordinarily alluring company.
I was tempted to ask “क्या आपको छोटा माउस पसन्द नही ….and can’t you be happy and contented with what you have got? After marriage, would you ask for a new husband when you find out that he too ain’t got a computer with as big a mouse as you had dreamt of”, but I preferred to remain silent as I saw the café owner fast approaching with a startled look on his face.
The girl repeated her demand, this time with a distinct sneer and contempt in her voice.
“देखिये, मुझे ये वाला नही चाहिये . इसका screen dull है और mouse भी बहुत छोटा है . आप मुझे कोई बड़े mouse वाला computer दे रहे हैं या मैं जाऊँ ?”
The café owner’s pride seemed hurt at the threat “अरे madam …mouse की size से क्या फ़र्क पड़ता है ? काम तो इससे भी बढ़िया होता है..” I agreed. For a man, the screen and the mouse are sensitive issues, and no one likes to have his mouse rejected merely because of size! And speaking of bright screens, why do women forget that a dull screen actually spares the eyes from undue strain, and while bright screens may look funky and handsome, they may turn out to be quite unfaithful and associated with divorce diverse complications. Anyway, the girl had her way, and her demands were promptly fulfilled. The sleepy cyber café soon returned to the placid silence of the humming air conditioners, and things were normal again.
I returned my attention to the monitor. But the turbulence in my mind was far from settled. After all, the girl had stirred (girls usually stir a lot of things) a host of queries in my mind which needed answers. Come to think of it, had there been no mouse, would the accomplishments of Bill Gates or of Google’s bosses been half as ‘note’worthy as they are now? Without the mouse, the Sensex wouldn’t really have got a chance to screw us and all of Satyam’s assests would still have been intact. Imagine the impact it would have if Big B wrote in his blog.… “मै और मेरा माउस अक्सर यह् बातें करते हैं….” If I had my way, no girl on this earth would ever have said “मुझे छोटा mouse नही चाहिये”.
I absentmindedly caressed the fêted tool itself. Though it’s quite unassuming to look at, the computer mouse is one of the most important pieces of hardware. Personally, I prefer the old fashioned ones with balls. It’s nice and heavy to hold, and is quite comfortable to work with. Moreover, the one with balls is good at pointing, and seldom wavers from the target, although it needs some spirited cleansing of the ball every now and then to ensure faithful performance with each stroke. The optical ones with fancy LEDs may be sleek and lighter, but they are fearfully notorious on slippery surfaces (like glass, granite and satin) and quite prone to drifting unpredictably with occasionally frightful consequences (some websites which you do not wish to open in the presence of your bosses may inadvertantly open with resultant misconfusions).
And of course there are laptops, where you don’t need the mouse and the ball at all (sigh!); only a few deft caresses of the nimble finger is enough to fire up the flames of digital passion.