I clear my bleary eyes, see a dark room and look at my sister reproachfully. She knew better than to wake me up before the sun had made the room too hot to stay in. Ignoring the tinkling noise in the background, I open my mouth to complain but she got in her blow first.
"It is your mobile ringing, idiot"
THAT on the second day after I was given one by my office. 5 AM in the morning and my MD had this irresistible urge for my conversation to start his day with. When every second sound I uttered was a yawn wide enough to swallow the mobile whole.
I know that a whole lot of you will never understand a thing unless I explain. Contrary to popular belief, we are not born with a mobile phone stuck firmly in one ear. In the not too far gone past, these monstrosities were virtually unknown. Believe it or not, even a land-line was something that you had to apply for and wait for a decade - unless your uncle's wife's brother's brother-in-law's father-in-law happened to know some MP or MLA.
Life was bliss! Once you left office, there was no way your boss or anyone could get you back to work OR discuss the pricing of your products, short of running after you to your home - and, even then, if you had a sufficiently talented family, you could hide yourself away in the bathroom while they manfully denied that you were at home. AND then some idiot had to invent the bleeding mobile phone.
Someone has only got to say that something will be given only to important people and people start feeling it is a privilege. Since I was one of the few - and the junior-most - to be given a mobile phone by my office, in the earliest days of its introduction to this country, I was automatically a subject of envy. I could never see it as a privilege - more like a dog leash. Any of my bosses could give it a tug any time of the day and I had to jump. Truly Neighbor's envy, Owner's bane!
Difficult to believe? What then would you think if you were on a vacation in Goa, enjoying the beauties of...err...shall we say...Nature and your leash gives a tug and your office wants to know the costing figures of ammonia at Kalol? Are THOSE the figures you want to be concentrating on while on a beach at Goa, I ask you?
To top it, this instrument that I had was equipped with a powerful microphone. You start of talking in your normal voice and the other end goes "Eh?". You raise your voice a bit and the other person beseeches you to talk louder. You start shouting and the other man says despairingly, "Are you there?" You yell at the top of your voice and all your office colleagues congregate and ask you,"Why do you bother to keep that phone near your mouth. You are yelling loud enough to be heard there without any help from the phone."
Since the day I was saddled with this irritating mechanism, there has not been a single day when I had not harked yearningly back to those days when you could put your office out of your mind the moment you were out of sight of your bosses. I can never fathom this younger generation that seems to prize these things above everything else - even unto wanting them smarter than they themselves are.
More to be pitied than censured, I suppose. They never knew any better days!