My junior brother is in the 7th grade. He hasn’t yet been given a cell-phone. Not that he really needs it, because he is usually at home and doesn’t even go for tuition except going to school. So my parents have kept the fishy matter in the ice chamber. It’s unfortunate. I mean, I was given my cell-phone in the 9th grade. But now in the age of multimedia a cell-phone is necessary even in Kindergarten. Explaining it a bit further; in our age not every home had a computer to download music from songs.pk or “djmaza.com” nor was the average phone multimedia enabled. So we had to sit gaping at the TV flicking through MTV, Zoom TV or 9XM to listen to a song. But now the average minor uses the device as a music player (1st), alarm clock and watch (2nd) and calendar (3rd) and then for communicating.
On the Tuesday, a week ago; I was woken up in the morning by my mother. It was 6:45. I pleaded that I had gone late to the bed because I had to study for the internal that were just 8 hours later and crawled back into the blanket. But she had her own way and pulled over the blanket and poured a glassful of water on my face. I woke up brusquely to check if my cell-phone and my books were okay. The latter was all right but the former wasn’t there. I stormed off the bedroom to the bathroom, peed but didn’t find relief. My mother was giving a lecture on her favorite topic “Early to bed…… (You know the rest)”. I was burning with anger and I was afraid I could have charred my mother then and there. I didn’t want to hear a further lecture on “behavior with parents”. I just wanted to plug my ears with Linkin Park’s rock metal. So I desperately sniffed for my cell phone like a hungry dog. My brother had it. I just wanted to take that and go to the terrace at once, away from my mother.
But alas, the earphones were greased and smudged with earwax. I lashed at my brother. I was ready to smack him but he ran towards the kitchen. I chased him and my mother intervened to his rescue. She said I needn’t take out my anger against her on him…… So I took it out on the earphones. I flung them onto the shelves of the room full of attaches and iron trunks and rarely used things of the household. I wanted some loneliness, so I went to the terrace to say Namaste to the sun and to my math book.
While solving problems, I missed my LP. Every little noise, the clattering of utensils being washed, the hitting of clothes on the wash-point, the vehicle’s horn, some Odia Bhajan sang by the Namita Aggarwal (I fucking hate her. Bloody monopolizer) was blaring out of my neighbour’s tv, even the birds chirping disturbed me. I realized how addicted had I become to music. It was a means for me to achieve concentration. I dropped my pen and thought about it.
I concluded that I spent more hours of my waking life being plugged in. It was nice to be amongst LP, Greenday, Mozart, Beethoven, Kilar, and Kaczmerack and bolly tracks of course. But it also confined me within them. A creative man must think and for thinking we need food-for-thought. And to get such thoughtful diet we have to be a good listener and a keen observer. That’s what I learned from father. Well with me being plugged in, I could only observe and analyze the observation from my P.O.V. but now I could listen too (only somewhat via eavesdropping) and I was sure the inference would have a wider aspect ratio to it. So my ideas would be more vivid. See that’s the profit of thinking. You can turn an alarming reality to an opportunity. All is going to be well. I comforted my innocent heart…
Later that day, it felt uneasy on the way to college because I walk my way to college and music is my companion. I missed them but I decided to listen each and everything I was passing by. Near Paglu Bhai’s tea stall (it’s a famous place and you can Google it… kidding!!!) the laborers and the trolley-pullers were discussing about labor-wages. The touts in front of the electrical inspector’s office were settling a deal about some illegal connection with a mill owner. The cement godown’s shutter was raised that made such a loud thundering noise that I can’t describe it in onomatopoeic terms. It was too much for me. I decided I couldn’t undertake the 2.5 Kms journey on foot without my earphones. So I stopped to wait for an auto to pass.
As I was waiting for an auto-rickshaw to hop into, a horde of students came out of the roadside complex. It was “Algebra study center , probably some math geek tortured these kids there. The boys rushed out to their respective cycles as they would have to reach school. There was a variety of discussions; about annual sports, cricket, school drama, annual function, some girl named “Subhasmita”(I don’t know who she is, but she must be a pin-up. a group of 7-8 boys were talking about her dress in a hush-hush way only Indian boys do).
However there was one conversation that really pierced me. I heard a guy say to his friend displaying his new Rs.60 made-in-china stereo headset “Whenever my mom runs behind me like a monster, I plug these into my ears and sustain her lecture. These are really loud like mini-woofers.” The listener nodded in appreciation. I just laughed after hearing that and boarded my auto. I went to college the whole week via auto.
I went to the dept. picnic this Sunday. I terribly missed my earphones being trapped in midst of friends turned hooligans. Any way my Nokia WH-102 wouldn’t have been enough for those blaring loudspeakers inside the bus. I probably needed those made-in-china headsets that sounded like mini-woofers. After returning from the horrific tour, when sleep evaded my eyes at 1 am; I craved for some Mozart lullabies.
I thought about my earphones. I thought about how I treated my mother. I realized, in my parent’s generation, if you didn’t like a domestic lecture, you went out of the home and came back when you were all-right with yourself. That was good because the angry sides weren’t facing each other and the cool-down was quick and effective. But now, the mother keeps on delivering her lecture and keeps on shouting at us, while we plug ourselves in and sit down and stare at her unfazed like a rock. What happens as a result is that the anger gets multiplied and the cooldown never occurs at all. Then either your mom burns your earphones in the gas stove or she walks out on you frustrated.
I fell asleep
P.S.:-I woke up the next morning. I apologized to my mother (she had forgotten the entire incident. What a great mother). I thanked her for letting me sleep till 11 in the morning. I climbed onto the shelf using a tall stool and found my earphones lying between a tin trunk and an attaché. They had a thin layer of dust on them. An old biology diagram of the excretory system came to my mind, 2 black heads(kidneys) and a long umbilical cord of black (I don’t remember the names of those blue and red veins) and a white metal shining tip(that’s the bladder and urethra). What a pervert I am, I thought to myself!!!! I hurried down. Plugged myself and lost into Kaczmerak’s “park on the piano”. It’s a great piece. Do listen on YouTube.