I’m not a phone person. Don’t get me wrong. I’m mostly
surgically attached to my phone giving fodder to the husband for his countless
number of jokes entirely at my expense. I use it to tweet and check updates and
delete WhatsApp forwards. I am incapable of having long conversations on the
phone. I have to remind myself again and again to fix a time slot to make that
call. Before I can say ‘eesh’ I realize
it has slipped my mind yet again and it’s dial another day.
For someone so vocal, I often run out of things to say in
just two minutes. And for someone’s who’s a gainfully unemployed ‘web
columnist’, I am always short of time.
Strangely I am not alone in my fear of the dial function of
the phone. I often see people share similar sentiments on social media. It’s a
space where we have conversations with ourselves and hope that someone will
eavesdrop. A community where people wear their lack of social skills like a
badge of honour but have no qualms in pouring their hearts out to complete
strangers. Couples declare undying love
for each other in public and quarrel in private. Parents get to tell the world
how talented, bright their offspring is. Everyone is trying to convince each
other how blessed they are.
When I was growing up, my Mother’s idea of pep-talk was
telling me how talented, bright, obedient Mrs X Mrs Y and Mrs Z’s children were
and I was doing nothing about it. In fact, the more your parents loved you, the
more you got reprimanded by them. I still get scolded by my Mom for not calling
her enough, for not bothering to keep in touch with Uncles and Aunties I once
I can’t because I feel emotionally distant from my Uncles
Aunts and cousins, who were once such an important part of my growing-up years.
All my happy memories are huddled in the summer breaks I spent with my cousins,
with no television, no Internet to distract us.
I would cry (sometimes in front of the mirror to feel doubly miserable)
every time we had to go back home.