Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Let microsoft Word Be

Let Microsoft Word be

As a kid I desisted from writing even my homework. I just did not feel like taking the plunge. Reason was simple, my handwriting was bad. Except my mother, nobody including me, my teachers and fellow students who during examinations peeped over my shoulders liked my hand writing. There was one more reason; I change my mind all too often. Nobody calls me a thinker, but if someone wants to count re-thinkers they could start with me. With both these specifics a write up on paper in ink would possibly resemble one of the indecipherable scripts of Palaeolithic period. My dear mother, once, after I had finished my school work gave a long look at it and softly suggested me to use slate. What she actually meant was that I should first write on a slate and then the finished matter could be rewritten on paper. What she did not anticipate was that in this 'Hyper Text Transfer Protocol', the error would be multiplying like a virus in a PC.

To err is human and to prove we are humans we unerringly keep on erring. This has only resulted in making us so extremely human that we have started liking animals more than man; do ask PETA people! Back on track, we do repent many a times, for having said a bad word or doing a wrong deed and we do like to undo the already done thing. However the famous saying says it all…’An abuse showered (remember the election speeches), AK 47 opened (here Kasab may agree with me) or time wasted (not proposing, not kissing!) can not be undone. And, then, we do like to redo the things as well, for example, to kiss more passionately, et cetera!

However, I am happy to say now, all this belongs to the past. One of the best things to have happened in recent times (approximately 100,000 years) to the world of illegibility is Bill Gates. His coming made the difference. Bill Gates while programming Microsoft Word seems to have decided to undo all the inadequacies God had mischievously inserted while making Adam, Eve and their multiple copies.

If, in the past, writing has been a dirty job for me, calculation is confounding even today. Fish and vegetable vendors do it effortlessly while I look at them with my mouth agape. However, here Word has its sibling, the Microsoft Excel which could help me do a multinationals accounts files with ease and flourish. Besides the corrections for my inadequacies, there are a lot of kindnesses one gets showered with from Gates. Write on a new Microsoft Document, Dear Kalidas, and miraculously the Word prompts you ‘if you are writing a letter and would like assistance’. Everything done so politely you need not turn pink or crimson. No great favours you see, it all comes as blessings with the faith in B. Gates.

There is no wonder then that I am very faithful to Mr. Gates and his Microsoft Word; and is it evolving! There are versions updated frequently whenever new programming is learnt from environmental inputs. Mr. Gates though, has his own rivals in software business and they are very passionate in evil way about it as well. Remember the devil’s work in the Garden of Eden? Here, there was a salesman selling rival product and me sipping coffee together when I asked him if he is against Gates. He cried, “Me, I would like to kill Bill”. If this particular Bill was to be the 10 Rupees for our coffees I would have scarcely objected, but, no! It was Bill, the Gates. It is now, for me to take up cudgels to protect his ‘Word’, which I do.

Knowledge is something that in India we hold precious; may be more than even gold. We like neither to share it nor instruct about it. I have spent long time, period, or may be era requesting self claimed experts to teach me composing simple text on PC much before Microsoft Word came to be. Now with Word, I only had to stick my bums to the chair, start clicking and the knowledge comes down in cascades telling you whatever is to be done to make you wise. Or, you may fearlessly make others wise to your brainy inspirations.

Knowledge is again what it is all about, the word in writing or reading, acquiring and distributing. And, there I wish I could undo my very birth year and redo it so that when the Word came to be I would be about 10 years old. I still remember in sixties, I was a scourge with my parents, relatives, and teachers; I was scouring libraries in Mapusa in search of knowledge of various kinds to sate my appetite. My curiosity ranged in subjects from erotics to aesthetics and metaphysics, literature and Science. As a 15 year old, I was futilely hunting for information on Fibonacci numbers. I was also deeply perplexed about Buddhism and Jainism, two mighty religions whose beginnings school text books eulogize but are conspicuously silent about their later day stupefying fate. The information came to me only when the Word came to be.

The world’s oldest man, a veteran of WW I has said today, ‘let there be one nation’. India’s very own Rabindranath Tagore says it all”…Where Knowledge is free, where the world has not been broken up into fragments…”

Published in ‘The Herald’, dated July 28, 2009

Kalidas Sawkar
Panaji, Goa