Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vagaries of the filled inbox

‘600 messages? That’s a helluva lot !!!’, I thought as I read the description off the back of the box in the Mobile Store.

Cut to June 2008…a year later and I sit on the bunk bed in the PG (Paying Guest, for the uninitiated) contemplating which message to delete from the deluge that of 580 messages that inundates my Inbox.
I scan through the messages one at a time reading them from start to end, right down to the sender name. I have done this a thousand times earlier. When the person with you is having a personal conversation on the phone and you want to make yourself unobtrusive while keeping an ear on the conversation, open your phone and scroll through the messages. When you are waiting for a friend at the mall and want to avoid eye contact with the thronging mobs, Inbox comes to the rescue. But today I look at them the same way a barber looks at a full crop of hair wondering which portion gets the snip.

Messages from my sister….no!! They are sacrosanct. I cannot delete any one of them even if it just says ‘Have I left my purse at home? Reply stat…’
Birthday wishes…sacrosanct again. And also useful to crosscheck if the same people remember my birthday the next year.
And then there are the stinkers. Messages that are loaded with accusations and politically incorrect words. Ammo in a cellular war. Someone once said that hatred should not be carried in one’s heart. Well…too bad he forgot to specify the Inbox. And so they stay on for the day when I can look back and have a good laugh as to how silly we once were.
There are some forwards too. The usual set of inspirational messages, graphics created using standard keyboard characters…creations of a jobless mind encouraged by free sms schemes. They are the first ones to be given the boot and they get just one chance to make me smile or bring a lump in my throat to hang on to that coveted Inbox space. Surprisingly today all of them manage to do so. Either the jobless minds are getting more creative or I am mellowing with age.

There are messages from a friend, which go somewhat like this
Message #1 : breakfast
Message#2: cm to mess
Message#3: chai
Message#4: dinner?
Message#5: sleepy…night mess?
And they go on in this infinite loop… one for each day spent on campus, only interspersed by a few other messages sent across the table during frustratingly boring classes. I attempt deleting two or three of them. But somehow they seem a part of me….my only link to the campus life that is now plain history. These messages are like pointers that open up a boxful of memories in my head as I read them. Priceless.

Messages from a friend who had jaundice ‘ I had chicken today…lightly cooked but it tasted awesome’…little moments of joy. Farewell messages sent from the train….little moments of sadness. Messages from a friend who has suddenly stopped being in touch with me….little moments of retrospection. EOL. End of List.
And I start all over again. This time just sighing and smiling to myself as I wonder what it is that makes it so difficult for me to press that little red ‘delete’ button.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

chance encounter...

I got a mail about the greatness of the woman....I smiled to myself and spent a day gloating in the glory of my gender.
Sipping coffee in the evening at the campus adda, I saw a woman running through the streets with two crying children in tow, searching for her husband who had just bought himself alcohol induced relief from poverty with the days earnings. Her hands were moving fast - joining together one moment to plead with him to come home, moving as far apart as possible the next moment to hold her children close to her.....
I gulped my coffee in one go - a toast to the greatness of the woman in her and in thousands like her in unknown, unnamed streets of India.

Reality check...

You know you have to a pay a lil more attention to your personal life when-
somebody asks you to name 10 men you would like to have in your 'harem'
and after thinking for what seems to be an eternity, all you can come up with is -
George Clooney, Roger Federer and a couple of teenage crushes..... :|