Friday, February 20, 2015

Silent Rebel...

Those days (before the new millennium) when I was young , I was very adventurous. I liked to do things that people didn't dare to try. I was a thrill-seeker, a daredevil, a maverick. Those things of telling me not to do stuff because it was dangerous fell on deaf ears. Okay, not entirely deaf ears, but if I didn't perceive the risk, I went ahead with it.

I remember once looking for Jambula. Those that know the fruit know how big a deal it is. Anyway, that particular tree happen to be lined with 'suicide' electricity wires and filled with caterpillars. But the allure of the purple fruits was too much to ignore. Of course I carefully navigated my way to the fruits and back down, with just a few caterpillar spikes in my finger as battle scars. Yup, I wanted the fruits and neither live wires nor caterpillars were going to stop me.

That was about the time my uncle thought I watched too much TV, so one day, he decided to lock the aerial  in his room. That wouldn't have been a problem, ordinarily, for I liked the outdoors. But that particular day, there was something I couldn't afford to miss. So, as the hour of truth drew near, I mobilized my baby cousins and had them swear to the secrecy of the mission that was about to take place. I wasn't going to tolerate any snitching. They seemingly agreed to my plan, for it was in our mutual interest. Now, there was a copper wire that was kept around for disciplinary purposes. I loathed it, for I had had the utmost displeasure of spending time 'bonding' with it on several occasions. There were many days when I had wanted to get rid of it, but doing that would have only led to more wrath from the powers that were. But that day, it was not going to be my foe. We were going to make an uneasy alliance. It was the perfect size, and after ripping off part of the plastic insulation, the diameter of the wire was enough to fit right into the RF port of the TV (the place where the aerial is inserted). Further bending it into an appropriate shape and pushing the TV back against the wall, I switched it on, beaming with satisfaction at my craftiness.

Then there was a problem. My uncle had used the remote control to set the TV on standby. All I heard was the TV coming on and seeing a ka red light instead of green. I was beset by a contingency I had not foreseen, and I had to improvise quickly, for the hour was almost upon us. My cousins were looking at me hopefully. They dared not to believe that their leader was going to fail them yet they were so close to victory. I scratched my chin contemplatively for a few minutes, and then pressed one of the program buttons and voila! The TV burst into life with visual and audio glory! I just needed to tweak the improvised aerial a little before we got a clear signal. Having bathed in the adulation of my minions, we sat down and settled just in time to catch the latest exciting episodes of Godzilla (The Animated Series) and Samurai X. I had already calculated that by the time my uncle returned, the shows would have ended. Thankfully, that day he didn't do that thing adults tend to do... Show up at the most inconvenient times and catch you red-handed doing something 'illegal'.

The next thing I did was to figure out the secret code for activating calls on the home telephone. But that's a story for another time. Ah, good times!

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