It is festive season in India, and I am obligated to shop, shop, shop till death. That would imply I hate shopping, but conforming to assumptions about my sex, I actually LOVE shopping. But, I am broke before I even begin shopping for my stuff. Recently, I have had to spend so much on non-festive things, I can’t even allow myself to buy modest treats like, again predictably for my gender, chocolates. Which implies I’ll actually be able to fit into my new clothes this year, provided I am able to buy them in the first place.
To slightly modify Tina Turner, “What’s The Internet got to do with it?” Well, Tina, as this is the second paragraph, don’t worry. I’ll get to it. I like people who get straight to the point in every area of life, but I can’t ever take the effort of doing so myself. It’s a bit like a pack of cigarettes – it tells the world “Smoking is injurious to health,” but it never actually looks inside to see who started the problem. Thankfully, I see right through it and am a non-smoker. Or maybe a passive smoker, because I seem to be a passive everything in life. Passive smoker, passive drinker, passive writer, passive feeler, passive liver – the life one, not the one which lives healthily inside me because of my passive drinking. I am only, actively, addicted to the internet.
That, was the point. Told you I’ll get there before the paragraph finishes! Human progress is built on one principle, that human progressives around the world like to complicate in too many words. Moderation. Passion is bull**** really. It’s all a lie to get you out of bed in the morning to go and do a job you hate, so that you can come back home and try to play guitar very, very badly, or form a romantic relationship very, very badly, or exercise on a treadmill very, very badly, because those are your passions. Humanity did not progress on passions! It progressed on doing everything, but only to a certain point. Play your guitar badly, but only for half an hour, because it is indecent to presume you might get good at it through practice. Do your job well, but not too well, because you’ll burn out too quickly, only to quit and bury your head in sand because it is a fancy yogic position. No, moderation is key to survival, and consequent progress of our species.
But, we have faltered. We have allowed ourselves into the conspiracy of being addicted to something we thought we were in control of – The Internet. Look at me, fighting my withdrawal symptoms by drafting a post for my blog. Today, would have been the day. Today, was the day I decided to do my shopping online, in one evening, before it’s too late, when I may never have the courage to shop again. Today, when I woke up, I said to myself, “I will sit through thousands and thousands of tiny pictures of women who are a mile taller than me, and thinner than my bones, and I will imagine myself wearing what they are wearing, and looking as good as them.”
And I couldn’t do it! And I couldn’t do my other top-priority concerns of working on different projects, entertainment, education, socializing, and for all you wronged people out there – posting my post titled “Of Blogging and Mystery”. How can any of us have any faith in this world when the one thing that is more available than food and money isn’t there? It is almost midnight, and I am still not over the shame, the horror and the waste of an evening in which I could have been doing so many things – writing, playing my keyboard very, very badly, reading, watching DVDs, talking to people without devices (nah, that wouldn’t have happened), exercising, making a nice meal for myself, tidying the house, contemplating my place in the universe. Or even substituting one problem with another by going out and buying chocolates.
Instead, I clicked ‘reload’. I clicked again. And again. Tried turning the router “off and on again.” Paced about frantically. Lay down in misery. Called The Internet Connection People. They never picked up. Wanted to email but realised the irony soon enough. Lay down again. Got up. Listened to Blondie. Discovered I had the original 8-minute long “Call Me” version I didn’t even know. Had a few unrelated rants here and there, much to the agony of the people at the other end of them. It’s been 8 hours and I don’t know what to do.
Tomorrow I shall go and be among real, tangible clothes, in a real, tangible shop, where I will hand over real, tangible notes to pay for them. Then, I will have real, tangible pizza, at a real, tangible restaurant. And ask them if they have Wi-Fi.