It couldn’t have been more than 5 mins since I left the autorickshaw, when I realised my cellphone was missing. After rummaging through my belongings, I couldn’t find my hapless Micromax Q7 — hapless because it was in a pretty bad state thanks to lil’ Idhant. Since, I had left home in a tearing hurry, I couldn’t recall well whether I had carried my cell along (and thereby forgotten it in the rickshaw) or I had just forgotten to carry it at all. On calling upon my number, it just kept buzzing, so I called up wife next to check if the phone was lying around at home. On getting a negative reply, I yet again persisted in ringing up my number and my worst fears were confirmed when after a few rings more, the cell went dead. I didn’t need an Oracle to tell me that the phrase “out of coverage area”, clearly implied that someone had heard the rings and decided to silence the puny instrument for good. And the needle of suspicion pointed to the autorickshaw driver, who was the last person who had seen my cell.
For some odd reasons, I found it hard to believe that the seemingly honest bloke, who I had chatted up while 45 mins journey, would transform into an unscrupulous knave, who wouldn’t flinch from bumming a cellphone. The driver was a North Indian, or what is often called as a ‘Bhaiyya’. He was also an educated man, medium built, dressed up neatly, presenting a picture of sobriety. But, the facts on hand said otherwise. My cell had rung a few times, before it was strangulated into silence. And going by the past experiences, especially of my father, who had lost a couple many in these rickshaws, the evidence pointed to just one thing: the arseole had decided to make merry with my phone.
After muttering a few many oaths under the breath, I resigned myself to the new reality. Have to buy a new cell, need to get a duplicate SIM, etc. Yet, nothing could compensate the loss of data, namely, all the contacts on the cell and yes, the pics and videos of Idhant. It was this loss that hurt the most, and like many other people who have lost their cell, it dawned upon me that it is not the hardware that you rue, but all the soft memories inside.
Fortunately, I had backed quite a few of the pics on phone, so except for the loss of my contacts, I could live another day. Also, the fact was Micromax was a low-cost stop gap for me, till an Android Qwerty hit the market (which Motorola Charm did, just a few days earlier), hence in some weird ways I was not all that sad. Hence, over the next few days, I did indeed get the phone I desired, my old number, and life was back to normal, except for the simple fact, whenever people called up on my cell, they expected a warmer greeting like, ‘Hi Abhijeet’, or ‘Bolo Jatinder’, but since I did not have any numbers, my voice was hesitant and cold.
Also, I came to realise that it was my son who missed the phone much. He loved playing songs on it and dancing to them, since, Micromax didn’t cost the moon, I was pretty lax on him handling it (not the case with the new cell). Hence, the little guy missed his music player much more than I missed my phone. But things changed suddenly as my wife started getting strange smses at 6 in the morning. Continue reading