Tips to check an internet malfunction

We usually visit my parents on alternate weekends. That's usually the time they look forward to. To meet and play with their grand child, and enjoy the company of (ahem..) Ady and yours truly.
That's also a time that we try to read on stuff - Trivia, that s absolutely insignificant, but rouses interest. Did you know that 40% of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals? or that 315 entries in Webster's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled? Or that John Wilkes Booth's brother once saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son? That's ok if you didn't. Just search for useless trivia and you'll find it all in there. Here's the site, I got this information from.

Anyway, we either try to learn new things, try finishing unfinished books, paint (that's Ady by the way. And he's an awesome painter. Truly. Will dedicate a blog to his paintings soon), write (me) or just catch up on a movie. (Ady's a big time movie buff. Me- not so much. But I guess it's all a part of being - happily married :-))

So you see, we have a list of activities to look forward to during the weekends. And Dad's BSNL connection is indeed super-fast, and dirt cheap. Well, it's super-fast only to me to be honest, besides mom and dad. I think the net favors the Iyer family, 'Cause whenever Ady tries to use the internet - boom, timed out or 404! And the Engineer that he is, he tries checking out what the problem is almost always. He checks for the connection status, rechecks the modem, the power plugs and what not. He calls me to check if I can be of any help. ( I am not much of an Engineer when it comes to big 'tronical stuff. My reference to the Computer as a big 'tronical stuff, should have given you the idea right away!Hardware is not my cup of tea or orange juice for that matter. So when somebody asks me what my qualifications are, I say an MBA clearly and lower my voice and add Engineer, under my breath). And every time I just laugh out that the computer is acting out to Ady's touch! So he gives up on me and calls Amma for help.

Now in Tamil families, the mapilai, or son-in-law is like the crowned Prince. Whatever he says, has to be adhered to. He is also the most important guest on any occasion. The Father of the girl, who otherwise could be a terror in the house, meekly surrenders to the mapilai's whims and fancies. No dinner, till the mapilai is home. No staying at the mapilai's house for longer than a couple of hours. No tea or caapee (Tamil filter coffee), without first offering to mapilai.

So Amma immediately responds to mapilai's calls and answers dutifully "What is it son? Do you need anything?"
The mapilai responds (he doesn't actually boss around, so becomes uneasy at so much of attention being showered) "Amma the net isn't working. Do you ever face this problem? How do you fix it? The connections, modem response are all fine. I don't think there'll be heavy traffic at this time as well. So was wondering if you knew how to reconnect?"

"Yes! Yes! Son. The traffic is not heavy at this time. But lorries pass through the highway. Do you think that could be a problem?"

I could not suppress my laughter. Ady gave in a very small chuckle.

"No Amma, I am not talking about the vehicular traffic. I am talking about the internet. Anyway.. I just want to know if you've ever faced a problem with the connection and what do you usually do?"

"Oh! I call Prasad, the internet guy", Amma responded trying to figure out what was so funny about the traffic. "He comes and fixes. But it is very easy. We don't need to wait for him. Shall I repair son?"

"Yes Amma!", Ady said, now feeling a little stupid that his Engineering degree was not helping.

Amma came, turned off the main switch. Hit the modem twice. Turned the switch on and behold! we were connected!

"So that's where you learn to beat stuff", Ady remarked to me after profusely thanking Amma. "But remember, my home theater is not a place you should try this out!"

"Why not? I answered. It works doesn't it? :-)"