Not so remote problems


The afternoon sun pours into the living room, leaving long streaks of gold on the floor. The flowers in the vase on my coffee table sway gently in the breeze.

Everything seems peaceful, but I am not. I am repeatedly clicking my tongue in exasperation. “Why?” you ask.

I have problems with my remote, remotes rather!

I have an elegant remote-holder next to me, on a side table. It overflows with remotes that help us stay entertained, with movies, soaps and lovely music.

Each device has a remote, and there is a ‘universal remote’, who’s the boss!

All’s well when all these remotes are behaving well. However, it’s not always like this, is it?

So, I have decided to watch a short film that was recommended by a friend.

Despite the latest gadgets surrounding me, I have to now battle with the remotes. Of late, the remotes have become quite rebellious.

The main TV remote has to be directed at the TV screen for a continuous period of 5 seconds, with the power button pressed, for the TV to sense it. It was not always like this. It used to be a good remote. We changed batteries, tried hitting it on the palm of the hand (isn’t that the universal cure for faulty remotes?) and also pleaded with it to work.

But this is the way it behaves now!

Our next remote is the smart remote for the smart TV. All is well here, except that something keeps rattling inside the remote. And ever since the rattling started, the ‘forward/right’ button has stopped working.

Courtesy – Openclipart

The one good thing in all this is that some of the features of these two remotes overlap!

Which means that before I start watching the short film, I have to use the ‘point me for 5 seconds before you see a flicker remote’ to switch on the TV.

I then use ‘the not so smart remote’ to click on youtube. I then navigate with the pointer on the mouse to reach the magnifying lens, which is the symbol for the search function.

If only it would point and click. Instead, the arrow runs wild on the screen, as if playing a game of hide and seek. I click in exasperation, as the pointer disappears from the screen.

I have to do it manually now. The right arrow on the not so smart remote does not work, I use the up, down and left arrows to reach ‘search’. Phew!

At this point, the naughty pointer arrow is back from its break! The system opens up a keyboard for me to type-in my choice.

I move left, up, down with one remote, then switch to the second remote, where 5 seconds are wasted before each letter is selected, then back to the other remote!

And this crazy thing goes on for two to three minutes, and I whoop for joy as the short film finally gets loaded.

“We have to get these serviced,” I mutter to myself, as I become one with the characters and their lives; and at this time, my problems seem remote!!!

Power to ‘electronic babies’


If you had visited our home last night, you would have seen us busy with our electronic babies. We were told that there would be no power in our condominium today, and so more than anything else, our priority was to feed and nourish our electronic babies to help us survive our day.

By 9 pm, all our gadgets were connected intravenously to various chargers, and receiving that ‘much needed energy’ to overcome the state of powerlessness.

Image courtesy – 123rf.com
Today dawned bright and clear. We rushed to finish as many chores as possible, and by 10 am there was a perceptible silence – all our appliances had taken off for the day. 

But it took so much getting used to. Light bulbs remained stoic when my hands tried to turn them on with the mere flick of a switch, the refrigerator was in a dark mood and the fans, for their part, enjoyed the natural breeze that blew-in through every open window.

Thanks to a few things that absolutely needed doing,  I had to walk up and down a few floors. At each floor, the view was different. I walked briskly up two floors and then slowed down and then some more. I was a huff-puffing mass when I got home.

The WiFi tree on my phone disappeared. The TV stared silently, throwing back only my own reflection.

Today, battery life was so precious. No extra surfing, no downloads. Everything could wait. 

I am sure we could teach ourselves to live without power; however life would be very different. 

When the power was finally restored, various devices came back to life after a day’s break with musical beeps, the WiFi tree on my phone was in full bloom and the refrigerator deigned to smile. And thankfully, the elevators had come back to life!