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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chp 398. The UPS schemozzle

It was just one of those lazy Sunday afternoons.

After a long night of partying at Aer, there’s nothing more relaxing and peaceful than just chilling out with my three friends Anil, John and Shaan over a couple of beer at Shaan’s Bandra cottage. Sunny outside, thighs sticking to the leathery bean bags inside, enjoying the breeze from the rickety old fan spinning above.

You could feel the air becoming sultrier with every passing day, announcing the arrival of summer here in Mumbai. The humidity was aptly countered by the chilled beer.

“Hey guys,” Shaan suddenly said. “Remember those days when we used to use UPS?”

“Aaah…” the three of us reminisced in unison.

“I think it’s been a really long time since I’ve last seen one!” John expressed.

Gulping down a refreshing swig of cold beer, I corrected John, “It can’t be that long. I think it’s just two to three years ago, I’m sure. But yeah, technology is improving so fast that it kinda seems like a long time ago.”

“True”, Anil nodded in agreement.

Working together at a digital advertising agency for more than five years now, it had indeed been a long time since we last saw somebody using a UPS. First of all, we all had laptops at home now, since it was easier to carry around between home and work and to client meetings.

And even in office, everybody’s either using a laptop or iPads and Android tablets. The very few people who use desktops and macs do not use any UPS since we’ve never had any power outage in office. That’s one of the perks of renting an office space with a 5 crore monthly rental.

“Hey, so what does UPS stand for anyway?” Shaan asked again.


We all rolled our eyes trying to remember, and then suddenly realized we had forgotten!

John and I immediately took out our Android phones to google the answer, when suddenly Shaan interrupted us, “Wait! Stop. Comon guys, we should know this. Let’s try to remember what it is, the good old fashion way, by racking our brains.”

We grinned back as we placed our phones slowly on the table.

“Hmmm… I think UPS stands for Unlimited Power Supply”, I said.

“Unlimited? But it isn’t unlimited at all. It goes off after a few minutes, giving us enough time to shut down our desktops”, Anil said.

“I agree with Anil,” Shaan said. “It isn’t unlimited…. But yeah, the P and S definitely stand for Power Supply, that much I remember.”

“Ok how about this,” John joined in. “Uncertain Power Supply? Because, you know, we never used to know when the lights would go off…”

We laughed.

“Underground Power Supply!” Anil blurted out. “Because I think it has to do with electrical and wiring systems, you know, when we earth the power line in case the electrical insulation fails, hence… Underground”

“Underground…” I replied, “That’s how we call groups like ULFA, NSCN, HPC, PREPAK, UNLF etc. in the North East. Underground. I don’t think people over there would buy a UPS if it means Underground Power Supply.”

We laughed again.

“Ok how about… Unbelievable Power Supply! Because it’s hard to believe that our PC is still running even though there is no electricity!” Shaan quipped.

And after that the rapid round of guessing started…

Anil: “Unauthorized Power Supply, because the Electric Dept shut down electricity and yet it’s still functioning, hence this power supply is not authorized!”

John: “Ulterior Power Supply – Because it has an ulterior motive of giving us electricity even when there is no electricity!”

Shaan: “Ultimate Power Supply, because, hey, there’s no power and yet there IS power. Isn’t that that most ultimate power supply you’ve ever heard of?”

Me: “Umbrella Power Supply! Because we use umbrellas only when it rains, in times of emergency right? Hence… Umbrella!”

Anil: “Unpleasant Power Supply, because it makes that really awful and irritating *peep peep* noise once the electricity goes off!”

John: “Utopia Power Supply – Because in a Utopian world, everything is supposed to be perfect. Hence even the power supply is perfect!”

Shaan: “Unsung Power Supply, because they’re like our unsung heroes. Nobody praises them or realizes how useful they really are.”

Me: “Umbilical Power Supply! Because it acts as the umbilical cord of power supply, protecting us and feeding us with electricity!”

FINALLY, we gave up and I slowly reached for my Android. “Google UPS”. Anil, John and Shaan looked at me and waited in great anticipation…

So which of us got it right?

As the search result showed up on my phone, I gave myself a hard facepalm. And then I told the others what UPS means: “It’s Uninterrupted Power Supply.”

They too immediately facepalmed themselves, groaning in disbelief. Frankly speaking, it was very embarrassing for us to forget what UPS means or even unable to guess it correctly. I guess we all become dumber with age.

We clinked our pints for one last toast before heading out to the balcony for the BBQ lunch. A lazy Sunday afternoon indeed, but it will be a couple of years before we ever forget what UPS means again. Hopefully.

Ps. Not an entirely true story. A work of semi-fiction. :P