Back from the brink

The wordpress editor feels like heaven right now, with angels playing Beethoven on ethereal harps and other things like that. It feels like crisp onion rava masala from Saravana Bhavan. It feels like the “Ga Ma Ni Da Ma” section of Reeti Gowlai. It feels like how Andy Dufresne felt when he escapes from Shawshank prison.

Stop. Rewind. Explain

So why all this unbridled adulation?

Astute readers might have noticed a complete lack of activity on the blog since July 20th. That was the day that I woke up in Toronto, Canada and found that two very bad things had happened.

  • My gmail account (since 2005) had disappeared. Much like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption. Disappeared. Gone. Deleted. So in one inexplicable cyberswoosh of e-tragedy, my digital life was wiped out. All my contacts, emails and chat transcripts. Gone. The first groundnut-putting email I sent the girl who went on to become my wife. Gone. The first version of the first ever song I recorded on Garageband and sent to my close friends. Gone.
  • I could not login to my wordpress account. It seemed like somebody had taken it over and changed the password on it. The email domain to which it was registered was a fairly well known scammer domain. So they could have turned this blog into something obscene. Like a Kumar Sanu fan blog or something.

I could use some more drastic similies to describe what I felt like, but I’ll spare you. So the last 4 days have been a desperate exercise in (trying to) contact Google support to find out what on earth happened. Now, trying to find the Gmail ticket submission form is sort of like a mirage in the desert. One thinks it’s out there, right there, but it’s actually pretty hard to find. Eventually I did log a ticket and pretty much got an instantaneous response, fully sealed in aluminium.

Thank you for your report. We’ve completed our investigation. Because our investigation was inconclusive, we are unable to return your account at this time. At Google we take the privacy and security of our users very seriously. For this reason, we’re unable to reveal any further information about this account.

So essentially I was being told that in order to protect the privacy of my (recently deceased) account, no further information will be revealed to the owner of the account. Sort of like the Military telling parents that they are unable reveal whether their son is dead or alive because of national security reasons, but in any case, he won’t be returning home.

That was Google. I don’t blame them. One cannot provide free support for free email. But what about WordPress? They are free and open source to boot. How good was their support?

For a change, I got to talk to human beings, not bots packaging responses in aluminium. Antony, Noel and Heather from WordPress support took the pains to read my lengthy, verbose emails explaining why I was the real Krish Ashok, and that somebody from a suspicious domain had hijacked my account recently, and today, they restored my access. I quickly changed my password to a string that contains, among other things, Hieroglyphics, Klingon and musical notes in addition to alphanumeric characters, and I am back posting.

I recently finished playing what I think is one of the greatest video games of all time – Portal, and the villanous GLaDOS cheats me in the end by not giving me the cake that was due to me, but to the WordPress support team, here you go. You deserve it.

Update: July 28th – Google restored my account, and all the data. Thank you Vish and Thaths for helping out from the inside. So this black forest cake is for everyone involved.

Thank you WordPress.

ps: Note changed email/gtalk. Plisxcuse and update your contacts.