Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I'm on one of my now-infrequent trips to the metropolis. In the apartment elevator going up, saw one of those familiar neighbourly faces that I'd seen hundreds of times in the lift but never spoken to. Gave him a nod and looked down.

I'm not much of a social person.

Jolting me out of my thoughts, the neighbour said Hi.

"Hi", I replied warily.

Not content with the perfunctoriness of this exchange, he persisted with a How are you?

Oh well, thought I, it's just an elevator ride so "Good. I'm just back here, will be off again in a few days."

"Oh? Where are you based now?"

"In Kelshi, it's in coastal Maharashtra. I'm there on project work."

"Oh? What kind?"

"It's an agricultural experiment."

He looked mystified at this. "So.....", he picked his way, "it's some software?"

I stared at him. "No, complete hardware", I said, and smiled. Thankfully his floor came by then and he had to leave, no doubt feeling I had pulled a fast one on him.

As the doors closed, I burst out laughing. What has the new economy turned us into, that an agricultural experiment automatically implies software? I pictured myself sitting with a laptop next to my pond, coding away furiously while having con calls with New York at odd hours of the night.