31 January 2010

On Loss of a Phone

Directed at my long suffering grandparents, Babaji and Dadi


A mobile phone is a man’s best friend. In need, in deed, wherever he goes, high or low, lonely or in company, the faithful mobile is always there. You can talk, chat, message, read, listen to music, watch movies and just do about everything on a mobile. The mobile is the new dog.

So, alright. This will raise eyebrows. Mos, if she reads this, will want to remind me of the summer of 2007 when I made a considerable ruckus on being forced to acquire a mobile phone. Mobiles shackle you; they’re an impediment to freedom and activity, so I’d denounced. I had resisted parental attempts to give me a mobile; now I like paeans to them- some contradiction this!

Which, indeed, it is. One changes with time. I look back at my reluctance to be encumbered with a mobile and now at my dependence on it and yet see no great incongruity. I have changed. I need a mobile phone today.

To keep in touch. With friends and loved ones. The loved one. Why not? To live untouched by its charms is easy enough- as easy and as difficult as living without after once tasting the fruit. To introduce one to something and then to take it back, that is a cruel cut. To use it once and then to argue it’s useless is a bit difficult. Mobiles are useful and are required for a peaceful existence.

Not required, family will argue. All should be disciplined and in adequate measures; excess is sin. Using the phone’s alright, but one shouldn’t forget one has a family and responsibilities to it. Balance’s the word, balance’s the thing to look for.

Indeed it is. One must balance, one must readjust, must, measure by measure, make sure that the private does not overwhelm the public and that the two, at arms length, co-exist symbiotically with each other.

But what if the private storms up and gets exposed to new experiences? What if everything collapses and life has to be started anew? What if that which is public becomes so private that it ought to be public? The trials of youth, the passions of the heart- what when these are aroused? Earlier generations had letters and notes; we have our phones. Why then grudge us them? Why not let use and let live? Phones are necessary and to claim they’re unneeded is to be redundantly naïve.

But what when a phone is lost?

To lose a phone is a disaster, a catastrophe, more mental than economical. It is to lose one’s memories, to forget the past and let it be blurred in a haze of indistinct words and images. It is to feel naked, to have your deepest, inmost desires and fancies, your playful whims and innocent exaggerations, to have all your heart mocked by him, the strange unknown. One may relive those experiences to a degree, but what’s gone is gone- final and without cure. To lose a phone is to have one chapter finally closed, to have it erased almost forever. To lose a phone is to lose a part of oneself.

I have lost a phone. My phone.


AP said...

Dude you are way too dramatic. Get a new phone and get on with it. We all know you can't live without a freaking cell phone anymore, don't go on and on about it!!

You know who said...

Hmmmm....I remember when you first got your mobile phone....you hated the very idea of having it with you, and now this immense change.....wow...

Anonymous said...

Lost it or what?!

AP said...

To my dear brother, whose idea of 'dramatic' is so convoluted that it'd make one puke in horror- I am not going on and on about it.

To You Know Who- yes indeed!

To Anon- get lost!

Creation said...

Now that you've lost the second one as well, go buy a frigging phone!!!