Mobile diaries, then and now

Sindhu Loknath, Feb 13 2018, 19:32 IST
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The mobile phone changed my life forever. I remember the time I purchased my first mobile phone. I bought a chunky second-hand Nokia 3310 phone with my pocket money during my final year of graduation. At that time, my parents didn't know I had bought it.

When they eventually found out, it was not a pretty scene. I could not text in front of them. As time went by, they got used to the idea of me having a mobile phone but they would get annoyed when I spent too much time on it. 'You don't pay attention to your studies', my father used to say to me. He would get so annoyed if I looked at my phone when we were at the dinner table. All hell would break loose.

Alas, how things have changed. After I started working and earning enough, I bought my parents smartphones. I used to travel a lot and found WhatsApp to be an easier way to communicate with everyone. Other networking platforms like Skype also came about and I taught my parents how to go about it all. Till date, I think this was the biggest mistake of my life.

I taught them both to work with a mobile phone, send photographs and use it for entertainment. There were times when I would not be able to take a restroom break peacefully as my father would want to know how to attach a photograph or post it somewhere. Even today, sometimes, he posts the caption at one place and the photograph later. Interesting bloopers like these keep happening and family members call and ask me about missing or confusing posts on his profile.

There was a time when my father's phone started hanging because of the amount of applications on it. Instagram, Facebook, Hangouts, Twitter, YouTube, you name it and it was there.

And then there were days when my father would use the phone the entire day! Most days, I would wake up listening to the mobile war between my parents; my father would be playing film songs in one room and my mother would be piously listening to 'bhajans' and spiritual speeches in the other. At times, I would be upstairs and my father would video call me on WhatsApp.

During my college days, my father would glare at me if I carried my mobile phone to the temple. Now there are days in the house when a 'puja' would be going on and my father would be busy posting pictures of the preparations on Instagram. I can't keep track of his updates on various social media pages. Even today, I don't know how to find certain pages or posts on Instagram. He guides me now.

The moment my father gets a message saying 'Forward this message to 10 friends on WhatsApp so that you can enjoy continued service', he sends it out immediately. This is how scared he is of losing WhatsApp!

What goes around, comes around for sure. While I isolate myself from the online world and mobile phones now, I am waiting for the day when I won't have to look at my father and ask him to keep the phone aside and just talk.

Sindhu Loknath (Actor)
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