Monthly Archives: December 2006

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Every user manual in the world

For a technical writer, it’s a very heartening to know that there are people who like to store user manuals. Buyers regard a products user manual as “extra clutter” and dump it in the nearest dustbin without even opening it. Smart are the people who hold on to all documentation accompanying a product. eserviceinfo.com is one such smart website that has a database of so many user manuals that you not only find manuals for your own products, but also for every piece of hardware in the entire neighborhood. Looking for the required manuals isn’t too easy though. The manuals are in PDF and split into parts of 2MB, if your manual is greater than 2MB. You might have to browse many a page before you are able to download all parts of the manual. Quite cumbersome one might say. Still, a start has been made; let’s give eserviceinfo.com that at least.

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The block of my life

Every now and then, all writers experience a strange phenomenon known as a writer’s block. It doesn’t matter if you are Stephen Kings or Manu Khanna, the chances of experiencing a block are very real and scary. According to Wikipedia, Writer’s block is a phenomenon involving temporary loss of ability to continue writing, usually due to lack of inspiration or creativity.

I think I may be experiencing one right now. I no longer have that insuppressible urge to write, not even for my blog. The cause might vary from.. See what I just said, I don’t even feel like completing this post, what can be worse than that? Henry Roth’s writer’s block continued for sixty years, a day or two is enough to give me the shivers.

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Remembering biji

4th December, 1988 was the day when my grandma “biji” passed away in her sleep. Eighteen years since, each moment of that day is crystal clear in memory as if it happened yesterday. I remember Anu (my brother) coming to the room that Radha (sister) and I shared. It was around 7 AM. He shook my leg vigorously to wake me up. He spoke so fast, I could hardly understand what he said. I heard him say the word “death” and immediately knew biji had died. I ran upstairs to the room which my grand-parents shared and saw bauji sitting on his chair with his forearms rested on the arm rests. He looked terribly shaken and sad. But there weren’t any tears. I went up to bauji and hugged him and started crying (I was 12 years old then.) That was the first time I had seen a dead body.

What saddened me even more was that this body belonged to my biji, and that I could no longer continue to believe that death happens to other people only. Since then, the loss of bauji in 1991, Usha aunty, my nani, babboo mama and earlier this year, my own mother, has confirmed what I have always refused to accept, death is real and inevitable, either we can be sad and wait for our turn, or we can; or we can do what mom did; not think about it and enjoy ourselves in every sense of the word.