the mobile phone and me…

…don’t really get along too well.

I don’t like talking on the phone much…and if you have a problem with that, I’m sorry I can’t help you. Well, perhaps I can (by attending your call), but I don’t plan to πŸ˜€Β  I guess I owe many people this explanation (though very few of these people read this blog :D; the other option is to text them all. And they may call back. Uh oh…)

I really am not avoiding you, okay? I’m just avoiding your call. Ouch — no, I’m just avoiding having to talk on the phone. Leave me a text message, leave me an offline chat, leave me a mail. I’ll respond, almost instantly, unless i’m sleeping, or unless the phone is like hidden under the cushion, pushed int here by the naughty lil’ Pumbaa. But if I see an SMS, I WILL respond; I cannot guarantee that about a missed call you leave me πŸ˜€ I just don’t like the mobile phone much.

thumbitisNot that I hate it or don’t use it. Just that I don’t use it for what it is meant.Β A mobile phone, for me, is essentially just a replacement for Gmail chat πŸ˜€ I am a person of few words…I talk very little even face-to-face and I generally prefer “talking” to someone through “chat”or “sms”. And on chat/sms, I can go on for hours together πŸ˜€

You wont believe it, but I ALWAYS rely on a text message to communicate with someone, before having to actually call that person up. Including emergency situations like being on a busy highway, at the signal, and wondering if we must turn left or right to reach that person’s house πŸ˜€ And when I’m blasted for being so dumb, I dial the number, press “Call” and instantly stick the phone to Suraj’s ear (or whoever else is driving)!

There is just ONE person (yes, person) with whom I can actually talk non-stop, for hours. And that is Pumbaa πŸ˜€ Well, he can’t talk back, and one of us has to do that. So, I happily do it πŸ˜€

There are very few people with whom I can talk non-stop, for hours, on the phone. One of them is Amma. The other is my brother. Then there are a couple of close friends. Recently, after a rather long conversation (if I may call it that), Hobbes asked me if I were “the same girl who hates talking on the phone?” πŸ™„ Well, that did leave me mumbling for a bit.

And I can’t tell you just how many times I’ve got into trouble with Suraj for never picking up his calls. Well, how will I know he’s calling when the phone is (eternally) on silent mode? [Who puts it on silent mode? Uh…I do.]Β Even before getting married, this was a constant problem. I guess it was the ONLY reason for our quarrels. He would call, I wouldn’t pick up. He’d call 10 more times. Then he would try my mom’s number, but I’d be at the aunt’s place. Then he’d call the aunt’s number — but by then, I’d have run back home (having realised that the phone has been abandoned somewhere, undoubtedly on silent mode, and that Suraj would be trying to get through to me). Finally, he would get through to me and blast me. I would silently hear him out, ask him if he’s done, and then hang up and go my way.

Except with Amma and my brother, I think I switch to listening-mode with most others πŸ˜€ And happily too. I’m better at listening than talking. Some people make it tough, because most of the ones who matter knows me well enough to continue doing the talking without much expectations πŸ˜‰ Unless I’m completely comfortable with the person on the other side, even being on listening-mode is a pain. So, avoiding calls is the easiest thing to do.

I really don’t know why I talk so little — in general, and on the phone. There is one friend who calls me a chatterbox (really!), but well, I admit that I talk a LOT to him; well, I used to. To others, I think it is mainly because I keep thinking whatever I have to say or talk about will not be of much interest to the listener. Seriously πŸ˜€ I don’t know why I think so, but I do. I don’t say a lot of things, thinking it won’t be of any interest to that person, only to listen to something very similar coming from the other end πŸ˜€ And well, by then, whatever I could have said would have become stale ;)Well, I get into one of my PJ moods when some of my brother’s friends call…and I go on yap yapping for hours, till they hang up on me, threatening to kill me next time they see me. πŸ™„

So, basically, for me, a mobile phone is essentially just a replacement for Gmail chat πŸ˜€ And Winamp! I use it to text, and I use it to listen to my favourite music tracks. That is about it.

My first one was a Sony Ericsson w810i. I bought it because it came with the cutest, tiniest pair of external speakers πŸ˜‰ (which incidentally wasn’t working, and I still have not used!). I loaded all my music into it, and was always plugged to my phone through earphones. An incoming call in the middle of a favourite song would piss me off — and I’d just disconnect the call! πŸ˜€ Yes, I used to be that bad. I was sooooo attached to that phone that despite being gifted a 160GB iPod, I refused to part with the walkman phone. I did not use the iPod for almost a year! I used this for over 4 years (it looks MIGHTY sad now, considering the number of times it has gone bouncing down the stairs, into rain puddles, on to the road, blah blah!) It served me verrrrry well, though πŸ™‚

Finally, Suraj convinced me that I baaadly needed a new phone πŸ™„ I refused to exchange my w810. I would always want it, I said.

I bought the Sony Ericsson Xperia w8. Again, for the music. I HATED the fact that it was touchscreen! Texting someone became an ordeal. I actually began calling people! Bah. And then I got used to the touchpad, and now my phone is back to being a walkman, and a Gmail chat alternative πŸ˜‰ And I like the fact that I can access Gmail chat also on it πŸ˜€ That’s about the ONLY reason I appreciate a smart phone now. It is quite smart πŸ˜€ Well, the w810i was smart too, but I wasn’t smart enough those days πŸ˜‰Mobile phone stress relief

Poor thing, Suraj. New phone and all that, but it too has the silent mode thingy in-built! Oh well, I’m still the same, I guess. I still do not pick up calls πŸ˜€ Living in the same house makes it a little easier for him, I suppose. [And it does not help that he calls to remind me to do the many chores he assigns to me every morning, which I promptly forget 😦 Listen, if I forget it, perhaps I really do not want to do those πŸ˜€ ]

I still remember, how when we went to Coorg over a year back, there was no mobile connectivity at the homestay we stayed at. Was I thrilled! It was a real stress buster. No one called, no one texted, no one could contact me at all. Absolute “Yay” it was!! (Not that I’m always getting calls/text messages, but still) I was at peace, while Suraj freaked out. πŸ˜€

So why am I blabbering about all this now? Because recently, a couple of old college friends ganged up against me (okay, I’m exaggerating, but it was akin to ganging up alright. Bah!) for not keeping in touch. Well, I’m ALWAYS online — and none of you are! If you’re all always available on phone, why not give me a call? Er er…I mean, send me an sms πŸ˜€ Anyway, after explaining myself and brilliantly emerging as the innocent angel that I am, I’ve decided to give the single “ring-ring”s in loving remembrance henceforth πŸ˜€

However, all said and done, I have to say: the mobile phone and me…don’t really get along too well. πŸ™„ And I might even forget about the ring-ring agreement after a while. You are always in my mind, just believe that πŸ˜€ Was I any different at all when we met last weekend? πŸ˜€

Edited to add: Yay!! I’m not alone. She may be my soul sister πŸ˜€ I could easily have written this post!!

How to lose about 300 people in a matter of minutes.

Yea…you read that right: not pounds/kgs, but people!

I had had a long day at work yesterday, and had asked the husband to come all the way to my office and pick me up! The princess that I am, I refused to go home in an auto/bus. I had to have my chauffeur! Fed up of work — or rather, the lack of it — at a good-for-nothing office, he was already in a bad mood. Having to drive that extra mile amidst unrelenting traffic, and then, waiting for me outside my office forever (to which he’s become accustomed) did very little to cheer him up!

Which is when the thought of food came inβ€”always the catalyst for a cheerful time!Β  So we went to a much-hyped Mallu restaurant near our place in Koramangala, Bangalore. Bad food, pathetic service, big-time delay and a high price tag. Did nothing but drive the husband deeper into the dumps!

A pack of VCDs had arrived earlier the evening (a few classic Mallu movies the husband had ordered from Moser Baer over the Internet), and i thought, “what better than a good movie to cheer up my movie freak” πŸ™‚

So we reach home, settle down and decide to watch a movie — when he starts groping around in his pockets, beneath the cushions, under the sofa…and asks, “Where’s my mobile”?

The husband, when assured that the mobile is safe, usually does not budge from the sofa once seated, unless it’s a life threatening situation (like my heading for the TV with a hockey stick, maybe). But now, he’s up and about, searching for his mobile in all possible places a Sony Ericsson K710i can fit.
We call to his number from my phone and it says “The Airtel customer you’re trying to reach is currently out of reach…”. Momentary solace, hoping its way under the thick cushions of the sofa. Until I say that I’d heard a ‘thud’ when we turned the corner right after leaving the restaurant.

And then, pandemonium. Quick call to the restaurant: negative. Quick trip to the restaurant: negative. Not-so-quick survey of the entire lane: negative. Mobile lost: positive! And that was it. He seemed to have lost all interest in life (I wonder where I fit in πŸ˜‰ ).

So, here’s how you lose about 300 people in a matter of minutes! Simple. Lose your mobile phone! πŸ˜€

Am sure the husband won’t be empathetic to my ‘simple’ analysis. He had to learn it the hard way, poor thing 😦 The thought of having lost about 250 odd contacts, many photographs and close to a million “I love you” messages I’d sent seemed to paralyse him 😦  How many contacts have I lost? How will I get back all those numbers?

And I say, “Call Airtel CC andΒ  block your SIM. Ask them if we can get your mobile traced…isn’t there some IMEI number we can use?” The number is duly blocked and he promised to issue a duplicate SIM immediately, but the smart CC guy says the ‘Trace your lost phone with the IMEI number’ service is not available in India!

More depression and irritation. “Suraj, the sun” had set for a while πŸ˜€ [Perhaps this is what a baby goes through on Day 1: the world knows its identity, but the poor baby knows none!]

Which then made me wonder how much we all rely on that little gadget called a mobile phone (“we” does not include me; i rather believe mobile phones should be left wherever you please…and allow it to ring till it dies)

We no longer remember the phone numbers like we used to (of course, it’s much tougher to keep track of 8 digits compared to those cute 5-digit numbers :D); we no longer jot down numbers on quaint, alphabetical diaries; we no longer rush from our seat to attend that call on the phone resting on that antiqueΒ corner stoolΒ (we’d rather the mobile phone rush to us: it’s ‘mobile’ for a reason!); we no longer scribble our loved one’s birthdays on our wall calendar; we no longer have use for that round little thing lovingly called an ‘alarm clock’; in fact, we’re in a stage where we wish everything could be located with a “missed call” !

Biting nails when boredom strikes are a thing of the past: it’s the mobile phone we play with.

Reading random magazines at the dentist is passΓ©: why that, when we have games on our mobile phone?

Receiving no calls for one full continuous hour could only be because the battery has run out; not because you’re indispensible πŸ˜€

Owning a mobile is mandatory for anyone who wants to fall in love.

Etiquettes matter only at meetings and at the table; whoever said mobile phones come with a set of etiquettes? (Of course, I got a thick free etiquette book; but I sold it along with a stack of old newspapers! :D) If you are the proud owner of a mobile phone, the following are OK:

  • Letting it ring insistently with that irritating ringtone (while you grope for it in the darkness) at the theatre
  • Talking on it while in a flight (endangering other passengers as well) unless the pilot threatens to jump out with his parachute
  • Fiddling with the “End” button, only to change your mind, accept the call and brawl into it with a “In a meeting; will call back later… Oh, that! Man, that was funny…hehhehehe…ooops…in a meeting; will call back later!”
  • Waking up people from their sleep to say “Oh…did I wake you up? Sorry, didn’t notice the time… So, how’s life?”
  • Talking animatedly on the mobile phone while crossing the road, and getting (not just oneself) others too into danger
  • Talking loudly (not to mention the loud ringing) in libraries, hospitals, air-conditioned public vehicles and everywhere else!
    ………..
  • And a dozen other irritating stuff!

For someone who’s damn careless and absented about all things, and mobile phones especially, I’ve never lost one: so, I don’t know the agony of losing it. In fact, on those days that I forget to carry it along to work, I experience a particular sense of peace and calm — of not having to attend calls, respond to messages and ensure it’s not misplaced πŸ˜‰

I wonder how we (rest of the world excluding me) lived when the mobile phones didn’t exist! πŸ˜‰ It’s a ‘maaranam’ (evil) we can’t live without, now!

Any special mobile stories, folks?