Monday, December 13, 2010


My 'darling' printer

I'm all set to leave for the US to begin my doctoral studies.. The only process left is my visa interview and god willing, if that goes well, I'll be away before the end of the month. During this long journey of 1.25 years towards this stage of my life, there have been many constants, animate and inanimate. The constant with the most unique character? My printer.

I can now appreciate my beloved's pain and the stuff that he has to put up with because I am, ahem.. somewhat temperamental myself and if there is something that can frustrate me out there, you can very well imagine how temperamental that is. My printer does not hate me.. Oh no.. It likes me a lot, in fact but it also likes to make me work for its affection. I always get the sweet stuff.. Beautiful, crisp, clear prints, lovely colors and great definition.. but only after I've sweat a little and prayed to at least one of the many crore deities Hindus believe in..

My diva of a printer does not believe in taxing itself too much.. So what if I have a poster to present or a project report to hand in the next day? I can hardly blame it for acting up when I try to take the final print outs at 2am.. It was my mistake to wake the darling up at that god awful time. Pretty printers need their beauty sleep.. Some form that requires the printer to be connected before you begin to fill it, failing which you'll never be able to take a print out of the confirmation page and effectively ruin your life? (You'll encounter a lot of these if you apply for a US visa in India) You should never have relied on it to be up to that kind of a challenge, thinks the printer. What? You did rely on it? Well, you better have a backup plan.. (I didn't, but thankfully, the confirmation page didn't disappear as soon as I hit print and stayed put long enough for me to coax the diva into doing the job..)

I never know which fascinating facet of its capricious nature the printer will decide to display on a particular day. It might decide to do nothing for hours until after I've hit print, requiring me to cancel the job and start over again.. If I make it print too many pages at a time or leave it on and idle for some time before the actual job, it might decide to maliciously chew up and spit out my paper.. "Take that, you ignorant fool!" If I allow it to heat up too much, it might make the ink too runny and smear it up to boot. Is it any wonder that I plan and strategise every print job with much more finesse, accuracy and precision than the most complex experiments I've performed in the Biochemistry lab?

All said and done, my printer and I have had some good times together. It has saved me a tonne of time, effort and money. As for the tantrums it throws? Well they make me appreciate it that much more when it is working along sweetly, putting out page after lovely page of prints. Maybe my printer lives by this quote of the original diva..

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." 

Marilyn's image from here.

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