lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The truth

The truth shall make ye free.
Somewhere in the Bible

In Mahabharata, the great warrior Karna was said to have had many causes that contributed to his death at the hands of Arjuna. While I might not have that many, I do have a few reasons that led to this longish gap between posts.

I could blame it on my back- it hurt a lot over the last fortnight. And the doctors all preferred to have tests done and debate the findings than do the basic, necessary ‘needful’ thing, which was to make the pain go away, or at least subside enough so I could think beyond groans and grunts for speech and function like a human being.

I could blame it on my sisters- one added a shortcut to my desktop and played so much Spider Solitaire while she was visiting that it started showing on the Start menu. Naturally, I tried it out. Naturally, I got hooked. Yes, blame it on her. It is easier to deal another game than to write a blog post, really.

Oh, and she suggested a laptop, too. I thought it through and decided I’d rather go for an upgrade for my antediluvian machine, with bells and whistles; and there is a reason for it.

Each time my computer was upgraded, it was because of my son and heir. Usually, I inherit hardware the men folk in the house have no use for. But this time around, he bought a game for me that he thought would entertain me and keep me occupied. I tried to play the game, and found my computer couldn’t detect its existence. Worried calls to my computer boys and I was told my system is too old and slow.

An upgrade again, then, and it is still cheaper than getting a laptop and the house wired so I can write in bed. If I can write in bed, I can very well get up, go to my work-station and write there, after all. I don’t have the patience to learn to use that tiny mouse pad area or the ridiculous keyboard, anyhow.

I could blame my computer guys too. They took almost all week to bring my machine back. Then I had to customise my settings all over again. All my bookmarks were lost, and I had to struggle to remember passwords. There were the weekend crosswords, too.

Monday rolled in, and I found that the Bank Holiday jumbo crosswords occupied my time a while. What was I doing when I wasn’t actually solving clues, you ask? The other sister- you can blame my long silence on her, too.

The last time she visited, I grumbled at her that I was spending all my time at the computer playing Solitaire. She commiserated, and introduced me to Mah-jongg solitaire played online no less. I was glad when they came to take my computer away for the upgrade Monday last week, I can tell you. I had done nothing, but nothing other than play Mah-jongg solitaire since she left. If I felt bereft without my computer, I was still glad for that little period of de-tox.

Now, to my despair (I know this is a lost cause), Mah-jongg again and a feeble attempt at kicking the habit all of yesterday, I woke this morning with a “still, small voice” telling me that I was being lazy about Larking.

One of my favourite scenes in Tintin comics is Captain Haddock’s innate good sense and temptation arguing it out. While I didn’t have an angel and an imp exhorting me, I still had a bit of debate with myself. This is because I have lately discovered that being good, being nice, and doing the right thing are all not mandatory, but optional. I have discovered too, that long suppressed wickedness, when let loose, is not easy to reason with.

So there I was, at almost four o’clock in the morning, with a mug of tea and Mah-jongg. Eyes hunting pairs and mouse clicking them away, and this internal wrestling match.

My Conscience: You haven’t blogged in ages.
My Wicked Self: So what?
MC: You haven’t posted in nearly two weeks.
MWS: So? Some bloggers don’t post for months, after all.
MC: But you do, regularly. People might think you are, um, dead.
MWS: Hah. I will do a Granny Weatherwax, a one line post declaring ‘I ATEN”T DEAD’ then.
MC: It has been done by every blogger who reads Pratchett, good grief!
MWS: Most of my readers are friends, and they all know the situation, so why bother?
MC: Not the lurkers and readers who don’t write in, you owe them an explanation.
MWS: I will tell the truth, then.
MC: That you have been busy playing Mah-jongg instead of working on your poems and blogging?
MWS: Yeah, why not? Maybe some reader can suggest another game.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but…um. Not quite, but that is a post for another day.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

from us lurkers and don't write ins.

As for another game, how 'bout blogging? :P

Take care and write as often as you may.

8:02 am  
Blogger Primalsoup said...

As your lurker, I was wondering about the lack of updates too.

I do think, playing Mah-Jong is much easier than Blogging. But after having played it for six months, I find that I haven't completed/won the game even once. And there is only that much one can play for the sake of it. :)

Take care.

11:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad your conscience won out (somewhat!) I was wondering what was up, it's nice that you're back in action.
With the online game addiction, I've been there, done that. I think that everyone has a threshold beyond which detoxification occurs naturally. Methinks you are approaching yours!

5:35 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anon- Blogging is not a game, no? :-)

Primal Soup- Thanks for telling me. My problem with Mah-jongg is that I do keep winning every fifth or sixth time. That makes it harder to quit.

Kamini- You are right about thresholds, but I am still in the stage where I dream of tiles and pairs...sigh. Let's see, I have been up for an hour, and still not played a game, so maybe there is hope yet.

5:13 am  
Blogger Sivaram Pothukuchi said...

Try Freecell !
It truely sets you free ....

10:25 am  
Blogger dipali said...

After talking to you and learning about your upgade, I was expecting a brand new post very soon. Now I know that You Were Up to No Good.
Loved this post:)

8:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quote without chapter and verse! Now I believe you. Stay well and keep blogging, Lali. I thought you were a Minesweeper addict, though?

9:14 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Sivaram- Freecell has me in thrall, satisfied?

Dipali- Ouch. That was below the belt, Dipali, to refer to HP. But yeah, I was being bad.

Ash- You can hunt up the exact references if you want, okay? Minesweeper rules, yes.

10:17 pm  
Blogger anantha said...

I thought it through and decided I’d rather go for an upgrade for my antediluvian machine, with bells and whistles; and there is a reason for it.
Oohh... the machine plays jingle bells and whistles whenever you have a new blog post? :D

Sorry, that was a poor PJ. For some reason, this post slipped through the cracks on my feed reader and once I saw you, I thought of checking your blog and whoa.. two posts!

Maahjong? Solitaire? Wait till you see 'Stickcricket' :D

11:29 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anantha- I wish the machine played alarm tunes to nudge me into posting or doing more than twiddle my thumbs via Mah-jongg, Solitaire or Freecell.

10:55 pm  
Blogger flowergirl said...

I really laughed out loud reading this! Its exactly what happens to is looming in the face, but its more fun playing wordscraper or solitaire....and then of course I virtuously lecture my son on the "evils" of procrastination!!

9:33 am  

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