STUCK WITH THE OLD

stuck with the old

 

 

My father-in-law gave me a strange look. He was looking at my cellphone. As we walked along in one of the swanky malls of Dubai, Pa (as I called him) was giving me a pregnant smile. I wondered what was going on in his mind.

Suddenly, Pa stopped by a store and said, “Why don’t I buy you a new cellphone on my birthday?”

“Pa,” I said rather confused, “I can’t let you do that. I don’t need a new mobile phone. Besides,” I reasoned, “it is your birthday. We should buy YOU a present. Not the other way around.”

 

“But it is time you replaced this old piece of rust,” he observed.

I can understand where Pa is coming from. Let me explain. My cellphone is at least five years old. In techie terms, I carry an antique. To put things in perspective, it was bought before my nephew was born. Last February, my nephew celebrated his third birthday. So, I guess, my cellphone needs a revival.

My cellphone history has been to use ‘hand me downs’. I have always used the ones my husband decides to discard, which gives me the advantage of using many brands — Nokia, Sony Ericcson, Samsung, HTC. But, then, the last time, my husband moved on to the fancy iPhone, which comes with a lady’s voice included (it still perplexes me, that men want to buy a phone with a lady’s voice for free!) and I decided to hang on to my old one.

The discarded Blackberry did not find a fan in me. It was a tough decision alright. You see, most people who have these fancy phones are either checking their emails or Facebook status. Even I do it — but only when I switch on my eight-year-old laptop. I wanted to save myself from the addiction the Blackberry would present me with. Besides, I thought it best to enjoy face-to-face interaction, while it is still an acceptable norm. Pa would have none of it. He still insisted on getting me a new phone.

Look,” he said, “most people are carrying iPhones and you seem to be sticking with this old model. Besides, the technology is so old,” he concluded.

Old technology? My phone can be used to make calls, send SMSes and take pictures. What more could anyone want in a phone?

“But Pa, I don’t need one,” I pleaded. Pa looked unconvinced. He had used three cellphones in the last five years. So, surely, he was wondering which planet I come from.
Well, perhaps, it was time to tell Pa the truth. “Pa,” I began, “I don’t think I will have any use for a phone.” Pa was now eyeing me strangely.

“Firstly, my phone works fine, although I need to charge it twice a day,” I continued, “Secondly, it’s just that my phone never rings,” I finished.

“What do you mean?” asked Pa.

“No one calls me on the cellphone. The only time my phone makes any noise is in the mornings,” I finished rather sheepishly. “You mean an alarm?” he asked, and gave out a huge laugh. Well, it was embarrassing alright. I smiled weakly and wondered if I am the only person on the planet to say something as weird as that.

“You probably need a good alarm clock,” said Pa, roaring with laughter. “More importantly, you need to get off Facebook and make some phone calls,” he roared again. Perhaps, he is right. I think, it is time to buy the latest iPhone. At least, I will have the latest alarm clock by the bedside!

 

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