Geeeaaaaaaaaaweewaaaaaaa… Ah! Nothing like getting up after a truck load of work and then stretching and screaming in relief no?
No seriously. I actually do that. The wife hates it. Apparently I never did it before marriage. “You have changed Sidin!” she says while I download photos of Matt Damon and take large printouts.
Anyways it’s been a really tight couple of weeks and I’ve finally managed to salvage the time to bring your attention to an evil which is slowly eating away at the very social and moral fiber of our society. Something that is beginning to rear its evil head more often than it ever has in the past. A vile presence that sits like a benign granuloma on the spinal cord of our society and restricts the blood flow of unity and communal harmony to the population centre that is our brain stem leading to the subacute sclerosing panencephalitis that is mass cultural myopia.
(Many many House MD DVDs. Sorry.)
But before that, I would like to say that henceforth each blog of mine will come with a little banner for GiveIndia embedded in it. GiveIndia is a website that makes it easy peasy to donate money to your charity of choice. They don’t pay me money to do this, of course, and I hope the High Networth Engineers and MBAs amongst you will rise to the occasion by clicking through and doing your bit wherever you see fit. Charity begins at home page no? (Ha!)
So where was I? Ah yes mass cultural myopia.
What’s with this sudden upsurge of national political correctness? Haven’t you noticed it? When suddenly people are afraid to say what is blatantly obvious? Just so that they avoid the possibility, however minor, of offending someone.
Of course political correctness can be convenient in certain harmless situations.
"Of course your baby is lovely! No the moustache is cute."
"No no. That is a good IIM too!" (Guahaha.)
Yet nothing drives me insane like one of those media reports, especially on TV, where they try to pass off "People from two communities had a go at each other yesterday with sub-machine gun fire. Riot police later controlled the crowd from a distance using only mind power as made famous by the Bapna brothers in Competition Success Review." instead of just coming clean and admitting that the Buddhists and Bahais are at it again.
First there was that Aaja Nachle thing. And then the Sikhs of Lucknow filed cases against poor Anilbhai. And now the recent discoveries about my cellphone.
What did you say? No idea what happened to my cellphone? None at all?
Sigh. Socially networked society it seems. Citizen journalism will change our world they say. Pshaw!
Texting messages is one of the great modes of communication of this day and age. After a hectic day in the office nothing warms the heart like sending a message of extreme naughtiness to the wife. But then "Darth Vader Woman in HR" is just next to "Darling" in the phone book and often hilarity ensues due to digit-al mishaps.
So imagine my chagrin when I discover that the Brick, as I affectionately call my P990i when I wear hip hugging jeans, has a predictive text input that is so prudish that it makes an Indian parish priest look like an American parish priest.
Let me explain.
My cellphone uses what is known as a T9 dictionary. This is the thing that gives your predictive text input thing work. So you don’t have to go punching forever on your teeny mobile keypad to get simple words out. (Try doing the phrase “I was flabbergasted when I perused the entry for appendicitis in an encyclopedia my dear Parthasaarathy!.”)
Yet I know the smartest people who don’t get the hang of predictive text input. High funda software engineer processes Laplace transforms and does Matrix multiplications in his head over a Hazelnut Cappuccino. But tell him to sms you what he’s sipping and watch the genius sweat over his keyboard.
But all the difficulties of T9 pale in comparison to the indignation I felt when I discovered that the Brick comes factory-installed with a dictionary that has all the good words pruned out of it already. Is this another sign of the moral decrepitude of our times?
I am afraid so.
For instance when I am thoroughly angry with someone I need to send out a message like “NO! YOU are a dial head!” This is because the word I am looking for (rhymes with drick) is not available on my phone. The closest available choice is ‘dial’. I could call it Richard. But that could become an annoying habit.
You’ve been late with a column submission and got beaten black and blue by the newspaper person? The best you can do is “I got batch-slapped by that Hindu person again today!” This is because my phone does not believe in the existence of the female of the canine species at all. “Where do puppies come from?” is not a question my phone ever asks itself.
No reference can be made to the posterior region of the human body with any suitable word except ‘booty’and ‘butt’. Words such as ass / arse / fanny / back-end / doublebubble are simply missing from the T9 dictionary. If this was before marriage I would have asked aloud in agony: “What is wrong with the posterior for god’s sake? I think it’s mighty fine and deserves wide appreciation!” Today I have no interest in such things at all. In fact you should ignore this last point completely.
I cannot call anyone a ‘moron’, ‘nincompoop’, ‘imbecile’, ‘slut’ or even ‘dufus’. All perfectly good words in the English language. But my phone will have none of it. Apparently such words are beneath it.
Instead it cheerfully throws up such conversational gems as ‘incontinence’, ‘Hilcote’, ‘tundra’ and my personal favourite: ‘hernia’d’.
Definition: The situation of having a hernia thrown at oneself at great speed without warning.
Use in a sentence: “Sidin was writing a poem about the Asiad, could not find a rhyming word for some time, before he picked up his phone and observed ‘hernia’d’.”
Important Note: Be EXTREMELY careful when sending T9 composed message to any girl named Rashmi.
Yes my phone has ‘screwdriver’. But no mention at all of plain old simple ‘screw’.
As you can this has shaken my faith in the world at large gravely. Who knew such a vile conspiracy was afoot within the bowels of the mobile phone industry?
Is this happening to your phone as well? Is the phone trying to prevent you from speaking freely? Is it curbing your freedom of expression?
I think we should form an Orkut group and fight this immediately. When I pay for my phone I should get it complete with a full quota of words whether they seem unsavoury to the phone maker or not. Let us put an end to this menace.
Or as my phone would say “I’ve had enough of this asap. Time to kick some cps!”