Saturday, January 26, 2008

Enlightenment #2: I've forgotten how to have a phone conversation

Tut.. and Too Bad, someone would say.

But definitely not on the phone.

I'm suddenly nostalgic about school and college days. I'd have something exciting to discuss with a friend, and we'd talk about it for hours on the phone. We'd make hour-long conversations out of 20 second incidents, and analyse and assess events and people in and out.

At this point I'd like to digress just a little bit and tell her that I miss her and all those conversations!

In school it was the landline. Papa, especially, would be very particular about the size of the telephone bills. He could never see the point in talking for so long to a person you'd just spent the whole day with! I'd calculate exactly how many minutes of talk our quota of free calls afforded me, and imagine myself speaking for only that long. Somehow the numbers on the bill were never in sync my expectations ;) So it was that I longed to talk on the phone, on and on, at the risk of that huge bill, at the risk of my parents' anger. Landline bill: A few multiples of thousand, definitely making it into 4 digits.

College. I stayed in a hostel for a while. There was a phone there which you could use if you had a calling card. I'd buy just as many cards as my allowance could afford me so I could talk. (Just a clarification, not that these calls were the focal point of my life back then, but they are of this post, so you get the point!) I'd ask friend to call from home landline, but friend also had bill-pressures. The parents got me a mobile in some months; again, it was expensive, and I ate into my very uni-directional bank balance, a significant chunk for the calls. It was expensive even for people to call me. But no matter what, we spoke. SMS's were there, but some matters just demanded a full-blown conversation!

Fast forward to now. I can afford those calls today without guilt. I cannot complain that I have no one to talk to. But the art of talking on the phone has slipped by me somehow. :) I'm distinctly uncomfortable picking up the phone to catch up with an old friend, new friend, any friend. I'd rather send a text message that allows them to respond at their convenience and me then, at mine. Or chat with them. Phone conversations, down to zero. Landline bill today: 3 digits. Mobile bill: Just about crossing 2 digit figures and around! I send text messages, a lot many around me can vouch for that. But something about the 'real'ness of a telephonic conversation has me shying away from it. Not wanting uncomfortable silences anymore. Not knowing what to talk about.

Obviously I don't see that as a good thing. Technology has brought the world to my fingertips, and the means to bridge all gaps, only it couldn't ease me into doing so. It couldn't make me drink.


Suprita said...

:D Thank you sweetheart.. Me too misses you and those phone conversations..

Hmm.. I think it's growing up. How many adults do you see having long phone conversations. And one day, like our parents, we'll ask our children whatever there was to talk so much about.. Sigh.

indira said...

:) gud one!

Rach said...

@Suprita: I doubt its about growing up, I've seen plenty of adults doing the phone thing. More female than male.

@Indira: Tankoo!

AjAy said...

I agree!! More female than Male....

I paid the price for all the missed calls that girl friends over the years have made.
Have to call them back you see..

No offense!!


Anonymous said...

You think and write well :)


harki said...


In most case this can be attributed to all the pressure and stress at work!

It gets the most out of u and at the end of the day u dont even feel like answering calls, forget making any!