My wireless internet network "V_4" refuses to connect to the virtual world. So I pick up the phone and dial my internet service provider to find out what went wrong. An amateur eastern islander guy takes my call. After rummaging his database for a considerable period of time, he finally retrieves my record, makes me perform a string of tests I already did, puts me on hold for about three-quarters-an-hour and he still can't figure out a solution. And so, he makes a miserable attempt at conversation, while trying to reach his supervisor for help.
"So, how is the weather there ma'm?" he asks, with his unmistakable forced accent.
Oscar Wilde is so right when he says, “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative", I think. And at the same time, a series of memories flash through my inner eye. When I was a kid, we lived for a period of 3 years in a remote village in India, where Dad was working. We used to have power-cuts for 20 hours a day, everyday. Unbelievably, life wasn't as tough as it sounds, although me and a childhood friend never stopped dreaming of a huge fan in the sky with it's controls in our hands. Last year was particularly weird for me, weather-wise ! I faced the worst summertime I could ask for, in the scorching heat, seated in an asbestos-lining-roofed primitive "mess"(mess, it was), little knowing that later the same year, I would be shivering dead in the cold, with temperatures at -22 C as well, clinging on to my winter-wear for dear life.
"Ma'm, are you there?" the guy enquires.
I am jolted back into the present and answer him.
"The weather... Oh yeah. It is just perfect, thank you. The sun is smiling at me, sweeter and brighter than ever, and I couldn't be happier. Now, if you please Monsieur, could we return to our troubleshooting?"
"Oh, very well ma'm. I'll have to put you on hold for a moment."