Friday, 15 January 2016

Flashback: On the joy of repairing

I have vivid memories of my childhood, where something in the house would go kaput, many a time, because my brother or I (mostly me) felt the need to meddle with it. Living in a remote area in the Nilgiris meant that we would have to wait to get it fixed till we travelled to town (Gudalur or Sulthan Bathery, both around 25 km away), or if it needed major repair, a trip to the ‘big city’, typically Mysore, Bangalore or Ooty.
We of course, couldn't wait until then! So my father would roll up his sleeves, sit at the dining table with the machine in question placed on a brightly coloured cloth, and get to work. In case of the VCR (where it almost always swallowed the cassette and refused to spit it out), he would slowly and painstakingly unscrew the screws, remove the top panel, and use the screwdriver to wedge out the cassette. This would be followed by removing the dust that had gathered since the last ‘operation’.
I really am not too sure if he knew what he was doing, but once he reassembled it, the mixie or VCR or whatever it was, would actually work! If it didn’t function as it was supposed to, he would go through the dissembling/assembling process once again. This saga repeated itself at least five or six times before my father would throw his hands up in the air, and decide that it needed to be looked at by someone more competent.
The times have changed though. These days, when something goes kaput, I pick up the phone, google the nearest service centre, call them and place a complaint and wait for the gentleman (or woman) in question to come home to fix it.
Within two working days preferably.

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