I got my first cellphone when I was 17, unlike the kids today who get theirs before they have tasted their first lollipop. I had a love/hate relationship with most of my cellphones. I loved them, yes, but I could not wait to destroy them! Judge me all you want, but I was young and there was always someone with a better cellphone! And when someone would go “Mere phone mein torch hai, infrared hai. Tumhare paas kya hai!”, I would look at my phone with its sickly yellow backlight and think, “Mere paas… kuchh nahi hai.” Like the selfish teenager I was in those days, I would just kill the phone, somehow. Destroy it. Somehow.
Then I found a phone I loved to death. As this is not a promotional post or a techie post or anything, I do not really have to name it, cos you know, you won’t find it in the market anymore. But my point is, I never wanted to let go of that phone.
It died less than a year later.
I was convinced then, that I was probably cursed. That whichever phone I touched simply had to die and even the warranty was not much of a warranty against the evil force that I was. I remember being rather sad when that phone stopped working and my dad bought me a new one. Not that I did not like the new one; I just liked the old one better.
But then you know, I did not like the new one, truthfully. By then I was out of college and earning on my own. I was going through that “new-job” phase where you think you can buy Antilia, no matter how ugly it is, without making a dent in your pocket. So I bought myself a new phone, with my own money (though it cost me more than my monthly salary).
Again – I loved that phone. Hell, everyone around me loved that phone! My manager offered me double the price to buy it from me!!! I loved that phone more than any other phone my dad ever bought, so I drew the conclusion:
I should probably not agree to an arranged marriage.
Well, that escalated quickly, but you know, young minds. I was heartbroken, yet again, when the phone died, first when it was 6 months old (the warranty helped me fix it) and a second time, just before its first birthday, and then finally, and irrevocably, a month after it turned one.
Whichever phone that I bought after that just failed to match up to the standards set by that one. And they all died pretty quick, perhaps orchestrated (I am not saying a word) deaths.
Until two years ago, when I bought a phone that finally did meet my expectations. I took care of it like a baby. But there must have been something lacking in my mamta, cos bits and pieces of it stopped working. It did not matter to me. I have, in the past, changed a phone just because it went into Silent mode twice on its own. And yet, when this one’s power button, volume button, and a whole lot of other things stopped working, I did not love it any less. My son would often treat it like a frisbee, but there were no cracks or anything (yes, it was a Nokia, how did you guess?)
When it crossed the dreaded one year mark, I was overjoyed. The phone had been with me for a year, and I still loved it like the day I bought it. It had its faults that I was blind to. I was not even bored! My commitment-phobia towards cellphones seemed to be receding. When April came around this year, I knew it would reach the two-year mark (a feat none of my phones in the past have achieved)!
A few days ago, my beloved slipped from my hand. All the months of being handled like a frisbee might have finally taken their toll on it.
I had so much affection for you. So much love, that I have not yet been able to shower on you. You left me, too early. Much too early. So young.
May you rest in peace…