By Manas Maisnam
The news of Mary Kom & L. Sarita winning gold medals at 6th Asian Women Boxing Championship, held at Ulaanbaatar was flashed in the local newspapers of the city on 26th March 2012. By afternoon, an idea for a cartoon started to evolve in my mind. Immediately after reaching home from work, I went on to make the cartoon. As it was to be a night of load shedding, with electricity coming at 10:00 PM, I planned to use the generator to operate my scanner & laptop, once the drawing is over. So, I sent an SMS to Tammo Pradip, the editor of IFP informing him about my desire to submit a cartoon through email with a deadline from my side at 9:30 PM.
I ultimately went on to draw the cartoon amidst darkness, using a worn out ‘Moreh’ lamp with a constant tension in my mind about the 9:30 deadline. By 9:00 PM, the drawing was completed. Then, I put on the generator. It roared & gave bright light. With an extreme sense of satisfaction, I was about to plug my scanner to the generator output point when it fizzled & refused to give output current. I tried many times with my limited knowledge of checking plug etc. But everything was in vain. That machine simply stopped giving output, even though it was running!!.
Extremely frustrated, (it was already 9:15 PM), I dared to disturb Tammo Pradip and enquired whether submission of the cartoon at 10:30 PM be OK for publication on the 27th March edition. He gave a positive reply and even informed me that he will instruct his staff to wait for a cartoon till around that time. That statement lifted my spirit on an otherwise dark & gloomy night.
With great eagerness I waited for 10:00 PM and added further small details to my cartoon. Luckily, the electricity dept showered its kindness to me and light came exactly at 10:00 PM (remember, every minute counts by then!). I immediately went on to scan the cartoon and gave finishing touches in computer. By the time everything was completed, it was 10:35 PM. I felt so contended that I could keep the ‘revised’ deadline. Then using my mobile broadband connection, I was all set to send the cartoon to IFP by email. But, tragedy was waiting for me just at that juncture. Even though there was net connectivity, the speed was so slow that I was unable to attach my cartoon (hardly 200 KB file size). Side by side, I was trying to upload a smaller version of the cartoon for my FB. Both failed. I made numerous attempts. Disconnected the net & connected again, removed the dongle & inserted it again. But nothing was working. The clock was ticking slowly and it was 11:00 PM. With time literally running out of my hand, I was cursing the broadband company, pulling off my hair….. In short, my frustration was beyond control!! After a number of attempts & tense minutes, the net connection could finally attach the cartoon at around 11:35 PM, wasting a full one hour. It was ultimately sent to IFP, by which time the pages must have been ‘put to bed’ (ie, approved by the Editor & awaiting printing process).
Today morning (27th March), when I looked at the newspapers, the cartoon didn’t appear in IFP. A cartoon on the same subject, drawn by my friend W. Sadananda appeared in Poknapham. As far as I know, he did not use scanners, laptops or emails. The only consolation was my cartoon has been shared on my personal wall of FB, Mary Kom Home Page of FB on yesterday night itself, ahead of Sadananda!!
(Here is the link to my cartoon http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=351514344884073&set=a.123071701061673.8524.100000765316361&type=1&ref=notif¬if_t= photo_comment&theater)
In the battle of Man Vs Net, Net has won in this case!!!