Thursday, December 18, 2008


I've never been much of a gamer. Is that a regret ? Read on

Back in the days when I was vulnerable and "impressionable", the games pretty much sucked; at least the ones that I came to know of. They were the days when parents would ambitiously send their children to summer workshops and computer classes. MS Dos and LOGO were cool to know. Advanced classes would teach you microsoft office- editing and copy pasting. Such was my exposure. The summer workshops were more fun. They'd teach you calligraphy ( not just the arabic style). My personal favourite used to be the cloud font. I can only describe it as a font whose letters looked like they were etched from the clouds. It made me dreamy. It made me fantasize. I don't remember what about ? In all likelihood I was simply fantasizing about more clouds.

The gaming fairy simply bypassed me. Perhaps if I had an older, freaky, moody brother, I'd have at least come to know of its existence. But of course, my parents decided to shower all the love they could ever muster on me and me alone, and that came with a large helping of gaming ignorence. It is fair to ask the question : what happened to aunts and uncles who could've bought you computer games for your birthday? Fair question. The gaming fairy simply didn't notice my entire clan. Never got close enough for us to even get a whiff of the adrenalin induced mindboggling stupor. I am one of those kids who didn't grow up with mario. I grew up with marie biscuits ( it was unfortified and way better those days) and milk bikis. But never mario. It's a rare affliction. So rare that it hits one in all the population in the second largest country in the world. That one is me. Me!

Do i regret it ? Probably.

But as H.W Longfellow says...

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

(footnote : personally, i think rain is a great thing. Rain makes me happier than the sun ever will. But I'm speaking of the indian rain that comes bringing with it the life supporting nectar. Indians can do quite well with less of the sun and more of the rain. But that will require so much moving around of the tectonic plates, that only sci-fi ambition could ever make it possible. So here, we stick to longfellow's interpretation of the very dreary english rain)

So then came the wii.
If anybody has seen sound of music..... ( I watched sound of music while others were playing mario, and that bit I do not ever regret. I love rodgers and hammerstein. If I ever have kids and they do not like these musicals, I am ashamed to say that the thoughts of giving them up for adoption will cross my mind. They don't make 'em like that these days.)

Those that have seen sound of music will remember Liesl yelling wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii when the handsome blonde boy ( while I never did find that boy in the least bit handsome, but the casting authorities sure did) grabs her and kisses her. In that one moment, she abandons all her feminity, all her poise, all her austrian aristocratic elan and especially the grace with which she jumps from bench to bench while dancing with the boy. She abandons all that for a glorifying "wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" that makes every single one of us want that blonde boy (unhandsome as he may be).

What made the masters at nintendo think of calling their gaming console "wii", i know not. But they got it bang on. I have sold my soul to the devil and wish for more souls, simply so I can sell them again to the devil. While hard core gaming purists ( its funny how easy it is to throw about the word "purist". What, for instance, is a reality tv show purist ?) may find the present installation of wii a mere curiosity, and will not find it tempting to change allegiance from the neuropathy inducing first person point and shoot games, I know too that wii will eventually get them. Such is what my soul is worth thank you very much.

So when I went to California for thanksgiving my uncle and aunt introduced me to their wii. (It seems like the gaming fairies that had been ignoring us thus far were finally taking note of my clan). It was only mildly amusing when I was creating the mii with the magic wand. But then play started and the devil swooped and swallowed my soul in one exhilarating gulp and I was done in. Here I was, with a wand! Here I was playing tennis. Moving my hands. Backhand. Forehand. Simply amateur- there's-no-term-for-what-you-just-did-with-your-bat-hand. And then here I was playing bowling. Strike. Strike. Oh ouch... gutterball. And then boxing. Was boxing fun. My uncle and I were working up such a sweat it was hilarious. And then out came the towels and the wet soaks. Before long, we were regular boxers, sweating and panting and loving every bit of it.

And then back to tennis. By now, I was gone. While I didn't really have to move around the court (ahem, the carpeted area in the living room), I couldn't help myself. I hit my index finger on the armchair, with a swing that was so hard that there was such a disgusting clot. The pain. The pain was madness. I was laughing hysterically. The pain was real. Not imaginary real. But real, bang yourself on a teak armchair real. And then at some point I yelled wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Like liesl of sound of music. It had come full circle. I had finally become this person who could reconcile her love for sound of music and her new found minor attaction for gaming (?).

Long live nintendo!

1 comment:

Gaurav said...

Heh. Sounds like fun! :)