The year was 2002. It was a bright sunny day when I first opened my eyes in the quality check section of a manufacturing facility in Denmark. The employee named Mark, beamed at me when my monochrome screen blinked and the digital clock flashed. Then I was packed in a beautiful carton box and shipped to India in a cargo ship with my thousands of brothers. I still remember the smell of the carton box, my first home. I peeped from the edge of my box to have a look around while my brothers were having a slumber party. The sight of infinite stretch of blue water was overwhelming. I’m having quite the journey of my life, I thought. Little did I know that the real adventure lied ahead.
I spent a brief time in a warehouse in Mumbai and then in a mobile phone outlet in Pune. My spell in the shop came to a closure when a debonair gentleman bought me. I was the first mobile phone in their house! The poor old landline phone got jealous of me, and why not, I was quite on demand those days. The gentleman used to take me to work everyday. I’ll watch him count a lot of currency notes with a smiling old man’s picture on it. At the end of the day when he returned home, the little girl Nori used to play games on me. She was a lovely child. She’ll laugh and jump with joy every time she achieved a high score in the Snake game. That game was a hoot and a half, unlike the Temple Run and Angry Birds nowadays. You know what they say, vintage indeed is gold.
My monopoly in the house came to an end when Nori’s elder brother got her father a new shiny phone with a big colourful screen and very few buttons. I could tell from the mere appearance that it was a supercilious one. The first time we sat together while getting charged, I tried to make a conversation but got condescending looks instead. It’s okay, I told myself, sometimes we just have to let things go and let karma take care of it. A few months after that incident, the new one fell from the table top and got its screen shattered. Kids these days, they’re not half as tough as us I tell you.
As the replacement for the broken phone, the gentleman bought a Lumia phone, my little brother! I was ecstatic perceiving the advancement my parent company had made. I now got to spend more time at home while my brother went around with the gentleman. It was a comfortable arrangement if you ask me. Nori had grown older and she used to immerse herself in a pile of huge books, so there were no more of gaming sessions. I got a plenty of time to observe and introspect. It’s from there I derive all my wisdom.
My days were rolling pretty smooth until that fateful night. Nori’s family was robbed at night when they were away. That demon of a man stuffed me in a canvas pack and smuggled me over several states. The next I saw daylight, it was in a thrift shop in the capital city Delhi. My ego was severely bruised when the shop owner put a tag of’ Rs300/-‘ in front of me. I mean, even if I’m old and worn-out now, I’ll be more durable than half the phones out there. Weeks passed with me on the show, but despite all his efforts I attracted no buyer. Out of frustration, he threw me in a garbage can.
Now as I lay in a steel box labelled ‘Recyclable electronic waste’, waiting for my body to be fragmented into pieces, I can’t help but reminisce the old days. From ruling the mobile handset universe to becoming the subject of countless jokes, I’ve seen it all. I’ve led a long satisfying life with almost nothing to regret. And to my progeny (the one who’ll have my electronic parts embedded in it),if you ever get to read it, I have a few words to say-“It’s a jungle out there, son. Be brave in the world.”