Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

My view that the cell phone is proving to be more of a bane than a boon was reinforced over and over again this summer. Having had to undertake quite a few train journeys over the past month or so, I had ample time to realize how inconsiderate and insensitive quite a few fellow travelers can be!

Imagine this – You board an afternoon train, after lunch, with a toddler in tow, hoping for a short nap before it is time to alight at your destination. No sooner are you settled into your seats than the kid starts nodding off and you put him down for a nap.

A short time in the cool, air conditioned comfort of the coach on a hot, sultry afternoon, combined with the gentle swaying of the train is enough to leave you drowsy and longing for a little shut-eye as well.

You blissfully close your eyes and drift off to sleep only to be rudely awakened moments later by a shrilling cell phone, which is answered by an equally loud-voiced individual from the seat across the aisle.

As if the irritating ring tone, which sounds even louder in an otherwise quiet coach, were not enough, the one-sided conversation which follows is enough to make you want to get up and stomp the cell phone to teeny-weeny bits and pieces.

Sample this: “Yes, I am on my way….caught the train by the skin of my teeth”…. *sinister laugh* “Yea, I am in the AC compartment….its pretty cool in here.”

Duh! Isn’t that the whole point behind traveling in an air-conditioned coach in summer??

Mind you, this is all being said in the loudest of voices without the slightest consideration that there is a child sleeping nearby, and who is stirring restlessly because his nap is being disturbed by an uncouth lout!

The civilized thing to do in such a situation would have been to step out for a while and finish the conversation, instead of disturbing all and sundry around.

But no, that would mean that the people inside the coach would not have been privy to your boastful conversation or the fact that you had one of those fancy phones with the capacity of emitting the weirdest ring tones!

I breathe a sigh of relief that the conversation is finally over and I can perhaps return to my beauty sleep once again, when lo behold! the blasted instrument begins ringing again! Yet another equally senseless monologue follows with no decrease in the volume.

By now I have given up any hope of being able to get back to my nap and instead decide to derive some perverse pleasure from eavesdropping over all the other such conversations that ensue

During one of the brief pauses that follow, I hear another strange sound which I realize is the ring tone of yet another phone elsewhere in the coach!!

To my utmost horror, yet another conversation begins in the loudest of voices drowning out the voice of my neigbourhood nuisance!!

When the train reaches my destination I am sure no one is happier to jump off, not just because I have finally arrived but more because I no longer have to put up with people bent on turning my journey into some kind of torture on my auditory nerves!

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