My first phone was a Siemens handset that an Ungle from the Gelf had bought for me. Sturdy, reliable and built like an Ox, it was the kind of phone that would come very handy if someone snatched your hand bag. You could use it to club the robber black and blue and it would still be intact! And if the robber takes to his heels with your bag, then you could throw it at his receding skull and be sure of some spell binding acoustics effects when it connected with the cranium.
You could then nonchalantly pick it up, blow the dust away (like James Bond blowing the smoke from the muzzle of his gun after he had shot a target that was moving at the speed of 475358 kms a second) and walk away from the scene with your hand bag amidst applause. Of course nothing of that sort happened but that was because no self respecting robber would grab my handbag unless he was desperate for loose change.
A week after I was given the phone, a new model was released and suddenly I was trying to pass off my ‘outdated’ mobile as a rectangular block of grey plastic that I was carrying around to defend myself. No one bought the story though. My Dad refused to buy me the new model and suggested gently that I wait another week and my friend’s new mobile would be outdated and I wouldn’t feel so ashamed of my block of plastic. I refused to talk to my Dad for a couple of days after that. This was good because four new versions of the same phone were released during those couple of days and suddenly all of us had outdated phones. The new models releasing in the market was a great leveler as none of us could afford it and hence we were content with our prehistoric gadgets. ( In ‘phone age’ a month equals a decade and anything more than that is classified as pre historic).
When I started summer internships, I gave up my mobile because I had a Big Boss who would call me at all odd hours and a Mom who would call me at all even hours of the day. (Between the two of them they succeeded in reducing the sparrow population in Bangalore to catastrophic levels).
Big Boss was easy to evade.
Big Boss: Helloooooo
Big Boss: Damn!! This phone echoes! *slam*
But my Amma was a smart cookie.
Me: Hi, this is me. Sorry I am unable to take your call right now but leave a message and your number and …
Mom (interrupting): I know you can hear me. You didn’t eat breakfast today blah blah I took so much trouble blah blah blah got up at 6 am blah blah I am never going to make breakfast again. *SLAM*
After scintillating conversations like these I decided that I would preserve what little of my brain cells that were not fried, poached and flambéed by the microwaves and threw away the phone into the deep recesses of my cupboard. My cupboard burned down shortly after that.
Mental note * Shut down the mobile before stowing it away in flammable places like wooden cupboards*
Mental note number 2 *And don’t leave lighted candles in the cupboard*.
Recently I agreed to be the guinea pig for a highly secretive International experiment. I agreed to borrow a mobile phone from my friend for a short period of time at the insistence of friends. Since it was a trial period I decided to borrow my ex colleague’s CDMA mobile that is serviced by a company whose credo is ‘Love your brother as thyself’. My friend’s circle heaved a sigh of relief. Friday jam sessions would be so easy to plan.
Step one: Call Silverine
Step two: Make her buy the booze.
Step three: Enjoy maadi.
Step four: Let her clean up as it is her house.
And now they would also be able to call me up at 2 am and ask intelligent and thought provoking questions like:
“Do you think Red is my color?”
“Do you think I should allow Gaurav to kiss me?”
“Guess what I was dreaming? I will give you a clue: I am in a bikini, on a beach and this handsome hunk……” *giggle*
( *sniff* such good friends I have and it is only 2 am).
My patience was wearing thin and scalp thinner. I decided to leave a recorded message so that I could avoid trivial calls and more brain death.
“Hi this is me. I am very busy right now; leave a message ONLY if it is a matter of life and death”
I got several important messages that were a matter of life and death and grave importance.
Mom: Where did you keep the chilli powder?
Telecaller: Hello! I am Smitha calling from ABC Bank. Congratulations you have just been suckered. To know more call me at 12345678. Hurry!
Unidentified caller from STD booth: *heavy breathing*
Friend: I have put on two kilos over the weekend *bawl*
Brother: Did you brush the dog with my hair brush?!?!?!?!
The last straw was an incident that happened last week.
Mom: What is the difference between a snowman and a snow woman?
Me: I don’t know. What is the answer?
Mom: I don’t know, it doesn’t say here.
Me: Holy crap!!! You have been reading my SMS’s?
I quickly checked the said SMS and gasped at the answer, and silently thanked all the angels and saints that my mom didn't know how to scroll down.
The answer was "Snowballs".
( I have since given up my mobile phone)