Laptop and Myopia
As I sit on my rickety chair, iTunes is singing “I want to break free”. Poor thing. It just can’t. My computer is like a supermodel working for NASA. It has the looks, voice and brains. But unfortunately, it is very lazy and sits glued to the desktop. But then, even the iMac is a desktop. So I’m not complaining.
As pointed out by another Apple fan, someone who works for a coding company like Microsoft goes to Prithvi Cafe with his laptop. He can because all he needs is a portable supermodel of his own and internet access probably. Looking around him, he sees a host of actors, script writers, poets, performers, plain Juhu residents who uncannily have enough time to never appear to work, few college students who want to hijack his table and the staff at the cafe. A flute may be heard somewhere in that ‘free’ place. He rests his laptop on the farthest corner of the table occupying a triangle of area with height equal to the width of the base of his laptop. He can work in this environment.
All that needs to be done is in that flat piece of genius. There is not much to see about work beyond its screen. Not much to think except the most optimum keyword in a search field. The world around him, however, is as discordant as shoal of herring when attacked by a turmoil of porpoises. No, not literally. But he is surrounded by artists of many forms. They do not have a set number of instructions to be executed. Their life is a continuous film of one show at a time, one song at a time, one line of poetry at a time. There is no parallel execution of code or one-time compilation of programs. Their search engines are optimised without database management. That is because what they look for is what we think doesn’t even exist.
It is strange to think how channeled our thoughts are. And I do realise that we have done our best and succeeded in varying scales to avert this channelising. But (somehow I almost always begin a sentence with a conjunction) there is still a degree of rigidity in our train of thoughts. Every version of Windows has a start button. We are being told to “click here to start”. This rigidity is an asset to less imaginative coders (as opposed to imaginative coders). But artists never really see an algorithm. May be that is why there are retakes in movie-shoots or variety in the same play performed repeatedly. May be that is why palettes are that messy.
Poor professional. He had come to the cafe for a cup of tea and a quiche. Sadly enough, he carried his workplace with him. Looking around, he saw them jobless creatures whiling away time. He saw them merrily laughing and strutting around. He saw them smile and he saw that there were no furrows on their foreheads. And then he looked at those students. He was one of them a few years back. His eyes now turned to his laptop.
He strains his eyes trying to concentrate on his work. He stares and thinks and stares some more at the wall of pixels. He tries to find a solution to the problem on the screen. Artists don’t see a problem. They do not want a solution. They look and stare everywhere except the computer screen. That is probably why he is myopic and they aren’t.