Sunday, September 19, 2004

Help! The teens are taking over

Episode 1: Mind that Doll!

I was flipping through a magazine at work yesterday, waiting for the muse to descend. And that’s when I spotted her.

She looked cool, aloof yet mind-blowing even in a school uniform. Although, if that was a uniform, then the school could only have been, ‘St Lucifer School of Higher Seduction’. The white shirt was missing several vital buttons and the skirt was intriguingly abbreviated. Her pout certainly didn’t convey, ‘Dang! Jasma got more marks than me in History.’

She was Babydoll - the toast of the music video circuit. She was only 18 but her list of achievements was considerably longer than her skirt. She’d bagged a role in an international music video which also featured Beyonce (of Destiny’s Child). But she was to do more than strut her stuff. A trained classical singer, she was to lend vocal talent to the song titled, ‘Simple Things in Life’. Bollywood had been seduced too. She’d signed a film, ‘Daag: Shades of Love’ which was a ‘sensitive love story” in which she had a ‘hardhitting role’.

The part that intrigued me was her reply to the question, ‘What were you doing before your discovery?’

She replied that she was studying Psychology in College and that, ‘Industrial psychology always interested me.’

My eyebrows flew up. Industrial Psychology is about as interesting as watching a remix video featuring Anupam Kher. Of the 6 papers in the BA Psychology, IP was the second most tedious and mind-numbing.

My eyebrows stayed suspended while she explained why Psychology interested her.

‘I think it’s because psychology is all about reading the human mind, it’s about analyzing behaviour. And I’m very judgmental, so I think that’s why I love it.’

Jeez, what was I thinking when I chose to major in Psychology? Ah yes, I thought it would help clear the clutter in my mind…

Episode 2: Hack & Hacker

In the evening, I stopped to browse at the Oxford Book Store. As I walked in, I saw that irksome notice, ‘The Cha Bar will remain closed on account of ….’ I didn’t need to read further. It always meant the same thing – an event featuring a boring, pompous oration by a wannabe author/director/playwright with journos hanging on for trite soundbites.

I hated being deprived of one of the few real indulgences in life – sitting in the Cha Bar, sipping on a Latte and snacking on the armful of books gleaned from the shelves.

I scowled as I passed the agog audience and cast unclean looks at the speaker who was droning about Internet and dotcoms.

I walked off in a huff and as I waited for the guard to hand me my bag, the speaker’s words floated towards my unwilling ears… ‘I want to thank my publishers for speeding up the publicity of the book, when I told them I was returning to the U.S…’

My eyes fell on the notice I’d ignored earlier and my jaw skidded to the floor.

The ‘wannabe author’ was Ankit Fadia, a 19-year old computer hacker who’d just written his third book! Between foiling the attempts of Pakistani hackers to deface Indian websites and tutoring computer experts in the CBI and FBI, he’d sold 80,000 copies of his books. Now, he juggled classes at Stanford University, lectures on corporate network security and book release functions.

Earthlings, needn’t fear a superior alien species taking over the planet. The teens are doing a pretty good job!

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