Prisoner of our own device
This world was a peaceful, quiet and sensible place to be till the time a crazy person got a crazier idea to come out with the craziest invention of his time - The Omnipresent Mobile Phones..
How I remember and miss those days of selective communication... when a land-line connection used to be a luxury and only the affluent "haves" of the neighborhood had it. So distinct are those memories of my childhood, when my next door aunty ,"Micky ki Mummy" , stood yelling at the top of her voice at her staircase which was just adjacent to our balcony, broadcasting to the whole "mohalla" that Bittu Bhyya from Lakhinpur had got engaged and his mother, Shyama Behenji, will call again in 15 minutes to talk to Jijaji , in this case my father. And soon after this announcement there was a flurry of activity at our place. Papa was but of course not allowed to step outside the house in his loongi ( Translation for Gen Z -a wrap around skirt for Men, don't get weird ideas), so he was ordered by the Big Boss of the house to change in a decent attire and that too in a time bound manner before the next shout from next door. By the way, "Micky ki Mummy" was an excellent cook and made amazing ladoos, so in hope for one, I always used to tag along as an attendant to my father, who was on a "Phone call Mission"
PCOs, whatever the full form was, started mushrooming everywhere in early 90s. Every entrepreneur with a little money and big dreams, thought this was where the world was looking and investing in this venture would take care of his next two generations at least. Little did he know that PCO had already found its nemesis in a thingy called mobile and it was a already an everyday use thing far ahead in the West.
Remember those queues in-front of that small shady PCO cabins, which became a commonplace hangout for the goondas of the galli, who used to tip the PCO man to reveal the phone numbers of Poojas and Nidhis of those days.
All this while, I was busy growing up, and by now was a college goer. And thanks to "No Mobile " could easily bunk classes and hang out with friends late in the evening, in the name of extra classes. There were no every hour tracker calls from Ma inquiring my position, location and status, making me feel like she is M and I am her James Bond. Looking back I feel it was no less than a miracle that all the group outings , well those days our reach was only till zoo and crocodile parks, could be easily managed without any sms, calls that were wrongly missed, and missed calls that were wrongly received to track each others coordinates. No matter how many people from how many different logistic combinations, we all used to gather just at the right place at the right time.
Alas! those days were numbered. And here came the so called Hitec, technosavy highly communicative world breathing on mobile phone networks and beating to the keypad heartbeats. I have no qualms to accept that I hate this device to the core. It has overshadowed the man's existence. Now people feed the number of the person in their handsets and then ask them their name to save their number. A phone call even if its a wrong number, is any time given more priority to the friend who is sitting in front of you waiting for you to finish your calls and spare some moments for him.
The patience meters of the human kind has touched its lowest best... one missed call and your mother might just register a missing complaint for you in the nearest police station, one engaged tone at 11:00 pm in the night and it might just cost you your girlfriend, one "out of network" message and your boss might job rotate you for insubordination and the list goes on.
For the lesser mortals like me, who have this knack of losing anything and everything, it is one notch even more worse. We live in this every minute trauma of the possibility of forgetting your "lifeline" the phone at the shop counter or public washroom or if nothing else in the"never-ending & all containing" deep pockets of our handbags.
I dread this device so much that my idea for a dream destination is no hi fi international picturesque get away but a place in nowhere where I have a justifiable reason to be "Out of Existence " (Read Out of Network)...