10 years back when I left the small town of Jamshedpur I reconciled with the fact that I would have wait for my parents to call at my Paying Guest accommodation and depend on the geniality of my landlords to speak to my parents! And God knows there were occasions when they didn’t pass me the call only because they were entertaining guests in their drawing room. Why didn’t they have a cordless at home? Did they? Don’t remember one, anyways they wouldn’t have given it to me with the mortal fear that I would make a call soon after I hung up, because that’s the reason why they had their drawing room phone locked up!!!
I remember how I harangued my dad to give a cell phone. Those were really the dark days of mobile telephony in India. Bulky, ugly phones…call rates freaking expensive and we had to pay for incoming calls!!! Anyways, after a lot of persuading I did get my hands on my 1st phone. A tiny A36 from Siemens (is the company still in business?) with a miniature display. Here’s what it looked like…a webpage does exist!!
I was thrilled…mobility and communication empowered me overnight! I’d stay up waiting for it to ring, and the first signs of addiction had set in. I’d constantly keep checking my phone to see if there was message. I was seeing my husband then and those were our frenzied days of courtship! And so I prayed for him to send me those I ❤ you messages… *sigh*! Every time I recharged my phone with talktime, I’d exhaust the amount within days, sometimes within hours and then I’d be left begging my dad to send in extra pocket money for my newest preoccupation! Only a few of my college friends had cell phones, we shared our numbers, but we never called each other! Why? Because we never had enough money to call each other for just a chat. Outgoing calls were close to 4 bucks and incoming half of that, text messages were 2! And even in those days there were wrong numbers to receive and make…I know how much I blew up receiving calls from strangers who had mixed up their numbers! With time I learnt to forgive…after all mugging up 10 numbers was tough!
Siemens died on me very soon. I discovered it had a very poor battery life and by the time I mastered the art of using a cell phone I realised there was more that I wanted out of it. And so I went to Dad once again. This time he responded by doing that which all fathers of the previous generation had done…”Take mine, I’ll get a new one!” I didn’t complain, because I wanted his model anyway! And so I lapped it with glee. It was again one of the earliest generations of Nokia, the manufacturer I had over the past one year learnt was the most trusted and respected mobile phone in the world! My sea-green 3315 made me feel nothing less than Xenia the Warrior Princess. By this time I had finished college, started my post graduation course and moved out of my PG to stay in an apartment! So, this new found independence was doubly accentuated by the very acceptable Nokia! By now, mobile phones had become more common and almost all my classmates had one to flaunt. The next step of course was to move into a post paid connection. Prepaid had its disadvantages, and advantages…but honestly I felt I could handle my emotions and keep a check on the number of calls. Since I was still funded by my father I promised him I’d keep my bill within the reach of my monthly budget. Thankfully he accepted and I got my Airtel number that has lasted nearly 7 years now!
After I started working I spent the first few years of my professional life upgrading my mobile telephony. With each successive launch in the market, I would be out with my wallet! I stuck to Nokia as one of its most loyal consumers, all because my 3315 survived a dive into a bowl of warm milk and worked fine by the morning!!! In all the half a dozen phones, only once did I move to a Motorola, but then that was a disaster of a phone…until my husband gifted me a blackberry on my birthday last year! Over the years I have discovered the advantage of mobility and communication. With internet at the tap of a button, chat, browsing, social networking sites, email and entertainment…this is what has gripped my life for now. I am intrigued and there is always something new to discover about mobile technology.
I don’t carry a Blackberry now, but have the services on my HTC. Instant email has made life much simpler. Scripts, alerts and notifications move faster. Twitter, Facebook and now a blog…I have everything on my hand phone at the click of a button. And every move so far has been self taught. From syncing my phone, to updating its software…technology is easier now! Even my Dad doesn’t own a Blackberry! But being the techno-crat that I am now is both a boon and a bane…I am always at work or networking! Does my husband complain…?? I’ll ask him tonight!