The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

It's been quite a while, huh?

I started this blog because at that time, I had the world's most boring job and I was looking for a way to pass the time. Before I knew it, this blog had turned into a weird mishmash of friend-diary-activist platform-like thingy. Often, it was the only place where I could truly be myself and tell the world what I was really feeling, safely wrapped in the cloaks of anonymity.

I told a handful of people about this alter ego of mine. Some of them kept the secret, some of them did not. Others stumbled here accidentally and figured out it was me. Yet others thought that the best thing to do on an anonymous blog was not just 'out' the blogger but everyone she wrote about.

Now, too many people know that this is me. I no longer feel so comfortable airing my thoughts here. Friends, former friends, frenemies, colleagues, former colleagues, acquaintances, ex-boyfriends, girl friends of ex-boyfriends, ex-girl friends of get the general idea. The blogosphere has become too small for my comfort.

Somewhere along the way, it dawned on me that there were people out there - mostly strangers - who actually read my blog. Commented on it. Enjoyed it. I think that was by far the best thing to come out of this experience. So here's a HUGE thank you to everyone who ever stopped by, who shared a few words with me, smiled at me, hugged me when I needed it and made this blogger's day brighter.

This blog will remain open to comments, but this will be my last post.

Thank you, to all my wonderful, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious readers. I hope I'll meet you again somewhere, in a brand new avatar.

Be good, be safe and enjoy life.

I remember watching Mangal Pandey with my father, and he remarked that India won our independence for us. When I asked him what he meant, he said that the Indian independence struggle was a bloody one; and we reaped the benefits, with very little effort. I'm beginning to think that he was right; perhaps that is why Sri Lankans seem to value freedom, sovereignty and their country so little.

At one point in recent history, we elected a party to power who all but signed over part of Sri Lanka to the LTTE, and we seemed to be ruled by a consortium of foreign nationals who had everything but this country's best interests at heart. We valued the country's sovereignty so little that we didn't mind letting everyone else rule our land. Several elections, many bombs and yet another war later, I thought we were finally going to move forward. I remember watching TV on May 19, 2009, and thinking that we, the generation born into this war, were finally free. At long last, this country would prosper.

No such luck. An election between the devil and the deep blue sea had the voters choose the devil. And so here we are, watching as 60% of the voters constitutionalize tyranny. What else did they expect when they elected him back into power? We have just shackled generations of Sri Lankans to come with the 18th Amendment. I cannot think of a harsher curse.

30 years from now, we could still have the same president.

30 years from now, we could still have the same president.

That is a very very very scary thought. But maybe by then, they'll officially call him king. Because that is what he will be, right? In fact, that is what he is now, minus the crown. We are not a monarchy. We moved beyond that. Or so I thought. But infinite regression seems to be in vogue.

30 years we suffered for our great grandparents mistakes. Now we just ensured that our great grandchildren will suffer for ours.

I have always had good, long lasting relationships with my cellphones. All my Nokias and Sony Ericssons have been good to me, and I adored them in turn. None of us ever broke up, we each moved onto greener pastures after several years; some of them even hung around to form quirky threesomes.

And then I met my Blackberry, with whom I was certain that I would only have a casual fling. I mean, I didn't get it because I wanted a Blackberry, I just got it because it came with the contract. Yet, over time, the Blackberry turned into my Crackberry. Everything was on it, and I didn't even realise that I had become a crack addict.

Then, exactly two weeks after the warranty expired (I swear, these companies do it on purpose!), the unthinkable happened. Murphy's Law decided to kill my Crackberry. I went to sleep Sunday night, content with the knowledge that my Crackberry would wake me on time for work. I woke up Monday morning and the room was eerily quiet. I picked up my Crackberry to see why it had fallen asleep on my, only to find that it had presumably consumed too much crack during my slumber, because it wasn't working. At all.

I was greeted to a white screen with the image of a half charged battery with a red line striking it through. It wouldn't switch on or off. It wouldn't charge. Taking the battery out didn't help. Taking the SIM and the media card out didn't help. Doing it all several times didn't help.With bile rising in my stomach, I turned boxes upside down to find the warranty, only to find out that it had expired two weeks ago.

I went to work in a state of panic, and was unable to think until lunch time, when I went the Fido dealer who sold me the phone. The dealer was very nice, very polite and very helpful. And very unsuccessful. They tried different chargers, different batteries and different phones. The verdict? There was nothing wrong with the battery, so it was either the hardware or the software for the phone. I was out of warranty, so they couldn't help, but they called tech support for me to see if that would be fruitful. He also very helpfully suggested that I wait till May 2011 to get a new phone at a cheap price, and settle for a second hand phone for now, if the phone could not be resuscitated.

Tech support from Fido was almost as helpful as the dealer. They said I would have to try and restore the phone, meaning that I would lose all my data (I was ok with that, at this point) but if that failed, it was time for a new phone. Of course, I would have to wait till Tuesday to try the restore it, because the CD with the software was at home along with the USB cable, and the computer with a CD drive was at work.

I spent the rest of Monday suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms, and my phone, having consumed all the crack, retained the same bizarre expression on its face all day. And then all night.

First thing Tuesday morning at work, I installed the Blackberry Desktop Manager and tried to follow the detailed instructions emailed to me by Fido Tech Support (I told you they were super nice). But of course, because Murphy was still hovering about, the instructions and the program didn't sync, and the program didn't recognize the phone. After reinstalling the software a second time and going through the same motions, I tried a different tactic. I downloaded the Blackberry Desktop Manager from the Blackberry website and tried it, but again, it was a no go.

I refused to give up, and called Fido Tech Support once again. We spent a good 40 minutes on the phone, trying to resuscitate my Crackberry. He suggested I try a different USB port, the whole battery out-in thingy, restarting the computer, checking the battery terminals...all failed. He finally suggested that I call Blackberry themselves. And start searching Craigslist, because he said that he didn't think my phone would pull through.

I was in full panic mode now. The withdrawal symptoms had reached epic levels, and the thought of having to spend $300 on a second hand phone was starting to cause an aneurysm.

The call to Blackberry didn't help. At all. Unlike Fido, they very calmly informed me that since I was out of warranty, I could pay $50 just to speak to them and see if they could help, or ship the phone to them for $200 for repairs. Or, I should just invest in a new phone.

My Crackberry was all but pronounced dead, and in between hallucinations and popping nerves, I started going through Craigslist listings. Woe is me!

However, I still refused to give up hope entirely. Surfing the net, I found several others had also found their Crackberries to suffer from the same crack over dose that mine was going through. Unfortunately, most of those threads ended in tales of expensive paper weights. And the remedy in the few (three or four) cases that had conquered the crack? They had dropped their Crackberries on wooden floors at least three times.

My home & office are both carpeted, but why should that stop me in my final acts of desperation, right? Thus started my final attempts, which went something like this:
I took out the media card and the SIM, put them back in, took them out again and put them back in, repeating the prodeure alternately. In between the above procedure,  I dropped the phone on the floor 3 times (as instructed, but on a carpeted floor). Simultaneously, I restarted the computer a random amount of times and reinstalled the Blackberry Desktop Manager on the computer 3 times. I also randomly took the battery in and out a gazillion times, and kept trying to reboot the phone by connecting it to the computer.

As my vein was about to pop, I noticed the Crackberry flicker as I connected it to the computer for the gazillion and first time. Instead of the Blackberry-on-crack image, there was that of an hour glass. Was this merely a hallucination induced by my withdrawal symptoms, or was this for real? I gulped some water and checked, and there it was...the hour glass symbol.

As I watched, the hour glass symbol stayed on screen for almost 5 minutes. And then, at long last, the Fido logo appeared! I immediately disconnected the Crackberry from the computer, and watched as the phone came back to life, data intact, battery almost dead.


It has been a little less than 24 hours now, and I am glad to report that after sufficient charging, the Crackberry seems to be back to its usual self. I too, am no longer suffering from withdrawal symptoms, though I still find myself checking the phone's pulse, just to make sure that it is still alive.

I am glad to have finaaly conquered the Crackberry and to have defied all diagnosis of death beyond repair.

I hope that it remains by my side for many more months to come.

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Be true to your heart, and true to your conscience.

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