29 October, 2014

A forced e-experiment, some peace, some frustration

Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. And that might just seem like another loosely used line. This time it is just not that. You'll soon know why I say that. We've been pulling through a jinxed month.

Episode 1

In the very first week of October 2014, there was an afternoon when hubby called home to say his phone had a fall and the screen's all shattered. Thankfully it was working just fine. And that was good to know. We were in Bangalore and were scheduled to travel that week. With an impending trip, hubby thought he had better go get his phone fixed. He had been told he would have to pay good 5k to get the display replaced but when the person at the service centre had a look at it, the verdict was that it could not be done here as the phone was from the US. I almost couldn't believe that.

Now, because we were going to be on the road and because hubby would have to be available to his clients in US in case of an 'emergency,' he picked up a brand new smart phone the night before we left. That was supposed to be the end of the story.


The next day we hit the road. We were barely out of the city and I remembered I had received some messages earlier that morning and hadn't responded as I was busy getting the kids ready and packed into the car. I took my phone out to do just that but it just wouldn't switch on! Optimistic me thought, I'd give that poor phone a break and it would be fine. So I powered it off and sat back to enjoy the drive. The rose of the day was that there weren't any notifications going off so I enjoyed the road trip and the place we visited that day. The thorn of the day was that in spite of being given a whole 12-14 hours of rest, my 'Smarty' refused to come back on.'

Episode 2

The reason: The Display had conked.


I decided not to sweat over it. I decided I wound enjoy this freedom from the beeps and rings and the alarm-set-on-repeat-for-5-days-of-the-week. A few times I had had to borrow hubby's phone for a few cellphone photographs. And that seemed more than enough for me.

With the two-day getaway done, it was extended-family time. We were going to spend the week with my folks in Kerala. Later that night hubby announced something had cropped up as far as work was concerned and that meant he had to get back to his company's Bangalore office. With him gone and amma having a problem with her internet connection, I began to get irritable for the connectivity I was used to, I must mention that amma and achan are totally content with the limited smartness of their cellphones. Whatsapp and Facebook and emails were a part of MY everyday. So are my phone camera, my online news and my Colour Notes, where I've got my check lists and random (but important) notes.

I stuck it out the whole week somehow. I visited the relatives I was supposed to 'catch up with.' I even rummaged through my old book shelves and picked up a Nancy Drew (after almost 2 decades) and finished it in one sitting ( well almost, if you don't count the times I had to put my littlest one to sleep and change and diapers and all of that).

Freedom? I'm not so sure anymore

Then it started getting to me, stronger than ever. My friends began to worry because I had disappeared from the daily banter on whatsapp. They managed to make a few calls and make sure I was ok. I was a bit guilty for having put them through that. Being at the service of an under-one-year old and with the closest town a few kilometers away from home, I hadn't taken the trouble of taking myself to one of those cyber cafes (someplace I haven't been to in ages).

The guilt was closely followed by missing all the girly talk and all the non-stop fun. I paddled through the rest of the week and hoped that once I was back in India's Silicon Valley, I'd start using the spare T-Mobile that we'd carried with us, at least until my phone's Display was taken care of.

Another bummer. And what was supposed to be Episode 1

Back in Bangalore, we learnt that that phone was not unlocked and so my sim card wouldn't work in it. That meant having to wait for my phone to be fixed. I suddenly remembered that a few days before we had left on our travels, my good-as-new laptop had had a display problem. I tried to wake it up from hibernation but it wouldn't budge. So off it went to hubby's office where some experts could have a look at it.

Thankfully I had my old and extremely-overused laptop left. Now this one is close to 6 years old. Hubby always said it was amazing it was fine thus far, considering the abuse my older-little-one and I have been putting it through. For a year now, it had been threatening to call it quits but continued to serve like a loyal canine.

Episode 3? No 4.

Two days later that half-a-dozen-year-old cried enough.

It's working kind of alright, but I cannot read any thing on it because the horizontal on the screen are more prominent than the letters and lines (the sentences) it is supposed to display.

An then, the last straw (or is it?)

Now without a smart phone and a computer at my disposal, I began to use the ipad that's been lying around. A day or two later, as I was plugging in the charger, it slipped for my hand and what I picked up was a tablet with a shattered screen.

I'm not kidding. All that in one month.

Latest update:

Somebody managed to fix hubby's old phone. My sim is in it now (there's a story behind that). So I do have a phone now. The data on my old phone refused to show up when we tried transferring it to hubby's laptop. So I'm worried. I really need all my files and photos intact but there's no guarantee of that. My phone (which was barely a year old) is in its workshop and I'm waiting for it to come back good as new (that might mean in it's 'factory settings' and that is not really what I want. My files! ). We're still trying to work out if we should and could fix my laptop. The old laptop --well -- the poor thing needs to rest in peace. I shouldn't be complaining about that one. As for the ipad -- again-- don't know what happens to it, yet. (Hubby and sonny boy are probably cursing me for that episode and quietly missing their favourite apple gadget. For me the past few weeks brought: Sadness, Freedom, Crankiness, A feeling of disconnect, Frustration and whole lot of other mixed feelings. )

How did this post get written?
The answer: late night writing on hubby's work laptop. I patiently waited for this one until the stroke of midnight, after all the meetings with the clients and co-workers on the other side of the globe were done.  May be I should steer clear of this machine too. And I'm not touching my Kindle Paperwhite for a few more days. Let this jinxed phase move away. Let all the dust settle.