“Welcome Sir”, the showroom manager ushered us in with a smile. “What size of table are you looking for?” We were a little puzzled about our new purchase. In fact I had not come across such an ingenuity of human mind. How could the engineering brain think of a table with various compartments? One that could house a CPU, Battery, Keyboard, Mouse and among other things a UPS (oops….what does that stand for?).  ‘Baba, it means uninterrupted power supply’, quipped my daughter.

“We have a big monitor, a CPU and a key board too. I have so many floppy discs and CDs too. Can we see various sizes of the tables?”  As we went further into the showroom, it was a treat to my eyes to see an engineering marvel. Wow! I was amazed! Just a small 4×3 feet table could have so much to store? Nice tailor made space for each Computer hardware. The drawers were spacious enough to keep CDs and Floppy Discs. They had inbuilt locks too!

Rewind to 2015. We had just completed giving finishing touches to our three storey house. The corner identified for the computer – table had been usurped by a settee. The Desk Top had served its term and had been martyred on the battle grounds of computerization. He along with the likes of Orkut, Floppy discs and CDs had paid the supreme sacrifice, paving the way for Pen- drives, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. The Computer Table, tougher than the hardware it housed was shaky and distressed. It was last used for “Press” – I mean ironing! What an irony!

“Sir, I can buy this for Rs 450/- only”, came a terse reply in response to my ‘Ad’ on OLX. Finding no place in the present world (my home was a part of this new world order), my Computer Table finally bid me a creaking, tear-jerking goodbye for a paltry sum of  Rs 500/- ( A great bargain I thought ) . Yet, its fall from grace would perhaps not be steeper than Sensex post COVID -19 scare. The Computer Table left me, to join its master, the Desk Top after many years of dedicated service. It left in its wake many sweet memories and also an old adage… “Old order changeth, yielding place to new.”  

“Pass me my I-Pad,” I heard my wife saying. My Lap Top and my two year old (new) Work Station trembled in fear on hearing this.  Being used to spacious offices and writing tables bigger than many dining tables of today, my quest for tables (and work station) had found my Lap Top always yearning for a lap. Though I always took pride in my Work Station and my Lap Top (perched pretty on my table), was it the beginning of the end for the “Lap Top” too?

My Lap Top had never found a decent lap to rest. But there were many fortunate ones that found cosier laps, pillows, sofa handles and mattresses to perch on.

“Please improve your posture” I growled. “Why can’t you use a chair and a table”. “Oh,Baba this is an I-pad. We can carry it anywhere. It’s so light and handy. Look, I can WORK from HOME too” smiled my daughter.

I peeped sheepishly inside my collar. The World had moved faster than I could ever imagine. But then, who would imagine there would be a complete Lock Down! Everything is on stand still! Young minds are working from home and I am in my Study, valiantly defending my Lap Top and my Work Station.

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