By N.Natarajan

Unplugged means a lot of things to to a lot of people. To me It means cutting out the noise around my thoughts. Eliminating distractions. Avoiding unnecessary frills. Suppressing the surround sound. Keeping functionality in focus.What was originally a term meant for electricians has gained currency among lesser humans.

There was a time in India (perhaps in other countries too) when appliances didn’t have their own switches. Once they were plugged into the electric socket they started singing, speaking, rotating, heating, cooling, grinding etc. To stop them from performing you simply pulled out the plug and they stopped immediately. Then manufacturers started placing a switch in the appliance, as a safety precaution in addition to the switch in the socket. This became a necessity when more than one device was connected to the same socket. Then came the era of built in batteries. The device could perform without being plugged in. The umbilical cord between the device and the power socket was cut. The baby gained the right to move about, cry and be heard. When the battery life was lost, we inserted another set of batteries.

Then there was an era of duality, when the appliance could be made to work on the mains or on ever-ready battery. Neither was a must. Finally we are in an age of rechargeable batteries and have the best of both the worlds. This is here to stay, COVID 19 permitting. It is worth noting that local repair electricians with short circuiting skills have not heard of plugs. They simply insert the wires of the device in the socket. Not for them, the safety prescriptions. They will be outraged by what we are talking about.

Let me unplug the noises and come to the point. What is noise for some ears is music for others. For me amplifiers are like loud politicians seeking forced entry into my ears uninvited. Thankfully we can increase or decrease the volume or put the device in the silent mode when the control is in our hands.

I hear not too loudly that AI can sensitise devices based on the tolerance level of our ear drums. Some of us are the beneficiaries of divine intervention in this noisy world especially in our advancing years and we can hear very little, be it good or evil.

When I go to the cinema to watch a movie (which is seldom) I carry cotton plugs as I can’t tolerate the output decibels. After I revealed this secret to a few friends, the cotton plug news caught fire. I now understand cinema houses are offering them for free if you need them. I for one won’t be tempted even if they offer tickets free.

This unplugging business has to gain a huge momentum if we are under compulsion to maintain social distancing. Nowadays my neighbour is complaining that even standing next to his soul mate, his pleas can’t seem to get a hearing and that this in direct violation of the principle of natural justice enshrined in the constitution.The reason is that she is absorbed in listening to music in her smart phone and her earphone is tightly plugged in. Parents have the same complaint about their kids. Whatever they say falls into plugged in ears.

Padmini says she suggested this topic.

My finding: Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Please do go over to see the respective blogs to see what my fellow bloggers write on this topic.







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About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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1 Response to UNPLUGGED-I

  1. rummuser says:

    And what a whirlwind it has been! Thus spake an Engineer, Manager, Teacher and observer of human frailties. That touch with the local electricians not using plugs is icing on the cake.


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