Tunnu’s Computer: by Debarati Mitra

Dorothy Smith of South Africa had set my data
Whether I’m woman or man, creature or matter
She alone knows
I am alive, though
I even think of myself as a woman
I was placed inside
A Blue G royal faber machine
Then, bouncing between places
I’m in Tunnu’s hands now
Tunnu skips her classes at school
Plays the synthesiser
Dances with her friends
She doesn’t play games herself, but watches
And operates her computer sometimes.

Actually I’m an awkward robot
Halfway through a game
I don’t know yet how the story ends
It seems there’s a princes in a kingdom
A harassed Tunnu sends me off to find her
Blowing up a pillar, she makes me climb
A cloud in an instant
The next moment I’m swimming, breathless,
With mermaids seven hundred miles under the sea
Rummaging in the freezing sand of the desert for her
She must be in a room in the palace
An immense mirror in front of her
I am forced to shatter it
A part of her soul spills over to this side
Mrs Smith hadn’t meant for me to suffer so
But Tunnu doesn’t care
It’s all a game to her.

One day Tunnu, Bisku and Lyree
Were playing on the computer in the living room
Her friends told her
Change your computer games, Tunnu
So boring and so immature
We’ll copy some intelligent games for you
From the Rainbow Research Centre

My foolish body began to tremble at this
I was almost extinguished, sobbing
Press any key you like, I’m not
Going to respond to your juvenile wishes anymore
Instead I made her hand
Shake and jerk
And bend like a bough

Dr Smith had never even dreamt of such a thing.

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