Married to the mobile
A long weekend brings joy to anyone with a busy lifestyle. Last
month, April, a holiday I always look forward to, a number of outings
were on the cards. A three-day outing with the family and another
excursion with my dear office colleagues.
Both trips were well planned in advance so that nothing would 'go
wrong'. Transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment..
everything was very well taken care of.
First came the office trip. One after the other, we slowly gathered
in the office, early morning on the much awaited day. Men looked relaxed
in their boxer shorts (ouch) and caps (borrowed from their teenage
sons), while the women wore more make-up but somehow looked good in
their safari-like outfits (ouch again). As I glanced at the backpacks
resting in a corner in my office, I felt glad that finally, the much
awaited outing was going to be a reality.
"I am so glad that we are going on this trip," I told a colleague who
looked busy trying to make a phone call. "I forgot my mobile phone
charger, what trip without the phone,".
Although the issue never struck me, I was relieved that my phone
charger was secure inside my hand bag thanks to my dear husband. He
never questioned anything about the trip, where we were going, how we
were going and when we will return, but popped up one single question
"Do you have reception there?" and made sure that I take my mobile phone
and the charger without fail.
As we waited for the bus one common query kept circulating among the
crowd. "Signal thiyanawada danne naha (Will there be reception?)". They
all tried to convince each other that they had the best phone connection
which later turned out to be an intolerable argument. The two hour
journey ended up without a single song or a prank. "What a way to
start," we all thought.
After reaching the hotel, we checked in and went in search of our
rooms. As I relaxed in the cosy bed my roommate was desperately
struggling with the switch board. "Looks like I need a multi plug, I
can't plug my phone charger," she started to whine. The phone kept
ringing for the next fifteen minutes and they all wanted to know one
thing, whether any of us had got a multi-plug.
We gathered for lunch two hours later, because many of my colleagues
had gone in search of multi plugs. As we sat down for lunch, angry over
all the commotion that had taken place earlier, I tried to get into some
small talk with my colleagues. They were already busy talking. Busy
talking on their mobile phones, instructing husbands what to wear,
demanding wives not to leave home until they are back at home, telling
their children to warm the food.
The lunch was ruined. So did the much awaited beach volleyball
tournament, the karaoke session, dinner and even dancing at the
discotheque. Cursing myself for organising the trip I sat angrily in a
corner of the bus trying to ignore the phone conversations "Tell baby
that I am on my way," "I will be home to take the children for the
tuition class," "We will be in Colombo in another one hours time,"
Angry and disappointed I promised my self that I will never take part
in office trips. But, I still had hopes, to indulge my self in another
journey. And this time it will definitely be better. It was a four day
trip with the people I love, my family.
It took me hours to pack our stuff. Little help I received from my
husband who was endlessly complaining about the two days leave he had to
take. Before we got into the vehicle he shot back, " Did you take the
charger and a multi plug," thanks to my previous trip I was well
equipped this time.
The minute he sat on the drivers seat, he kept making phone calls. "Machang,
I will be out of Colombo for couple of days, tell me what's happening
there ok,"..."Don't forget to call me if something goes wrong
ok,"..."Tell me if you need me in Colombo, I can cut short the
We checked into the hotel. My father started complaining that there
was 'no signal' available and that he was unable to make some important
phone calls. My dear husband kept instructing and inquiring from his
office colleagues while my mother made sure everything at home in
Colombo was functioning smoothly (lights were switched on time, the dogs
were fed and that my aunt would water the plants on time).
My brother refused to take a sea bath because he didn't want to leave
his phones unattended. My intended sister-in-law was stuck in a corner
of the swimming pool where she hung to her phone listening to her mother
at the other end.
The dinner was ruined, so was the dancing, the sea bath and the
couple of sight seeing tours too and the much awaited four day outing..
all ended up in turmoil.. thanks to mobile phones, the so-called hi tech
gadgematic that is supposed to make life more comfortable.