Who’s dearest of them all?

“But, please! Don’t take her away!! I promise to keep her silent so she’ll disturb no one”, we all looked up from our ‘mountain pose’ when we heard this heart breaking plea. One would think this came from a mother who’s little child was being asked to sit away while she attended class; but surprise, it came from a lady whose mobile phone was taken away from her during our yoga class.

It brought to my mind the famous Bollywood dialogue ‘ Ek bacche ko apni maa se alag karna paap hai’ (It’s a sin to separate a child from his/her mother). I vouch for all, when I say the Yoga teacher went from most loved to most hated – one action marring all the good he’d done so far!

Just earlier that morning while reading the paper, I felt sympathetic towards the lady who boarded the flight and accidentally left her baby behind in the boarding area. She was possibly attending to her phone.

We cannot, just cannot stay away from our phones, even for a second. The very thought of physical separation brings on an anxiety attack and triggers withdrawal symptoms. We become nervous, unsettled and restless. Our eyes shift constantly to the screen from afar to check for flickers of notifications, one positive is that our hearing becomes honed to pick up even the slightest beep. And if it rings, it’s no short of an emergency that requires dropping everything you’re doing to attend to it. It’s dearer than the child, for sure. Hence, physical proximity is essential at all times. We’ll survive the night without the dear husband, but not the phone. If the children bawl, I’ll silence them; but I’m sorry can’t silence the phone.

And why should that be so difficult to understand?

My phone informs me of happenings around the world, how effectively chowkidar mama is guarding our society, what’s happening in school – and why the dance teacher took leave on Thursday, our extended families and even my own house. We’ve started exchanging Whatsapp messages now to inform one another (if we’re in separate rooms) of our requirements. ‘I’d like to have a cup of tea’, or ‘time to pick up the child from the stop’, is so much easier to type in, than holler in the corridor or get up and communicate.

I’m so much more informed about my rights now. I’m an activist & can influence so many of my friends AND others. I feel such power and so good about myself. I forward everything to do with saving rivers, complaining and petitioning against statues, helping others know more about our armed forces, climate change etc. I can now hold my own about most current topics for at least 5-10 mins, a far cry from Emanuel Macron’s 19 Mar 2019, record of 8 hours and 10 minutes on France’s future; but good enough still.

My phone is my training and gyming partner, tells me the time, reminds me of my beauty appointments, is my e-book, can sing to me, humour me with movies.  I get to know when exactly Priyanka Chopra changed her name officially to Jonas, what Alia Bhatt wore last night, how she looks in her pajamas, Kareena in workout clothes and so many others in no clothes at all.

Wait, there’s more – drama and emotion. A relative discovered he’d not been invited to another close relative’s son’s private wedding after seeing pictures on his phone, he was livid of course. One friend commented on another friend’s wife’s picture and we all got such a lovely and free dose of entertainment. Such time pass I tell you.

But here’s what seals the deal for me – I do big business on my phone AND my phone does what my husband couldn’t do in 2 decades of being together – taking great pictures and making me look fabulous even at 40!

And so, I un-apologetically swear by it. It’s my best and constant companion. With it near me, who needs a friend? I think the only other person who comes close to being so dear and irreplaceable is my dear maid Salma.