We often hear noises and initiatives about reducing the plight of young students who are forced to carry school bags heavier than their own weight. Their plight is not over-hyped, when I was in school; teachers would ensure that each student had two thick hardbound note-books for each subject (homework+classwork); plus copies for periodic tests and the books themselves. Add to that tiffin-boxes and water-bottles (school water and its vicinity was too dirty to avoid carrying bottles). The bags themselves would have to be made of heavy materials to give them the strength to carry the weight. And of course 9 periods for different subjects meant that we had to carry our entire bookshelf to school everyday and back. It was like living the life of a hobo.
While concerned parents and sympathetic boards are doing something to reduce the weight of the yoke on student’s shoulders, people are totally ignorant of the plight of another segment: the corporate executive. Yes, these people have to carry around 8 kilos of laptop weight on their shoulders everyday. Unlike kids, they have to travel with their bags for much larger distances in overcrowded public transport. Many people decide to let only shoulder feel the brunt of the yoke; while the other shoulder goes scott-free. Also the laptop bag comes with all the silicon padding to protect the mean machine and throws its own weight around. Even the power adopter weighs a kilo!!! Sometimes the hapless employee has to carry his boss’s laptop also. Honestly, when I was in Mumbai, I used to use my laptop as a replacement for dumb-bells. And then there is the fear of batteries exploding and catching fire behind ones’ back. The rest of the world take their own pleasure at laptop-carriers; sometimes they give a nudge to the one side carrier sending him into a twirl; even the supermarket bag counters refuse to take laptops to deny some moments of relief for the hapless executive.
Curiously this burden follows a similar pattern for both corporate flier and students: the weight reduces as the carrier’s weight increases. The weight of school bags is the maximum at junior classes when a student usually has more than 10 subjects and little ability to keep a case for human rights with their teachers. The same applies to employees. As one becomes senior, one gets sleeker laptops and finally manages to eliminate its need once he has reached a certain level. But what’s the solution? Laptops aren’t getting any lighter in the short term. May be we can have a Dabbawala service for laptops.