My photo
Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

27 July 2013

I Just Call to Say...

“Mum, was Apatosaurus a meat-eating dinosaur like T-Rex or a plant-eating dinosaur like Diplodocus?” questioned C2 who is into all things 'dinosaur' these days (with “rrrr-oars” for sound effects).

“I’m not sure,” I replied, a bit distracted by the arrival of our ferry.
“Just look it up on your phone, Mum,” instructed C1. “The ferries have free wi-fi.”

If I had a dollar for every time my kids’ tell me to “Google” something on my iPhone...

My phone. It contains (and controls?) my life.
It rouses me from my slumber. It maps my morning run. It keeps track of my calorie-intake. It 'pings' reminders of all my daily tasks/birthdays/appointments. It captures moments of my kids’ lives as they live it. It keeps me connected through email and texts...

So imagine my total disconnect when it “drowned” in a puddle of split water.

It was eventually resuscitated by a bag of Basmati rice (rice acts as a desiccant – who knew?). Thank God for small mercies – and for those even smaller grains of rice – because even one day without my phone made me realise how much I depend on it.

Remember the days when a phone was just a phone? You made calls. You received calls. The end. No apps or maps, no texting or gaming, no camera or calendar.

If you told your friends you’d be at New Talkies cinema for the 12noon matinee, you’d jolly well be there. No calling from the rickshaw to say you were running late. No receiving texts saying, “Where r u?” As we used to say, back in the day, “Be there or be square.” (cringe).

It’s a novelty for C1 and C2 to speak on a phone “with wires attached to it”. I showed them pictures of “olden day” phones – on my phone. I remember my aunts having those shiny black rotary dial phones where you had to spin the numbers on the dial with your index finger to make a call. No redial, no speed dial, no caller ID, no answering machine...

My family skipped this stage. When we got our first phone in 1991, it was a push-button dark-red one (or so my mum tells me). The initial excitement was palpable; when it would ring, (just the standard “tring, tring, tring!” ringtone), everybody would rush to answer it. God forbid if the person on the other end was a secret crush; all ears were on your conversation. There was no cordless extension to take to another room, so I’d be glued to the spot, nervously wrapping the curly-wurly cord around my finger, trying not to say too much while still trying to sound fascinating.

And any thoughts of having long heart-to-hearts with my best girl friends were always thwarted. Dad would be pacing up and down our hall: “You’ve just been with your friends all day at school/college; what more do you need to talk about now???”

So it’s funny how the phone is the best way my dad and I connect across the continents nowadays...

Do you remember the first phone your family had or your first mobile phone? Would you be able to survive without your mobile phone? Or would you rather your right arm be cut off?