Not Without My Mobile Phone

Today while heading out to meet a friend, I forgot my phone at home. I was barely ten minutes away from home when I realized this but decided not to go back.

Instead, this may be a blessing in disguise, I thought. Disconnect from the online world and re-connect with the real world, I told myself. I decided to take this as an exercise to try and enjoy the journey and the day without distractions like Emails, WhatsApp and Facebook. I figured this would also help reduce my dependency on the mobile phone and instead focus on real human interactions. As a writer, it would be a good experience, I thought. I’d spend my time people-watching, I decided.  The actual fun started when I had boarded the train. I was in the ladies compartment, as always. Usually, mommies travel with their kids and that makes for some really interesting conversations. I was hoping for some angelic kids of my age, who’d like to play or talk to someone. Unfortunately, there weren’t any kids but only adults.  I resorted to watching adults of my age then. To make things more interesting, I decided to give them my own backstories.

A young, bespectacled girl was neatly folding a multi-colored scarf. Meticulous and particular, she probably was a college student of psychology or mathematics, I decided. As per me, she had a strict mother who was a stickler for punctuality and insisted on being organized.

Another lady, who caught my attention, had an attractive handbag in shades of maroon and bronze. Fashion designer, I excitedly screamed in my head, looking at the cut motif floral design on her handbag. That bag has to be one that she designed herself, I told myself. I was about to ask her about it when another lady stepped forward and blocked my view. I looked at her irritably, and instantly disliked her white trousers and brown sandals. She was the nosy gossipy neighbor everyone had, I declared before turning my attention to another unsuspecting victim.

This lady was furiously noting something on a booklet. Aha, a writer, I thought gleefully, until I got a closer look. She was noting something in columns – numbers it seemed from where I stood. She didn’t stop to think and continued writing. I couldn’t see what she was writing but I dismissed her writing skills as non-existent. Instead, what she was writing was an assignment which was awarded to her as punishment, I decided. She is in school and the teacher punished her for not wearing spotless shoes, I told myself. Her punishment was to write ‘I shall wear clean shoes’ a thousand times. Clearly, she wasn’t smart enough to smear chalk to whiten her school keds. Serves her right, I smirked.

Yet another lady, standing not far from me, wore a long blue kurta with black slacks. Her hair was tied up neatly and attractively in an updo. With kohl-lined eyes, dangling light blue earrings, she looked attractive – casual but fashionable in her own way. Rebellious and thoughtful, I noted. She was, most certainly, a working professional, I presumed.

Realizing it would be difficult to remember all details, I decided to note them down. Just then I remembered I had no phone. Damn, I thought.

I gave up this exercise and hit upon another novel idea. To keep myself from getting bored, I decided to play a game of ‘Switch’ – If I had to exchange bodies with someone who would it be? I again turned my attention to my co-passengers. One lady, who had just boarded the train at the last stop, caught my attention. I liked her top and had almost decided I wanted to be her when she turned to face me. With a tummy larger than my own, there was no way I was switching places with her, I realized. As it is, it was hard reducing the size of my own tanker-sized belly; taking on a larger one would mean double the effort. So not worth the switch. My gaze moved along and stopped at another attractive lady. But, no, this one was too old. I turned to another girl. Too many freckles, I said. Another young lady came to view. Bleached hair.

I moved on to look for more desirable attributes. Each person I selected and scrutinized had some flaw or the other. Too little hair. Unruly hair. Too short. Eyes too small.  Too thin. Eyes too big. Wasn’t there one real person who fit the description of a perfect body? Where was our country headed? Not even one with whom I could switch places? No even one! I was aghast. Finally, I accepted that nobody was perfect. (It’s a different matter altogether that I’m nobody!) I resigned myself to fate and decided to live with my own body. Too bad for those who don’t like it, I smirked.

After a while, I noticed they were staring at me – they being everyone else in the compartment. I was taken aback and felt like the single bone all dogs had their heart set on. This feeling remained until I realized they had been glaring at me for staring at them. Had they all assumed me to be this lecherous person who was staring at every woman in the compartment?! Tsk.. Tsk… Such judgemental people. I averted my gaze and stared at my near perfect hands. Let’s listen to some music, I thought. But of course, you guessed it. No phone. No music either!

Another idea came visiting – why not write a post about the increasing dependence on technology and how once in a while we should learn how to disconnect. After all, I had spent an entire 30 minutes without the phone. And I was managing pretty well. So, who better than me to preach about not letting your gadgets rule you.

Ideas came easily and I transformed them into wordy thoughts, filing away information in my brain to reproduce it later. Words flew seamlessly and the article actually started coming alive and taking shape in my mind. Taking it as another form of a memory improvement exercise I decided to commit them to memory.

YAY, I whooped in joy. I had managed without my phone so far. No constant pings, no spammy phone calls, no unwanted distractions – it was surprisingly easy to manage without it. I should write more about this, I told myself. But first I should record these thoughts, I thought happily; until I realized I needed my phone to make the recording too.

I shook my head and decided to give up all such memory retention exercises. Thankfully, I had reached my station and got down. I decided to call my friend to tell her I had forgotten my phone at home and that I would reach in another ten minutes. I realized I had her number saved on my phone, not in my memory.

Moving on, I reached our meeting point and found her waiting for me. We spent a fun-filled two hours, gorging on interesting gossip and sharing insipid food. We had tried a new restaurant and wanting to post a review online, I decided to take pictures of the restaurant and the food to include in my review. I groaned at the realization that I didn’t have my phone. By now, I had started to value its presence in my life more than I had in the morning. Not so much a blessing now!

On my way home, I was thrilled that I actually had managed to survive a day without the phone, even though I had noticed its absence barely a few hundred times.

The first thing my father said when I reached home was, “You forgot your phone at home.” Oh, really? I had no idea!

No Comments
  • Meg Sorick
    Posted at 15:05h, 14 July Reply

    You know you’re a writer when you make up stories in your head about total strangers!

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 15:16h, 14 July Reply

      So true!!!! 😀
      I accept being a writer now. No doubts about that anymore. 🙂 How good or bad is a discussion for another day. 😉 LOL.

  • mandibelle16
    Posted at 17:12h, 14 July Reply

    I have learned at a certain point at night, to let my phone and IPad be. However, I do in the day miss it about 100 times as you say, if I forget it at home. I enjoyed your thought process for developing characters and making up stories for people. Extremely interesting.

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 17:19h, 14 July Reply

      Thank you Mandi! I must say I managed quite well, for I not only remembered it all later, I could also reproduce the thoughts that had gone through my mind at that time. Memory test passed! 😀

  • oneta hayes
    Posted at 20:04h, 14 July Reply

    Love the details you gave to your day. I got right into the mindset of a person who knows how to use a cell phone efficiently. Bores the daylights out of me to be stuck with a person who spends the time in conversation with another phone user. It would be nice to know how to use one in so many ways. Mine if a “sos” only. I guess I don’t care enough or I would learn! There I have shown my age! However, most of my family are phone addicts. That or else I am the the most boring of their relatives. Now if they would only use that phone to pull up my blog – that would be a different matter!

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 05:37h, 15 July Reply

      Thank you, Oneta! It’s good that you don’t care about the phone much. There’s so much more fun happening around us. Haha, you’ve only shown your mental age – wise and sensible. At heart, we’re all kids, aren’t we? 🙂 You, I think, the youngest of all. Especially, since you blog and your relatives don’t know how to even read it on their phones 😉 😛 😀

  • MindandLifeMatters
    Posted at 23:35h, 14 July Reply

    Only writers can make up stories about everyone they see. People watching is one of my favorite hobbies too! 😀
    I don’t know what I did do if I was out without my phone, it would feel like a part of my body is missing 😂

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 05:38h, 15 July Reply

      LOL. I know what you would do. Go Running! 😀

  • Bharath Upendra
    Posted at 05:31h, 15 July Reply

    You know what, I tried to do the same thing but I couldn’t. I’m too much dependent on technology I guess😂

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 05:40h, 15 July Reply

      hahaha! Now that is being ridiculous, indeed 😉 If only you knew how much fun it is to be dependent on the technologically advanced app called the ‘Brain’ 😛 Maybe you should do it again, just not try this time 😀

  • xaranahara
    Posted at 03:49h, 17 July Reply

    Yeah. I can live without my phone for a few hours at most. My job requires my phone.

  • anubhutisethmehn
    Posted at 12:35h, 10 September Reply

    First things first, Telepathic Systems are down at present. Please use below box to communicate….loved this <3
    About your post, yes with this electronic thing in hand all the time, we miss to see and embrace the world around us. Loved the way you have detailed your day.

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 12:57h, 10 September Reply

      He he he. What to do, the spaceship keeps messing up the telepathic equipment. 😀 We’re slaves to our gadgets, and this experience taught me I could do well without it. So happy to have made it my slave instead of the other way round. 🙂 Thank you! 🙂

  • saumynagayach
    Posted at 02:37h, 11 September Reply

    You reminded me of a fun activity that I used to do a lot during train rides. Yes, observing people in leisure is great fun. I miss it because of these ever disturbing blood-sucking gadgets. Not that, I don’t like mobiles but at times all you want is peace and normal ape kind a behavior (of observing ppl). I really liked the way you observed those ladies and made stories around them. Good that you and I are both normal. You for writing this post, me for reading it. High five! 😛

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 08:04h, 11 September Reply

      High five! 😀 😀 Thank so much for reading. 🙂

  • deepaliadhikary
    Posted at 19:40h, 13 September Reply

    Looks like the world outside the mobile is way too colorful and interesting than the emojis and hashtags….loved this post!

    • Wandering Soul
      Posted at 12:15h, 15 September Reply

      It truly is! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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