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Mere paas cell hai

Hari Chakyar finally succumbs to the lure of the cellphone

Okay, now this dinosaur has a cell phone too. Yeah, I got myself one on the 7th of June this year (or so, the receipt tells me). After assessing my assets and deliberating upon the features that nimble handsets in the market could offer me, I settled my thoughts on a simple product from the Ambani stable.

Before: I board the train from Ambarnath, find room to stand straight, open my bag, pull out a book, hoist the bag onto the overhead space to keep bombs and grenades, close my eyes and give a few minutes to the Almighty for making me and giving me this morning and for waking up my mom on time so she could make me breakfast and etc. etc. Meanwhile, the other passengers, blissfully resting their posteriors and drifting effortlessly between sleep and semi-consciousness, stare at me like I am Zidane, searching for another person to head-butt!

After all these rituals are done, I let the book engulf me till my legs start telling me that its time the dozing pigs got up and gave you a seat. It is about this time that my quadrupled eyes start acting funny. They go all red and try to scare the sitting sleeping beauties. Lol, like they fare a cuck! It is my luckiest day, when someone gets up and says, chal bas ata . To my utter dismay (could have been disjune also, u think?) it is damning Matunga already and Dadar beckons me!

Now: I board the train from Ambarnath, find room to stand straight, open my bag, pull out a book, keep my bag up on the luggage rack, dig my hand into the congested pocket of my jeans and lug out my baby, (yeah I know, how gay, but try buying a toothpick and it will call u pappa !) I start with good morning messages, waking up every contact in my address book, occasionally looking up for people to get up. It is missed call time now.

The engrossing piece of literature is just a book under my armpit. I pester all possible people with missed calls. Now playing ring tones is not my cuppa. It can be an ideal pastime if you are marooned on Nicobar with no one else around you, but in a train, it should be a strict no-no. Playing games has always irritated me. Irritated cell-phone gamers can heat the seat much more than an irate stock investor. What more, the people around them have to be engrossed in that puny little thing and cheer when he wins and wince when he loses.

I don’t read nowadays. I am busy with my cell. I do not look at people as much as before now. I am busy messaging people. I am not making small talk with the people around me in the train. I am usually talking on the phone.

I am more of a machine now. I wake up when my baby rings at dawn. I experience a hike in my system when my baby beeps. As I am seated in the canteen, my baby tells me that there is a lecturer in class right now who is going to scowl if I am not there pronto. It tells other people where I am. And I don t lie. I hate people sitting in a Thane train saying, I am in Borivli, will call you later . It reminds me that I have to meet certain people at certain times. It tells me to wish someone on his/ her birthday.

It is a cruel handicap. It cuts you off from the society. Whoever said that a cell phone is all about enhanced communications and what not is a big dodo. A cell-phone, to me, means excommunication. It is the best punishment you can deal out to anyone. A rapist? Give him a plastic piece of shit embedded with super duper gizmo stuff which can readily read signals from outer space and decipher them into palatable script for consumption by ultra dumb specimens of the human species. Lo and behold! Thee haveth a cell phone! (read, THOU ART SCREWEDETH).

Hey, I am getting a second call, I ll call you back. Bullshit. I am bored of writing this and I ll write you a letter later. And I just hope it doesn’t get lost in the post- office! And I hope the postman won’t look up its contents. What if he misplaces it or delivers it somewhere else? What if my pigeon is infatuated by another one (male or female, considering the current phenomenon). What if …

Hari is a TYBMM student of Wilson college

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