I was visited by a few friends for a quick hang out at my home. Hangouts have to be quick these days. The world we have come to live in! The first things that they noticed about me were my clothes. It somehow made them laugh. Forget feeling bad about it, I quite enjoy when my friends laugh at me. Who would allow me to laugh at them if I don’t tolerate the same on me? That day, I was in my most comfortable clothing. A loose pinkish-white T-shirt hung on my body. It used to be pink someday and fitted me well. The shoulders didn’t droop to my arms as they do now. The pants were saggy with pockets hanging down. Their laughter influenced me to reflect into the mirror. Well, I saw a frail body with some washed rags on it. The T-shirt was pinkish but had some paleness on it. I saw the pockets were not the only beings trying to get rid of the pants; some threads were guilty too for the infidelity to me.
It’s been innumerable times that my mom asked me to throw old clothes, but I always deferred her demands. Especially this pinkish one, I feel fresh in this T-shirt. I tend to believe that its colour passes its grace to my skin complexion and makes my cheeks blush. There’s one more, which has its colour falling somewhere between Kelly-green and yellow-green. The colour simply brightens my mood.
Like billions of effusive humans on earth, I feel attached to my personal belongings. These belongings wither while spending years in embellishing me and you. While these could be things of the past for my family, they have earned their transition into my present.
My mom is a cleanliness freak. She keeps combing the house for unused, overused and waste items to show them the door. I keep confirming with her if she didn’t throw the pair of slippers that I bought off a Goan street. The one that had its one foot coloured black and the other white. Yes, the one at which women laugh and never believe that I bought the right pair.
The first mobile phone that I could call my own happened when I was in first year of graduation. I had always insisted my dad on getting me one with features that allowed me to do a lot more than just make calls and send short messages. He was generous enough, as always. He never says a no if you privilege him to manifest his shopping skills. Within a few months of its presence in my pocket, the display of this phone crashed. I never had the opportunity to understand why. After it was fixed, I witnessed it slipping down from my hands into water. After many more repairs, I finally decided to let it go. However, I felt guilty of losing it and asked my dad to get me a basic phone.
This Mr. Basic passed the test of time. Not that I never dropped it on the tiled floor or lost it in college. But Mr. Basic would always come back to me like a loyal friend. I never had to undergo the pain of leaving it into unknown hands for a repair. I was touched by the cuteness and innocence of this modest being.
Years passed and I realized it was time that I bid Mr. Basic goodbye and buy a better one. However, I kept Mr. Basic safely in a casket for a timely visit to old memories.
The phone that replaced Mr. Basic lasted only four months. For what I remember of the day it left me, I have a strong feeling that a co-passenger must have stolen it from my bag. The day had been nonplussed to me.
I felt bewildered. I sobbed. Then, I saw Mr. Basic smiling at me.
My affection for this basic phone multiplied.
A year and a half later, my sister coaxed and cajoled me into buying a new phone. She has a tablet, and two phones, she felt this was the need of the hour as we were missing out on a lot of fun and sharing because I didn’t have a smart phone compatible to hers.
When friends ask me to rate my new phone’s fidelity, I have no answer. I know just one thing- Mr. Basic’s heart still beats. I have no qualms about anything else.
The idea of having better phones proved to be paradoxical. they surely weren’t any good when compared to my basic phone. They couldn’t tantamount to the commitment demonstrated by Mr. Basic.
Mr. Basic will always travel with me into my present.
As for my mom, she too is smitten by Mr. Basic. But for other things, she won’t take me seriously.
Mom: I’m throwing this old set of earphones as you already have three new pairs.
Me: But it still functions. I mean the left earplug works.