Vantage point

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

The Prince of Sprinklers - II

So, here I am waiting for a friend(who is always late) to come online, to socha ek post hi kyu na kee jaaye?

It shall warm the cockles of all my reader's hearts to know that my foot is now free from the pain that it has been through. Now I can get back to playing "Prince of sprinklers - II". What is that, you ask? It is just like a video game, except that it is played in real life.

I have, in the past, described the lush green lawns that proliferate IIM, Lucknow. Such greenery comes at a price, and that price is sprinklers, one of the nascent enemies of mankind. Our insti has lawns all over the place and hence, also has sprinklers all over the place. Management students spend a lot of time in the library, or in the computer centre, and this can dull their reflexes. I suspect that is the reason why the insti people have installed these sprinklers all over the place in such wierd order.

So how is the game played? There is no separate time to be set aside fopr playing the game. It is a continuous process, which stops only when you go to bed (fortunately, no sprinklers in the hostel rooms yet). At any time, when you are walking on the fairways, the sprinklers raise their heads and start firing(or rather watering) in all directions. They follow varied trajectories-

a. Clockwise
b. Anti-clockwise
c. Spraying in all directions
d. at 0.8 mach
e. at 0.008 mach
f. at 8 mach!!!

One sprinkler falls in various categories at any random moment. It is like those demons in a video game, changing their forms. It can come at you from any direction and drench your shirt (or worse, pants) in a few seconds. Since it is so hot, and there is no sign of the monsoons, one doesnt mind it too much, but there is the pride which one values so much.

I can get by with just one drenching day or so, but having seen "Matrix", I have this man-vs-machine thing in my head. I can't let those damned machines(may not be embedded systems but still..) win. I can't let them take control. before I know it, I'll have a rod sticking through the back of my head, if things go that way. So I play "Prince of Sprinkler- II", which is the improved version, every morning.

There is this football field in between my hostel and the mess. Usually, when the sprinklers are on, we used to walk on the road around the field. But now, if I see the sprinklers ON, I deliberately walk through the field, dodging the spray and weaving through the dense cluster of sprinklers, with the aim of reaching the other side dry. For every sprinkler I avoid, I get 100 points, and for every time that they manage to spray me, I deduct 50. The game is going on, with me at 850 in 12 days. I have noticed that the sprinklers, without the aid of microchips are anything, appear pretty dumb, but they do have these flashes of brilliance. Once, for instance, two sprinklers plotted to get me by hook or by crook. One started spouting water at me, and I grinned and stepped to the left, when another sprinkler right besides me splashed at my legs and succeeded in docking me 50 points. To avoid it I jumped back, as a reflex and got drenched by the first one. Tricky customers, these.

So anyway, the battle rages on. My friend has come online, so I'll stop here.

Any games you play in real life?