The Hunt for a Telephone on a Tuesday Afternoon
“Do you have a walking phone?” Nimish Shah asked my daughter.
“Mom do we have a walking phone?” she asked me
“What do you mean by walking phone?” I asked her.
“Sir , what do you mean by walking phone?” she asked him.
“Oh! the phone that you hold on your ear and you talk and walk !”
“Oh! He means the cordless phone?”
“Whatever,” she said shrugging her shoulders since by now I had understood what Nimish wanted and ran inside to get him the cordless phone that we had just purchased.
To many of you this scene would seem like a flash back to the pre-historic ages. Believe it or not, this conversation took place in the mid 1990’s which would now technically belong to the last century. And it was at a time when cordless phones were quite the luxury in India ( at least).
You must be laughing at this conversation because now perhaps having a land-line is an anomaly. Every tradesman has a mobile phone and you can WhatsApp you requirement for groceries, medicines and even plane tickets with a phone in your hand!
So who in this day and age would have a land line? Well we do. Because we are deeply rooted in the past. And we also need it as a proof of residence.
Did you know that a telephone bill of a landline is still accepted as proof of residence by various Government agencies? Click To Tweet
But moving on with the times, we changed our old fashioned rotary instruments to the swankier, sleeker and more convenient cordless ones. Each successive instrument was thinner and slimmer, with discreet ring tones that were hard to catch, than the previous one and as we get older, increasingly hard to find.
Ever since Wow Dinga, Little Po and Ms. Papaya came into our lives, they insisted on having real phones to play with. This is not uncommon in most households with babies. They all want the real thing. Thus every discarded mobile phone was promptly handed to them. This time round, I made the mistake of giving them the instrument of the cordless phone which unfortunately looked just like its replacement.
The children were thrilled with this new toy and I looked forward to some quiet time with them gainfully occupied with their phone.
Suddenly in the middle of the afternoon, Bayda came up to me and asked where the phone was because the instrument on the mother dock looked distinctly dead ( the light was on the blink).
That set me in a tizz and I tried to remember the last time I used it. Was it on my bed? Was it in the bathroom? Was it in the fridge or oven? Because I had last used it just before I entered the kitchen.
Luckily, after retracing my movements with the phone, I remembered that I had left it on the dining table. But no one seemed to remember what happened to the phone after that.
I asked the little ones who were playing if they had seen the phone and Little Po promptly brought along the phone. We were thrilled and performed a congratulatory dance for him.
But on close inspection, I found that the phone was the wrong one after all.
I tried calling up the number but it wouldn’t ring.
Once again, I looked every where imaginable and unimaginable including the laundry basket and the washing machine. The toddlers are known to pick up things and use them in their imaginary play.
But we couldn’t find it anywhere.
I was panicking by the minute because once its battery was discharged, it would be even harder to locate.
Finally, when the children had left and the house was relatively quiet, I made one last call and we heard the faint ring. Eureka! Quickly, tracking the sound before it got cut off, we found it !
It was kept carefully in the bottom of the basket of plastic fruit. And where do you think was the basket?
Inside the toy oven!!!