A bad day at work yesterday followed by a sleepless night, my body clock woke me up at 7:30 AM on a national holiday today. As a ritual, I reached out for my phone to check my unread mails and twitter timeline for a sleepy scroll. Business as usual.
Wait, did I just read that?! I scrolled my twitter timeline frantically, yes…Mashable, NYtimes, WSJ, people I follow- every tweet was a heartfelt mourn in 140 characters. The man actually succumbed. Given how he has changed the face of this world again and again and again, you’d think he would have figured out how to deal with this business by now.
I’m only writing because that’s the only thing I do to make sense out of emotions that don’t make any sense to me. I’m a fairly private person, have little to no regard for ‘icons’ and usually treat death as what it is- fact of life. But today, I am experiencing inexplicable emotions and a discreet sense of personal loss. The only thing ‘Steve’ I own is an ipod shuffle 2nd gen and a bunch of Pixar movies. People might even question with what right am I writing this post, it feels the right thing to do and I’ve never cared for what people think. So.
I’m singling out three instances of my life when I didn’t even know that this one man was engineering in the background:
December 1999– A 12 year old me, 8 year old kid brother and my father were walking around Lajpat Nagar (New Delhi) during the day looking for desktop computers because my parents felt that computers had become imperative for our learning. The three of us had driven around on a scooter from Nehru Place to Karol Bagh and finally landed in Lajpat Nagar after days of research (read- newspaper ads). We zeroed on some assembled desktop in some remote shop and that’s when I saw these luring me from the other end of the showroom to the front. I screamed in delight and called out my dad.
“I want the green or the blue one papa!! Pleeaaaaaseeeeee!!” As a kid, I was simply fascinated by the shape and the color and then dad asked the price and the shopkeeper replied INR 80,000+taxes. My face fell as we had done our calculations before and knew we couldn’t go beyond INR 50,000. We got our assembled desktop home, both me and my brother utilized it to the hilt to learn and play. But since that day, I’ve never missed a chance to play around with any Apple product (of course with the owner’s permissions). Be it the old iMac in Nehru Science Stadium in Delhi, the new iMac in MICA CCC lab, friend’s iPhone, friend’s MacBook, MacBook Pro, iPad/iPod touch in some Apple Store. I’m always compelled to touch and feel the Apple products. Every.single.time. I’ve touch an Apple product I’ve felt like it was designed for me. For the longest time I didn’t even know there was this one man who was walking hand in hand (in a way) with a 12 year old me till date. As I’m typing this, I’m waiting for my iPad 2 and saving for an iPhone. I keep drooling all over a Macbook Pro every now and then, but that’s a longer conversation.
April 2008- I had been talking to this friend of mine who moved to US for his MBA pretty regularly. He was coming back for his vacation to India and I was headed to MICA for my MBA. I was a manic music buff with enough savings to order a 2nd gen iPod shuffle. I thought I earned it and needed it badly enough so I ordered it via the above mentioned friend. While deciding on the color of the shuffle, I noticed I could get something engraved at the back of the shuffle- I got ‘stay wild’. It’s another story that the above mentioned friend forgot to get the shuffle when we met, so he came to hand over the box to me at Hazrat Nizamuddin station on the day I was leaving Delhi for Ahmedabad.
I can’t even begin to express the thrill I felt while opening my box of Shuffle in Ahmedabad and how it rescued me in many many ways (senseless walks in the night, train rides to Delhi, running on the treadmill, boring lectures). All I had to do was to start my shuffle and the world with all its problems just faded away into oblivion. This red thing above was touted as one of the best 2GB music collection on campus.
After starting work, red went into some drawer and was re-discovered this monsoons and yes, it continues to be the best 2 GB music ever! Also I went ahead and married the above mentioned friend and red was his first gift to me.
2000 to present- Life has not been same after discovering Pixar. It really hasn’t been. No sorrow is not resolvable by Toy Story, Monster’s Inc, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Up. Nothing. This is tried and tested. I’ve watched these movies to deal with depressions caused by mega-fights with my mother, quarrels with the then boyfriend now husband, job rejections, bad work days and extreme boredom. Me and my brother hardly spoke to each other while growing up, he was extremely shy and I was a busy teenager. We finally bonded over Pixar movies and made it a ritual to watch any Pixar release together.
Also Mr. Jobs thanks for this.
Rest in peace Steve. I work for a company that exists for touching and improving lives and I’m damn proud of it. As I witnessed the world mourn your death, I realized you did exactly that. Being an Indian who mostly doesn’t but today is fervently hoping for a reincarnation so that the world gets his ‘one more thing’ back. If that doesn’t happen, I genuinely hope the transit was peaceful and you are creating magic on the other side of the rainbow.