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The Remoteness of Control
by Gargi Choudhury

After several years of thorough investigation, I have finally stumbled upon the principle reason why the remote control is called so. I must inform you at the outset that I am highly qualified to carry out this inquiry, as I have slugged it out as a couch potato for little more than two decades. My findings, therefore, are as follows:

The dictionary would have you believe that the remote control (henceforth referred to as ‘RC’, so as not to give the typist an ache in her prettily manicured fingers) is a device that lets you manipulate an electronic appliance from afar. But the truth is substantially different. The RC is in fact a device which, in accordance with its title, is permanently remote. To put it simply, it is always stationed in some far-off location that cannot be easily pin-pointed without the help of a Global Positioning System (‘GPS’ for the tech-savvy), or some kind of sensor tacked on to it.

My inquiry reveals that there are two kinds of RCs in the world. The first is the Chameleon RC, which is so disobliging as to adopt the colour of its environment. It seamlessly merges into the background, so that, come hell or high water, you will never be able to find it.

The second type is the ‘Seat-of-the-Pants’ RC. Sometimes you will find that, despite your not doing anything, the telly is rapidly changing channels by itself. If this happens, then take a deep breath and relax. It does not mean that the local ghoul has gone and lodged itself in your television set. Rather, if you look closely, you will find that you are, in all probability, sitting on the RC, and the flicking of channels is being achieved (unknowingly) by your ample behind.

That’s the USP of this particular RC. It arranges to transport itself to wherever you plan to sit.

If all methods to unearth the RC fails, remember that this task is effortlessly achieved by the youngest member of the family (age 5 or less), for the toddler must watch his cartoon, else life is worth only an almighty howl.

Not that locating the RC alleviates your problems. Once it is within the eyeshot of all members of the family, each of them will pounce on it with the aim of watching their favourite programme. That means that you will land up savouring a heady mix of the news, cartoons, serials so long-running that they challenge the immortality of the almighty etc.

But I can’t elaborate any more on that now. I have to go look for my (remote) control.