When I was 16, I came across the concepts of Classical and Romantic perspective towards a product, thanks to Robert Pirsig. But the concepts had always existed in my life, as ghosts, to use Pirsig's terminology, before they found expression or a name.
Since my early years, I guess, I have been a Romantic when it came to products. Products inherently have an emotive value for me. My reactions to a product is also coloured by my perception of its emotive value.
Hence my current state of enormous dissatisfaction.
I have always loved Zippos, dreamed of getting them since college days, got my first one the day I got my first pay cheque, built up a collection of 5 over a period of about 4 years. And I love all of them to bits. But one of them is troubling me.
An essential part of the satisfaction of the Zippo, is the distinctive click with which the lid opens.In fact, it is that auditory feedback that makes the whole process of lighting it that much enjoyable. A friend of mine once remarked how his cigarette intake increased for the first few days after he got a zippo. He would have more cigarettes just to hear that click. Sceptics would say that a click need not be followed by lighting a cigarette, but the satisfaction of the entire drama, the click and the puff, sigh, cannot be explained logically. You need to feel it. You need to be a Romantic.
No wonder then, that Zippo's website is called zippoclick.
Which brings us back to my distress.
Over the last couple of days, one of my zippos, the youngest one of the collection, fell down and hurt its hinge. It hasn't been clicking after that !!
It still opens, lights as usual in a single strike and closes with a snap.
But no click when it opens ! Oh, the murderous silence !
In fact, I have been so much traumatised by it all, that I have resorted to a matchbox. I can't bear the silence of my zippo.
So anyway, I shall make the journey to the India distributor of Zippos this weekend, who happens to be conveniently located in Delhi, and exercise my free lifetime warranty. I also plan to bring in a new 6th member into the family, just to soothe my click-deprived frayed soul.
You are welcome to pray for the recovery of my zippo and send me more zippos as consolation.
As a parting thought, I give you a glimpse of the family. The last one is the one who is click challenged as of now...