Ctrl + Z

Way back in 1992 I was in Bombay to attend a distant relative’s wedding. I saw the captions ‘I ❤ WINDOWS’ and ‘WINDOWS IS MY GATEWAY TO THE WORLD’ there in his room. Not being able to ask anyone I assumed that these were some cheesy lines the fellow had pasted for his soon to be wife as theirs was a love marriage and the girl lived in the same or adjacent building, I don’t exactly remember. Mind you that till then and even after, until my marriage windows to me was a part of the house to let the air and sunshine in. My knowledge of computers being rudimentary and limited to BASIC and binary numbers. Seven years later the world was tense as the turn of the century was expected to bring chaos in the IT sector. Everyone was waiting with bated breath for Y2K to come and be a spoilsport to all that mankind had achieved and it was the first time I came in close contact with the nerd world by virtue of my marriage to Abhay. The internet might have reached Indian shores in 1995 but I was totally ignorant to its wonders. I came to know of this world through Abhay who taught me how to connect the computer to modem, and learnt the virtue of patience as the network used to be painfully slow and far more time consuming than what is considered ‘slow’ today. I soon became a fan of Teletubbies and Yahoo Greetings!
With time I started learning the use of computers and it was then that the windows of my mind opened to the world of WINDOWS. Why I am reminiscing about all this is because I earned my Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert badge over the weekend which basically means that I am a pro at using the MS suite of apps. And I could reach here because of the one very important lesson in computers that Abhay taught me.
The very first thing that he told me was to never be afraid of trying things because there was always a way out to correct the wrongs and one can learn only by making mistakes. He then went on to show me the power of the shortcut keys Ctrl + Z and in the same breath told me to never use it indiscriminately. He always said that I should know what I was doing and why, and to use this shortcut only under extreme conditions. He would say that all mistakes can not be undone and that one should not take any action without thought. So, I learnt to be very mindful of my actions and measure well because life does not have a recycle bin or the option of Ctrl + Z to retrieve or undo what is done.
Besides, won’t being able to go back and keep correcting make life dull and routine? It may make for a very perfect picture but are not most of the beautiful things around imperfect? Not having the ‘undo’ option brings with it its own adventure and also makes one appreciate the beauty of imperfection. It supports the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi of finding beauty within the imperfections of life. For instance, some games have the option of saving at any point in time so one can go back and undo even the smallest error. But then it takes away the charm of the unknown and improvising on the go. Shubham tells me that in such games he might have scored high but save scumming has always left him with a feeling of accomplishing a task instead of giving the high of playing a game.
Ctrl + Z is to undo a mistake and life does not happen by mistake. Miscalculations and misinterpretations are bound to happen but we do not sit and cry over them or keep wishing to undo them because it only breeds regret and no results. We learn from the mistakes that can’t be undone and try to make ourselves better. And if we think that life has made a mistake, it too has happened for a purpose; we take it with a pinch of salt and move on. Have I ever thought of having the ability to bring back Abhay with the Ctrl + Z option? Yes, many times but then can it be done? No! So what do I do, make my peace and march ahead to learn some more because when we meet he should be proud that I learnt my lessons well.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Mamta says:

    Amazing!! You are such a great writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A. Shruti says:

    Thank you! Glad you liked it.

    Like

  3. I enjoyed your philosophical piece inspired by a computer function! Very clever. I also am really interested in your including “save scumming” in games. This bears reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Shruti says:

      Thank you! Glad you liked the post. The term was introduced to me by my son, who is a game developer.

      Like

  4. Your essay took a gorgeous turn when you wrote, “Have I ever thought of having the ability to bring back Abhay with the Ctrl + Z option?” I just think this line pulls it all together with pain and beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Shruti says:

      Thank you very much! Glad you liked the post. Life is an adventure because of these unexpected twists and turns.

      Like

  5. Debbie Lynn says:

    I love your story-and learned something new. There have been times when there was no ‘undo’ button when I lost lines of text. Now I know I can ‘undo’ my deletion and bring my text back with Control Z! So glad you wrote this! And I love how you compared the ‘undo’ option with life. Even though you cannot ‘undo’ and bring back your Abhay, I could feel his presence in your story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Shruti says:

      Thank you very much. Glad you liked it and shared your thought; makes it more positive.

      Liked by 1 person

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