We enter the world pretty much like this little boy. A bit more helpless, perhaps, and a bit more naked, but barefoot, on a long road, with tools and skills we can only hope to grow into and a big pile of bricks just waiting for us to run up against
Do I sound grim? My laptop crashed ten days ago. Anand assured me that they would probably be able to save my data. Today, in Delhi, which is where the closest Apple store is, the guy informed me cheerfully that it was practically certain that he wouldn't be able to do anything about it. He said he would give me a new hard drive (for free since it's still under warranty), but if I wanted to save the data, I would have to go to a specialist who would charge at least Rs 9000. And, he said, still cheerful, if I did that, the warranty would be void.
Bravely, I told him to go ahead and give me the new hard drive. Three years of work - documents, presentations, proposals, articles, photographs - gone. I feel as barefoot and overwhelmed as the little boy above: the task before me as formidable as that pile of bricks in the distance, the tools at my disposal as inaccessible as that cycle he is too small to climb up on . . .
And yet, there is something liberating and exciting about a new laptop with nothing on it. No remnants of my past mistakes, no tired old phrases there to be cut and pasted and recycled once again: Tabula Rasa!
And somehow, it reminds me of William Carlos Williams' beautiful poem Spring and All:
They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—
Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf
One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf
But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken
That's me: gripping down, MAC-less, wide awake. A profound change indeed.