Its been exactly 2 months since I left Bangalore to UK, and for the first time in these 2 months (spent almost entirely on eating, sleeping, working on the computer, more sleeping ……and more computers) I managed to get some real physical exercise …….as I huffed and puffed my way through a few games of tennis – albeit, without a racquet !!!
Instead what I held in my hand was a fruit of man’s remarkable technological advancements – an uber-cool wireless ‘JOYSTICK’ ! ………and in front of me – a 25″ Television !
Mates …. Welcome to the world of modern Gaming !
My colleague Ravi had just procured a brand new Nintendo Wii, on the very day that it launched …..Unlike his favourite animated character Eric Cartman, from the popular comedy show ‘Southpark’ who had frozen himself for 3 weeks just because he couldn’t wait for the launch of the Wii, Ravi had simply done a pre-booking and carried on with his life until it actually arrived !
To think of it, it had been about 10 years since I last played a Nintendo …..but back then it had been just been about Super Mario Bros., or Tetris ………… or at best, shooting virtual ducks on the screen with the toy gun provided ! Boy, I had come a long way since those early days at Kuwait and Thrissur, but apparently, technology had been through a much longer journey !!!
Neverthless, the Wii was just too state-of-the-art ! And its wireless joystick – absolutely mind-boggling ! Picture this …… whichever way you swung your hand, it could almost exactly replicate that on the TV ! So in essence, while playing tennis, you could chop the ball, give it a little top-spin, place it ……everything almost exactly the way you would play it in reality !
Ravi had a collection of few other interesting games as well – like boxing, baseball, golf, bowling etc…….but I liked tennis the best ! What more, the Wii could be connected to the internet and also offered a wide range of extra features – like download/view movies, check out the local weather information, read the latest News etc……
Ravi had paid a humongous amount for this, and wudn’t exactly declare how much ! Technology, after all, exists to make our lives easier …….and its amazing what all it can offer you these days, and to think of the extent of research and development gone into producing it !…..I mean, you pay a fortune, get yourself one of those hi-fi gaming consoles….and then play all the sports you want – that otherwise might have required you to actually go out and physically play ………with a real racquet ……..and a real ball !!! Boy, can’t even imagine how uncool and old-fashioned our lives would have been had it not been for technology !!! 🙂
As I stood there that evening, swinging and serving and smashing the virtual ball on TV, it took me a while to realise that I was standing in front of a clear, wide, window, and that neither the tiny wireless joystick in my hand, nor the TV in front of me, would be visible to the people on the street below! In fact, I didn’t have the faintest clue about the number of people who’d have passed by that night and seen me meaninglessly swinging my arms in the air; and prayed to God to show mercy on my insane soul !
Virtual or real, it was nice to play tennis after such a long hiatus………The last time I had played was over a year back in good ol’ Bangalore, when I used to wake up at unearthly hours in the morning [ ard 6 AM !] and jog all the way to Kanteerva Stadium from Richmond Town, for an hour and half of gruelling tennis lessons ! Then I had moved out to an apartment in IndiraNagar with my old pal Prashant, and subsequently, the only exercise we guys ever used to get was in carrying those Kingfisher bottles to our terrace, where we gulped them looking at the stars above ……and the ultra-haphazard Bangalore skyline below ….with the cool breeze blowing at us ……….
Boy, that was heaven !