Thursday, July 4, 2013

If Only You Could Slide To Unlock

As the thumb slides over the gleaming phone screen, a few hundred names scroll across the glass, passing by like humans as seen from the comfort of a window seat in the train. The train moves at a pace where these people, though familiar, appear as strangers. Not just strangers, but trees that all look the same. A few thousand leaves on every tree; a few alphabets jumbled together in every name. They’re all the same till you stop and hold your glance on one for a while. The shape of the leaves appear different; the shade of the green does too. Stationed a little longer, one may proceed to dissect: the number of circles in the trunk; the number of memories built with this person. But there isn’t much time to stay as the train moves on at a pace not within your control.

With a press of a button, the lights on the phone turn off, leaving nothing to look at on the glass held so dear all day long. Another press of the button and the lights are on again, amusing for as long as they scream color into your eyes. But there’s more to be amused at when the lights go off. The gadget loses its identity to a mirror that reflects your face staring into the blankness of a poker face. Holding the gaze reveals the circles around your eyes, new yet appearing so old. Hold on longer for you to see the straight lips which might remind you of how they once formed a crescent curve with two eyes for stars on top. But there isn’t much time to gaze as the screen flashes an incoming call not within your control.

On plugging a metal end into the socket, the glass animates a battery filling up with neon green. Rebooting your device makes you wait for a while, when you think of your ex-dumbphone whose battery lasted you a day. You can blame the work pressure for the feeling of emptiness inside you, or just blame the continuous data transfer that eats away all the energy from your phone. The power that makes you scroll through a mostly unchanged facebook feed seems more powerful than the power, the lack of which makes you put away the thought of catching up with an old friend. Hold on a little longer till you realize how much you miss your old phone or an old friend. But there isn’t much time that you can hold as the device reboots at a moment not within your control.

A pair of wires attached to your phone has the strength to transport you to another world as they pour music into your ears. You realize that your brain is now immune to the powers of this sound, which no longer deserves to be called music. Skipping one track after another, involuntarily now, you hit pause right before you begin to skip them all in a loop again. The sound of the world is dimmed away by the silent earphones plugged deep into your skull. As you begin to think of the one whose voice was music to you once, the phone vibrates; this vibration being the only music that jostles you to attention at once. Setting a nice ringtone to your phone and disturbing the people around is no longer within your control.

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  1. I really liked this! One, I love (have always loved) how you make use of metaphors. I've always wanted to be good at it. Two, I like how you managed to describe a phone-y-thing (:P) so well, and compared it to something significant! Awesome or what? Three, I just always like your writing style and the way you use words and transcribe them into flawless sentences.

    Wish we could slide and unlock, and be more like humans. I still haven't changed/upgraded to a smartphone and I get comments about that more than on myself :P Weird, has the world become.

    1. Thanks, Ashna. Such a long comment; my reply can't match the awesomeness!
      Also, I bet you have a Nokia. Sony ya Motorola hota toh abhi tak chalta hi nahi :D

    2. Yeah it's a Nokia :P It's not that old. I got it when? Three years ago. Bas! :P How can you even replace it when you drop it on its head three times a day and it still works awesome? :P This just reminded me of a post I had to do! On Nokia :P

  2. This post is so NOT-YOU.
    But i like it. I like the intense, brooding type of style that you have adopted here. Cool!
    It gets difficult to disconnect at times. It is almost beyond our control.
    Feeling well captured ;)

    1. I can see from the timestamp on your comment that reading this was the first thing that you did at your office today. Matlab, din ki shuruat mein hi office time ki chori. Tch tch. Tera boss maarega!

      P.S. Thank you :)

  3. you are the undisputed KING of analogies ;)


  4. Wah! Bringing out the loss of control over our own lives through smartphone metaphors -@@@@@

  5. Phenomenal analogies, especially in the 1st para! My favorite though is the mirror one, in the 2nd para. The ending could've/should've been more impactful. A really good attempt but not as magical as the earlier ones.
    So, I'll give you a 4.5 - @@@@+O (w/o the middle part of the jalebi) :)

    1. Thanks, paaji :)

      I was thinking for a while after writing the last paragraph whether I should go ahead and write some concluding lines, but then thought against it for two reasons. One being that the post talks about short moments of thought which get broken abruptly because of events outside our control. Second, because I thought leaving it open ended might leave a person thinking on the same lines in continuity and concluding it or accepting it on his own judgment.

      That was the intention for the open ended abrupt ending, but a few other people pointed out that they wanted to read a conclusion. I think it failed to deliver the feeling like I thought it would. I must improve. Thanks a bunch :)

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If you had 5 Jalebis, how many would you give me for writing this post?

None = You don't deserve any >:O
@ = Soggy and stale! :(
@@ = Stale! :|
@@@ = I'll need a samosa to digest this with! :P
@@@@ = Sweet and Crisp! :)
@@@@@ = I'm opening you a Halwai Shop! :D