A cool winter morning. I have just poured myself a dulcet cup of tea and am settling on my bed to nosh upon it when all of a sudden the bell rings. It’s the guy who takes away the garbage in the colony and so I put a lid on my cup and approach in his direction. On my way, I empty the contents of the dustbin can, making sure the egg shells do not fall out of it, and hand them over to the guy. It’s a beautiful, frosty morning but it’s really chilling out there. Still, I come back into the house, wash my hands, grab my tea and biscuits and put a chair in the porch to sit on. I open the gate, just to look at the passersby and pull my chair close to it. Just when I have once again settled to feast upon the aroma of my tea, a beloved piece of music falls into my ears-
Shab-e intezaar aakhir kabhee hogee mukhtasar bhee yeh chiraag.. yeh chiraag bujh rahe hain mere saath jalte jalte chalte chalte, chalte chalte yun hee koyee mil gaya tha
I turn around a couple of times to find the source of this melody that has made my morning. It’s coming from the mobile phone of the guy who sweeps the streets as the garbage trolley moves along. He is keeping his phone in the pocket of his shirt, the only measly thing he is wearing on top on this frigid morning. The scene shivers my spine but it looks like it doesn’t matter to him much. He looks like a man in his forties, that’s why the choice of song or else the young boys who come to sweep do not stop without playing Chikni chameli thrice. He looks either lost in his work or lost in the song to care about his woes in that instant. It seems he knows that his wait, his ‘intezaar’ would be over soon, that it would be ‘mukhtasar’.
But just as I begin to think of any higher philosophies, my mind moves over to the mobile phone in his pocket. At that moment, I feel that while the higher moralities in life may be true at their own place, it’s the small things, those commodities that you own, that make up the happiness of your everyday life. That guy isn’t wearing a sweater; maybe not because he can’t afford it but because it is not comfortable to work in it. But what keeps him going in this frigidity is this lively song he can play on his phone and at that precise moment, it means the world to him. The volume on his phone is louder than thrice of that on my phone and by the time he has navigated the street, having swept it to the best of our wishes, he has had two short calls too. He walks away a content man and life is beautiful.
This is how cellphones or better yet smartphones have had an impact on our lives for the good. That they are making the world better in many ways is true and this story is one of many such stories. And so, when I wrote this other post, I did not mean to sound critical of their purpose. Also, somewhere I knew that I would have to tell this story to clear my point. So when my sister called me asking if I was making a pun of her by talking trash about smartphones, I wasn’t pulling her leg nor of anyone else’s. It’s a personal choice really how much you want to involve yourself with your phone just like it is your choice to use them in the best possible way, like in the above story.