I’ve become a bad person. I wasn’t like this before. Earlier I’d read the most awful book till I reached the ISBN code. I’ve read, let me see, this godawful book called Ruby, and The Untouchables (I mean, with all due respects to Bakha and Mr. Mulk, there is something really unpalatable when a book begins with a description of crap. And you will sympathise with me when I tell you that in all ignorance I began the book on the dinner table, a practice of mine.) I even patiently ploughed through The Grapes of Wrath, War and Peace, and this bizarre romance called Promises from the Past.
But after I’ve begun to work in the IT world, alas, no longer as a trainer who flits about techies and is blissful in own world but permanently on an I-earn-my-mollah-from-techies- kind of way; I find myself impatient with badly written books or books that I take a dislike to.
I recently began Five Point Someone. After long and all that I know, but I looked down upon it. Last week, I was desperate, I had no book. So I began this and promptly fell in love with it. It was fun, light and even funny in parts. Perfect, I thought. But after the second chapter I began to get bored.
I prefer these kinds of tales being told on a night journey on the Indian Railways where you are guzzling whiskey you’ve smuggled in a darkish flask the way Arun and I did while returning together to Bangalore after his engagement to my best friend Anu in Chennai. Arun studied in Pilani and had a night long worth of hilarious stories from his hostel life which he narrated in true showman fashion. You must get Arun to tell you the Dileep Rangan, do you know relaying? It’s really laugh-out-loud funny something I did to the discomfort of fellow travelers who were trying to sleep.
So Chetan lost out on Arun. And slowly as I was reading resentment began to creep in as well. I mean, who the hell do these engineers think they are? They are the ones who mug and shut themselves out from the normal world. They get their points and grades and what not and join or start these IT companies. No sooner than they do that, they start polluting the English language with words like leverage and bandwidth and communiqué.
Words that I have to learn to use in everyday conversation!
Enough was enough, out went Chetan and in came P. G. Wodehouse with my Jeeves Omnibus Part 1.
I’ve been feeling slightly guilty since then, I mean, it’s really bad scene for poor Chetan me throwing the book away unread. But into each life some rain must fall and so I hope Chetan learns to pick up the shattered pieces of his life and move on… (I really love that phrase and the man who makes me use it in everyday conversation; and though of the IT world, he’s not an IT product, thank god.)
And so I conclude, it is IT that makes me a bad person. Had I been left alone as a student of literature, I’d never have thrown away a book unread and in half. These days, I leverage my time better and always think of ROI. (Return on Investment, an acronym I was chastised for not knowing recently. If you had to read the expansion; call me, you are the kind of friend I want in life.)