Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Temptation

It was one of those weeks that just don’t seem to end. But it had finally ended and it was time to kick into action the plan that had been doing the rounds through surreptitious emails and clandestine text messages.

I fired up my Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 and quickly got into a video chat with Rahul and Neha, childhood friends and travel enthusiasts galore. It was funny how the tab had become an almost inseparable device in the two short weeks that I had had it.

“So all set? You’ll reach there on time, eh?”

A resounding ‘Yes’ came through a visibly excited Rahul, “Wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’m just leaving office and I’ll be there a bit early. Woo hoo!”

Neha whispered back urgently, “Not that loud dummy, I’m in the middle of a meeting. I’ll be there, but I could be a bit late.” “You guys won’t go off without me, right?” she continued nervously.

“No, no of course not, Neha. We’ll wait for you and get the bus to wait as well”, Rahul quickly reassured her.

The problem with using a high end tab like the Samsung Galaxy tab is that the high resolution camera provides very high picture clarity to the viewer. “What are you smirking at Nitin?” said Neha, looking quizzically at me. I quickly hid my grin and mumbled a ‘Nothing, I’ll see you guys there then’ and disconnected the call.

Yes, sure Rahul would go without you Neha!

Rahul had been secretly in love with Neha ever since I knew him. And this trip was going to be the great revelation to Neha. Rahul and I had planned the whole trip so that he could finally tell her his feelings in the lap of the picturesque valleys of Kodaikanal.

I knew I was going to be a bit of a misfit in the trip but Neha would not have come on the trip if I hadn’t come as well. Ah well, the things we do for our friends!

But I had my Samsung Galaxy Tab and I knew that I would not get bored even when I give the two of them as much time alone as I could. I had a whole bunch of HD movies that I wanted to watch on the 10.1 inch LCD screen of my Tab. Add to that the surround sound speakers and I knew that the weekend could not go badly as long as I had my Tab with me.

So finally at about 10 o’clock we boarded the bus that would take me to Kodaikanal, and Rahul and Neha to a happy, blissful life together. As we boarded I moved back a little so Rahul and Neha could sit together. A quick thumbs up and a grin from Rahul and they were both sitting and talking excitedly about the weekend ahead. I found an empty aisle seat and settled down to a long sleepless trip (I find it very difficult to sleep in moving vehicles, especially in hill roads).

As the bus started, I checked my emails and updates on all social networking sites using the Social Hub on the Tab. Quick and convenient I updated the picture of the three of us leaving for the trip and within seconds I got a comment from Pallavi, my girlfriend, who knew about the hidden agenda of the trip. ‘Ram, Sita and Hanuman!’, she wrote tagging me as Hanuman! Funny girl, I tell you!

I pulled up the Reader Hub and immersed myself in the latest Amitav Ghosh book and it was some time after the bus started that I noticed that the person sitting next to me was also not sleeping as well. He seemed to be really excited about something and could barely hold back a huge grin.

“Trouble sleeping in buses, eh?” I grinned.

He turned around and smiled. “Not really, I normally sleep like a baby. Just can’t seem to sleep today. It’s the best day of my life, you see.”
That piqued my curiosity, “Really? That sounds interesting. Mind if I ask what happened.”

He went silent. It seemed that he was trying to put a great emotion into words.
“Have you ever felt that the kind of life we live just curtails our spirit? Like a demon waits for you in office every day and plucks out one feather a day from the wings of our dreams until one fine day we realise that we can never soar again?”
“Well, I’ve really heard someone put it in those words, but I can almost imagine my boss fitting the role of the demon perfectly.” I said.

“Well, I have seen it happen to me every day for the last five years and now I’ve finally had it. I just picked up my bag after coming back from work. I came to the bus stop and stepped into the first bus I saw. This is the journey when I search for myself. I am never going back.”

“Wow that does sound amazingly brave. But, what will you do about money?” I couldn’t help asking.

“You know Nitin, how much money does a person need? I’ve worked hard over the last five years; I have enough saved to give me a simple life for a few years. I have simple tastes and do not need any expensive things.”

I wanted to ask him some more about him when by Samsung Tab started buzzing. It was Pallavi calling me and connected my headphones and had my pre-sleep conversation with her. I told her about the guy sitting next to me and the brave step he’s taken. She was also quite impressed and asked me to wish him luck.

“So what do you intend to do now?” I asked. I can be quite intrusive when I’m curious. Not one of my most endearing qualities.

“Well, I haven’t really thought about it. I just picked the bus and frankly I don’t even know where Kodaikanal is”.

“Oh, that’s easy”, I said as I fired up Google Maps on my screen. I switched on my GPS too and showed him where we were and how long it would take us to reach our destination. I also used the inbuilt Google Maps Navigation to show him what other places he can reach from Kodaikanal.

“The display on your Tab is very clear and sharp.”

“Thanks. Yes, it is probably the best display available amongst all Tablets in the market today.”

I was still curious and I just had to ask him how his family and friends had reacted to the news.

“I haven’t really told them yet. I don’t think they’d quite appreciate it,” he grinned.

I smiled back, “I bet. But I think it’s really great that you’re doing this. We keep thinking about doing this but never actually get around to doing it. I guess our self-control is not that strong. Good luck with your effort, man”

By this time it was quite late and despite my insomnia I started feeling a bit sleepy. As I shut down my Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 he turned to me, “Listen, if you’re sleeping do you mind if I use your Tab. I saw that you have a movie I really want to watch. That is unless it would drain out its battery”

“Of course, it’s got enough more than enough battery life. You can probably keep watching movies all night and it would still be working perfectly in the morning.”
I must have been really tired as I fell asleep almost as soon as I handed over my Tab to him. I should really ask him his name was my last thought as I drifted into dreamland.

I woke with a jerk as the bus stopped in the Kodaikanal bus station. It was a pleasant day and I could see that the trip was going to be fun. I looked around and Rahul and Neha were also just waking up. They seemed to have slept very late after talking through most of the night. The signs were good for Rahul!

“Good morning!” my companion chirped.

“Oh hello, did you sleep well?” I asked.

“Not really. I was up all night. Watched a couple of movies and then was reading on the Reader Hub. You’ve got quite a good collection of e-books.”

“Thanks, and see here, the battery is still going strong. What did I tell you?” I exclaimed.

“Yes, it sure is. Thanks a lot for letting me use your Galaxy Tab.”

As he handed back my Tab I felt that he had returned it a bit reluctantly. In fact I had to pull it a bit to get it out of his grip.

“Well, all the very best!” and I was off with Rahul and Neha.

The two days went just as we had expected. The weather was brilliant and so were the smiles on all our faces when Rahul proposed and Neha accepted. It was an amazing moment and I was able to capture it on video on my Galaxy Tab. I will present the video to them on their wedding and I’m sure it’d be the best gift they receive. Of course, I had to spend most of my time alone, but then I knew what I was signing up for and my Galaxy Tab didn’t let me get bored at all.

So after a great two days we boarded the bus back to Bangalore. As I was walking in I saw a familiar face. The same person I had met on my way here. I may have been imagining it but when he saw me his face fell a bit and he sidled down a bit to try to hide.

“Hey, remember me? Nitin”

“Oh hi, how was the weekend”, he responded.

“It was excellent. What a great place. How was yours? And how come you’re going back to Bangalore? I thought you were planning to stay here for a while and then travel randomly for some time.”

He was silent for a minute.

“Well, the thing is, I just kept thinking about the Galaxy Tab all the time for the last two days. I’ll go back and work for one more month. Buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab 750, and then I’ll definitely leave everything and start my journey!”

This is my entry for the Indiblogger 'Samsung: It's Time to Tab!' contest. You can see the launch video of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 here

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