Seeking help for a missing laptop

If you're wondering why I haven't posted anything in a few days, it's because I've been trying to recover from a big loss. The first step was to make a desperate call to the police.  Milk carton laptop

Me: "My baby's missing."

Officer: "Your baby? When did this happen, sir?"

Me: "Yesterday. I left it in a shopping cart and someone took it."

Officer: "It? Is it a male or a female?"

Me: "Uh … I think it's a male. It has lots of keys. And it gets turned on very easily."

Officer: "Have you been drinking, sir?"

Me: "No, not yet."

Officer: "What's your baby's name?"

Me: "Dell."

Officer: "Can you describe him?"

Me: "He's short and very slow. Well, sometimes he's slow; other times, he's very fast. It all depends on what I'm making him do."

Officer: "Is this a prank call, sir? You could get in big trouble for that."

Me: "No, it's not a prank call. I lost my laptop. I was very attached to him."

Officer: "Sir, I'd advise you to see a therapist. You need some help."

A few hours later, I was lying on a couch, telling my story to Dr. Della Laptova.

"The worst part is that it's all my fault. I made a terrible mistake. You see, I went to the grocery store with all my kids and, after loading three of them in my car, I suffered some sort of brain malfunction and left my baby in the shopping cart. I realized my mistake when I returned home, rushed back to the store, but it was too late. Someone had taken my baby. I can't believe there's someone out there touching my baby. I can't believe there's someone out there whispering sweet nothings into his USB port."

"How does that make you feel?"

"I feel so … violated. How could someone do this to me?"

After a few sessions, Dr. Laptova advised me to join a support group. I found one listed in the newspaper: "Support Group for People Who've Lost a Laptop."

So there I was on a Thursday evening, listening to people who've survived the ordeal of losing a laptop.

Thirty-something man: "I just take it one day at a time. That's all you can do, really. I wish I could forget, but every time I see someone with a laptop, I think of my 'Shiba and how much joy she brought to my life. She had 2 gigabytes of RAM, you know."

Middle-aged woman: "That's the hardest part — seeing other people with their laptops. People ask me why I don't just replace him, but they don't realize how much of my life was in his hard drive."  

Listening to the people in the support group made me more desperate to find my baby. I contacted a local TV station and asked them if I could appear on the 6 o' clock news. They gave me a minute to make a heartfelt plea: "Dell, if you're watching this, I want you to know how much I love you. Please come back to me. I will never let you out of my sight again. I promise!"

Someone advised me to put a 'lost' ad in the paper. So I did.

Lost ad


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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. This is so brilliantly funny. Thanks for a good laugh!

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