Thursday, October 20, 2011

Names that make your day.

Steve Jobs was no magician. He was an excellent illusionist. With his astounding quantum of 317 patents, the bespectacled billionaire just bedazzled the world into believing that he was a peerless genius worthy of an immortal halo and millennia of hero worship.

To put things in perspective, an Australian inventor named Kia Silverbrook holds the world record for the most number of patents. Despite having 4,214 inventions to his credit, I am sure you didn’t even know that he exists!

Now you might argue that JOBS IS GOD because he gave you the iMac, iPod, iPad & the iPhone. Well, all I can say is iDisagree. There are worthier folks who’ve walked this earth who probably deserve as much or more acclaim. Say someone like George Crum, the cook from Saratoga Springs without whom crispy potato chips would have never felt the caress and crunch of the masticating mouth. Or for that matter James Goodfellow, the jolly good fellow, who gave us the freedom to withdraw money anytime by simply keying in a Personal identification Number in an ATM.

If one were to judge greatness by the number of lives saved, then spare a thought for Charles Drew, the doctor who drew up the blueprint for the first ever blood bank. A million babies have benefited from John Wild’s idea of using Ultrasound for imaging the human body. How many of you shed a tear for him when he passed away in 2009?

The trouble with most of us is we’re all so self-absorbed that we often forget to celebrate the invisible giants who make us look taller than we actually are. How many of us gush about Willem Koeff, the man who invented dialysis? How many gadget freaks created a Facebook fan page for Martin Cooper, the man who designed the first mobile phone?

For all this moral posturing, I am as pathetic as you when it comes to remembering those who made it all possible. Nama Sutra wouldn’t have lasted for 90 weeks if not for Rosella’s generosity, Reshma’s support, Sathish’s supervision, Guruswamy’s layouts and Amit’s illustrations. Don’t you think it’s time we thanked them publicly?