Pappu Singh called me the other day. As you know, he’s been in hibernation ever since his dhaba was removed by the municipality, when they decided to dig up roads to make them look neater. See, we Indians don’t take our work lightly.
If it has to be done, it shall only be by going into the depth of it. So right now, all roads are being dug up to reach the depth… and then I’m sure someone would figure out where to go from there. Anyhow, Pappu Singh called when I was on my way back from work. ‘Sat shri akaal,’ he screamed into the phone… and the call dropped. He called again. ‘Oh Sat shri akaal, madam ji,’ and the call dropped, again. I stopped the car by the side and called him back but the ‘network was unreachable’. By then, Delhi Police — always ‘with us and for us’, appeared, as a traffic constable came to challan me for stopping right next to a ‘No stopping’ board. I curbed the strong urge to exercise every Delhiites birthright— that of arguing or haggling when being fined, and paid up, sure that Pappu Singh’s call, after months, must be urgent.
I gave up trying to call him after six attempts and took his assistant Chhottu’s number who then passed the phone to Pappu Singh. “What is it? Hope all’s well,’ I asked the moment I heard his voice. Sat shri akaal ji he said. By then, standing by the roadside and 400 bucks poorer, I feared I would lose it. Arrey, kya hua? I asked. Kuchh nahi. Sat shri akaal kehne ke liye phone kiya tha,’ he replied. Smiling at the simplicity of the man, I was about to reciprocate the greeting when—you guessed it, the call dropped.
Have you lately felt stressed about how your cell phone behaves, or rather doesn’t? A study by research firm, Neilson, reveals that call-drop rates in Delhi are more than thrice that in the US. You could be in the middle of an important conversation and suddenly you are talking to yourself into the phone.
And then those stressful SMSs reminding you that you are the biggest moron if you haven’t yet purchased a 3/4BHK apartment in Greater Noida or a penthouse in Gurgaon which can be yours for ‘only’ 67 lakhs. I even get some that have guaranteed me admission in Australian Universities and interestingly, an enlarged penis in two months!!
So how do you deal with this stress? By all means, call customer service and sign up with Do not Call registry (which will, almost magically, guarantee that you’ll get more such SMSs), but more importantly, change your attitude towards this entity called cellphone. Don’t panic or let your BP rise if the call drops. And don’t frantically start dialling again. If it has dropped due to a reason, it will drop again till you are out of that patch. Also, it is NOT necessary to check your phone a nanosecond after an SMS arrives. It won’t vanish anywhere. Don’t forget that at least half of us have seen the time when there were no cell phones. We still lived...perhaps happily.
Sonal Kalra has decided to buy the Greater Noida flats...all of them. Now the SMSs should stop. Mail your calmness tips at sonal.kalra @hindustantimes.com