“Long you live and high you'll fly and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry and all you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.” - Pink Floyd.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Good ol times
This is the era of the www, cell phones, emails, social networking, media, and so on, we forget our past. There was a time when we could do pretty much everything we do now, without all this technology backing us. I still remember the days when we managed to meet a friend at the movies, or for a wedding, or arrange a birthday party without emails and cell phones.
This was a time in my life, not too long ago during our college days, when even owning a cell phone was a luxury. Sometime around this is when I first met scatterbrain, and we didn’t have the proper means to stay in touch. We couldn’t afford cell phones, but yet managed to live to tell the tale of a long distance relationship, while I was living in Chennai and she was studying in Hyderabad which is almost 800kms or 500 miles away. We used to speak to each other using the landline. I was fortunate enough that my father had the landline with an STD facility. Scatterbrain on the other hand was living in the college women’s hostel that had only one pay phone that was used by probably 50 or 60 other women staying there. We used to have these whispering conversations over the phone in a way that people in the other room wouldn’t know that I was on the phone. The fans and lights were switched off, and only then we could clearly hear each other clearly. Trust me sitting in a closed room devoid of a fan in Chennai is not a very pleasing experience. We used to speak for about 3 to 4 hours every night. Those were some of the moments I treasure till date.
The flip side to this story was when the phone bill came at the end of the month. I still remember my father opening that fatal envelope, and to his shock the bill was around Rs.15000/- Believe me when I say this. 15k for a phone bill during 2003 was not a joke. I still remember my father had this angry expression with some tears in his eyes when he saw the bill. :) His expression was priceless. Well of course as soon as that expression was over he looked at me and my brother to find the culprit. Obviously we didn’t know what a phone looked like ;)
No sooner than later my father had subscribed to this thing called itemized billing, where the bill shows the details of the numbers dialed and the time the call was made. By now I know that my grave was being prepared for me. My father notices that a lot of calls have been made to one particular number every night for about 3 to 4 hours, so he decided to call the number and realizes that it’s a girl’s number as soon as scatterbrain responds to the call. So by now my father has confirmed that the delinquents’ were either me or my brother. This is when I was determined to own up and confront him before he brings the lamb to the slaughter.
To my surprise both my parents were happy to know about my relationship with scatterbrain and were eager to meet her and take things forward. The rest is history. Thinking about this incident reminds me of the fun times we’ve had in the past, even without technology.
In the present day, I think the cell phone, email, the internet and all that is has to offer is a basic necessity and it would be really hard to survive without it. As the saying goes - Technology does not drive change, it enables it.