A couple of weeks back ,my father made an unusual request..that of a cellphone instrument!Alarmed, i immediately set out to fetch the BP instrument, simultaneously questioning him on his need for the much loathed cellphone.Sheepishly he informed me ,that he needed to go mobile as both the LL numbers were out of order.Apparently, while digging up the roads in order to broaden them the workers had erroneously chopped off the telephone cables and narrowed down our communication options considerably.Since i rarely use the LL i consoled my father saying that communication was a very small price to pay for Development!It took all of 5 days and daily persistence to repair my fathers severed LL(lifeline..)
A few days back,my smugness evaporated and i found myself steaming as i realized that my cellphone had been disconnected!I sent out the most capable and resourceful staff i have to put me out of my misery.My persistent queries were answered by a BSNL official..'Hamne Kolkata baat ki hai aapka number phans gaya hai!'.While the world is rejoicing the birth of new phone technologies and Apples brilliant innovations,my town is struggling with a 19th century Exchange where numbers get stuck !!Moreover, it took a stray call after 3 days to realize that it was only my outgoing calls which were barred!!My sorrow swelled up like the'Yang Tse' river.Finally all the recorded messages stating'this number does not have an identity','this no. has ceased to exist,' it seemed had made me ceased to exist for all my friends and family.
This weekend after a drought of calls , i headed for the LL to talk to my son in the US.Once again it was not working.This time 700mts of cable had been pilfered.I was not at all perturbed, on the contrary rather proud of my small town .While the Nation is dealing with its multi crore 2G scams, the people weighing the pros and cons of Congress vs Progress and with all the eruption against corruption..this town like a small Gaulish village was dealing with simple everyday petty thefts !!!
I sincerely think that the early 70's with its manual exchange where the telephone operator asked for the 3 digit 'Number pleej', was a more comprehensive and sure way of communicating in this part of the country.
As things stand today, I am in dire need of TLC(Telephone-LL or Cell)..With my phone now being used as a camera and a juke box, maybe i should just capture the moment and dance may way through the crisis..After all i am in Neverland, from Graham Bells invention to the idyllic world of Tinker Bell-not bad at all !!!!!