The Mobile Phone Fiasco
Gift of a Mobile
I received a surprising gift from my father that year. It was a cell phone- a new technology reaching Kolkata. As I had been busy learning the basics of the machine my aunt suddenly darted into the room to see my treasured possession. I was a bit afraid for she was very crazy about new discoveries particularly electronic items. Almost snatching the handset from me she asked “Hello, what is this object? You were so long working with the pagers. Wherefrom you have got this new thing?” “My father has just gifted me this set. Let me understand everything fully then I shall help you use it”- I replied. Though I kept silent I could feel that my aunt was not satisfied and she was becoming restless to acquire the small wonder by any means.
Aunt's Craze for Mobile
Middle-aged and very jovial but a bit irascible she would stay in Pune by virtue of her husband’s job. She had an unusual inclination to finish anything from household chores to studies very quickly. I have always seen her trying desperately to learn new things. So seeing her sitting in another room and looking morose I felt a pang of uneasiness.
Learning Mobile Operations
I came to know the different aspects of the cell phone as quickly as possible and going straight to my irate aunt asked “I have now some knowledge about it. Now tell me what you want to know. Actually I was learning the operation since it is a new arrival in our city. So it took so much of my time to understand the process of its functioning. Please excuse me this time” Saying this I embraced her. And she was soon back to her normal cheerful self and her laughing face smoothened the creases of annoyance. I heaved a sigh of relief.
Saving Contact Numbers
Reclining on a sofa she began to learn the wonders of the small object. After quickly learning how to call a person she was particularly paying attention how to save the numbers of the relations, friends and important persons. “You have really done a wonderful job of teaching me something very special. I shall definitely purchase one such mobile for me tomorrow. You will have to accompany me to the market to choose the right item. You must know that I have innumerable friends and relations not to speak of my helpers and other important persons. I can now save those numbers easily and I shall not have to memorise them any longer. Neither shall I bore you asking for such contact numbers time and again”. Saying this she broke into a broad grin that spread across her face.
Obsession With Mobile
Within a few days my aunt bought the latest mobile much to my amazement. She saved all the contact numbers so fast than I could imagine. I was all the more surprised to find her arranging the names as per the relations and their vocations. That too in abbreviated forms for the sake of brevity. I had to admit to her that we were very much lagging behind her in such advanced technological matters.
After a few weeks she went back to Pune. Almost every day she would call us and try to make clear to us the different advantages of her prized possession. But one thing was very clear- she was extraordinarily obsessed with it and doing everything in haste. Since we were not that much organized we had often to take recourse to her to find out the contact number of our relations.
Bid to Help a Patient
After a few months and before the pujas the aunt arrived again in our house. To us our favourite aunt meant huge travelling, sumptuous meals in restaurants and above all satisfying all our wishes. She was a so generous and loving lady.
Besides her nephews she was always eager to help others as well in need. And she soon got an opportunity. At that time my grandmother was very sick and our parents were busy looking after her. Seeing them very restless and disturbed my aunt told them. “I know a famous physician personally. Although he is of a choleric temperament but when unvexed a bright and cheerful gentleman. He maintains a very cordial relation with us. He even stayed in our house in Pune for a few days when he had to attend an important conference. I am going to call the driver first and then accompany the doctor to bring him here. You need not worry”. Immediately she dialled a number and we felt assured imagining that such a renowned physician would soon visit our house in a chauffeur driven beautiful car.
Plan Falling Flat
But to our utter surprise we could see our beloved aunt moving out of the room with a pale face. It looked as if someone had rebuked my aunt severely and she had lost all her ability to speak. She was sitting silently aside dazed. We were puzzled to find our lively cheerful aunt who gave us all sorts of encouragement now in a totally stupefied condition. We did not have the courage to question her then.
As the time was rapidly ticking away my father took the initiative and took her to another room to know the cause of her stunned silence. After some time when we were getting impatient he opened the lid of the puzzle. “Your aunt has committed a grave mistake. In her zeal to act extraordinarily fast while dialling the number of the driver first she wrongly dialled the doctor instead and before he could answer the call she had ordered “Are you David, my driver speaking? Come quickly.”
We could not help imagining the immediate reaction of the physician when he received such an urgent phone call so early in the morning.
© 2018 ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE