You know, yeh world hai na world, isme do tarha ki jaghe hoteen hain, ek bank ke andar aur ek bank ke baahar…
The clerk is a fat middle aged woman; big spectacles, brown sari, huge bindi, traces of turmeric on the face…Her fat fingers graze the sheets on the table . The AC is rumbling in the corner and there are people shuffling in a long line…I’ll be next,I wondered..I look at the small guy in checked green shirt behind whom I’d have to wait..
Involuntarily I start shaking my legs and look around…all I see are bulletin boards with pamphlets of loan schemes and percentages accentuated with happy looking banana shaped cartoon characters who I don’t know how, seem really happy. Doesn’t the bank have any 20 something femae employees I could atleast ogle around for a while… The clerk in the next counter has opened her tiffin box. Ah Thayir saadham (curd rice) with oorugai (pickles) …how deliciously boring!
“Sir,please sign here”…the lady says,nasally.
I end up signing in 10 places and ask how much longer..”Five minites Five minites”..she gestures and returns to her procedures.
“Muniyaandi” the 8-bit-whatever screen screams..Who the F is that! I disconnect.
When someone’s really irate, the reasons he projects his irritation is something totally different from what he proclaims…Mine is that I’ve sent my HTC for a week long recovery to a service centre in Delhi.. My dear HTC, my dear dear dearest HTC…And this is just Day 1 !!!.. L
As I rotate the phone between my thumb and middle finger at 50 rpm,I think about how sleek and sexy my phone used to feel.. I stop and try to find something interesting in it…
Press * to Unlock > Menu .. Damnation!! The things got only 6 icons! Messages,Contacts,Settings,
What will my followers on twitter (there are only about 50, and a nice chick from Mumbai has just started following me ) think! My count will just drop! And what about facebook..I haven’t used my phone,if I haven’t opened facebook on it. How would I know what my friends (ahem,read my girlfriend) is upto? (though I completely trust her or do i?) …
“Sir…please go with this form to that counter and depaasit there itself okay..2 o’clock lunch break also sir..go quickly”
I jump in line..its about 1:43 the clock shows…there are 8 people on the queue.Ho jaayega..
Familiar tune.. I arch forward over the man in green shirt’s shoulders.Green bile juices of jarring jealousy shoots up… Messenger! I clutch the phone harder in my hand,the buttons pressing against my palm..
As the Old man with the spectacles yaps about in the front..the front benchers take notes..the middle ones fall asleep..the last benchers eat snacks (fold the paper,make paper planes and fly them into the sleepers ears..) and Im there in the corner orchestrating grand plans to do evil things to the warden or Friday night out or maybe a weekend bike-hike in the hills on the IM with friends in similar positions and situations from different parts of the universities’ geography.
Perhaps,the most devine assistance is during the IPL/one day seasons..everyones crouching around you biting nails and then all the tense energy breaks into kinetic jubilation the minute Dhoni ‘helicopters’ the ball out the stadium…
The line has progressed further..3 more aunties and Im next..
“trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring! Amma lunch break ‘ma..” The clerk shuts down the counter and leaves.The aunties are cussing.
This is taking ages…Ive got to wait another hour in this brownly colored,wall-clock-with-a-
I sit under the tree in the parking space,the phone still involuntarily revolving between my fingers….Yaawn.I go over and over the menu in the phone…I shine the torchlight a few times..And then I’m bored.Ah! the apps..Had so many of them..just for the satisfaction of seeing my homescreen being populated by colourful icons…
I try and call my friend..”Hey..Rajesh!..Are you co…” ..
“No balance..I’m in the mall…IM me..the wifis freakin’ fast dude” He clicks off..
That’s it .Thats the problem. There’s no internet on this thing!
No IM, no facebook, no youtube,no skype,no maps,no apps. Thats why the thing looks like a dead corpse in the mortuary to me…Not because its got only six menus, its bulky and has keys(!!!), but that its not connected to the web! ..I mean, I could live with calling people and texting..did a lot of that before, but it really isn’t about that anymore..
The gears have shifted and we’ve accelerated towards greater data transmission volumes,video calls,and social networking and all the things they say on Discovery channel..
Staying connected is one thing and distracting yourself is another..The world is filled with boring places,long lines, bus rides slouching against a pole, brain sucking professors (some of them are exceptional though).Having to think about life’s problems in such places only adds to the stress we already carry upon us.
News tickers , friends, applications ,cricket updates, angry birds..sometimes these little things are the ones that give us respite from civilizations crampiness. Opinions are formed,ideas are shared, work is done and progress (could be on either side of the scale) is made.Anything is better than being stationary,anything is better than standing in long queues with having nothing to do but look at some guy picking his nose! And internet is the handiest solution that fits in your palm….the power to make things move is no longer left in muscle as much as it is on 1s and 0s flying through complicated and perfected protocols to have your messages sent!
I come back from my epiphany.There are cars buzzing away in the highway..Which city does this road go?,I wonder..already missing google. Plus,how do I find directions and try to find meanings to what people are saying, now that I’m living in Tamil Nadu, a place whose language seems to have deceivingly a dozen number of dialects every for district on the map! The realization makes me more nervous.
Across the highway there’s a tea shop.The FM is playing an old song.A few people are standing.I go over and order a tea.They wait for the RJ to spell out the scorecard.
“Sachin out ! 34! Tilakaratne… “
I turn back.Everyone turns back.Its the green shirt guy with his phone.
People start enquiring him about the scores..
I sit quietly in the wooden bench against the stove listening to the old song.
6 more days…