It is a Sunday. I’m still in bed, it’s past 11, AC on, to beat the blasted Mumbai heat, lovely smells coming in from the kitchen, no one to disturb me.
I’ve ascended to heaven.
Suddenly, I hear Dad call out, ” Ellie, my new expensive latest touchscreen phone just arrived. Come, tell me about EVERY feature.”
I’ve descended into hell.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind explaining technical stuff to my parents, after all that’s the only way I can actually be useful. But somewhere around the 999th explanation, it gets a bit exhausting.
So you may understand why I was not looking forward to this opportunity to show off my intellect.
However, as the man of the house commands, I have no choice. Grudgingly dragging myself off the bed, onto the floor, off the floor, with a permanent frown etched on my face, I enter his room, and in a monosyllable, manage to convey my annoyance at being dragged away from my bed, “WHAT?!”
He shows me his new phone, the Samsung A8, and I groan. A touchscreen?! This is going to take me a year.
However, before I can even start on the technical aspects, we start arguing on the proper way to open the box.
At that point, my mother, clearly annoyed at having to listen to us argue while she suffocates in the kitchen, grabs the box and just tears it open and leaves.
Now that we’ve got past that inconvenience, I admire the phone. It’s sleek, weightless and golden. If it were anything but Samsung, I would’ve taken it for myself.
I reach for it, but before I can, Dad takes it. “If you take it, you’re gonna just breeze through everything before I can even see it like you always do. This time I’ll hold, you talk.” Damn. There goes my shortcut.
Anyway, I tell him to switch it on, using the button at the side. At which point he presses the centre menu button for 10 seconds, before complaining I don’t know anything.
Thinking of the time I will take advantage of my favour, to get money from him, I bear with him.
After 15 minutes of pressing every button but the right one, we finally manage to switch the phone on.
It’s fast, takes barely 10 seconds to boot.
Now, it’s the dreaded moment where I have to teach him how to lock and unlock a touchscreen phone.
After 2 hours, while he contemplates various methods of locking, and I contemplate various methods of killing myself, he decides for a pattern.
With that obstacle out of the way, he then goes on to contemplate which pattern. At this point, I go take a bath, eat breakfast, take a walk with my dog, and return, to find him still confused between two ‘very hard to guess and efficient ‘ patterns.
Forcing him to choose one or go ahead with the process himself, I finally get him to go to settings.
Then, with the concentration of a 5 year old doing join-the-dots, my 55 year old father tries to etch the pattern correctly.
1 hour, a dozen laughs, two dozen screams of frustration, and a barely-visible-under-all-the-smudges screen later, we finally manage to lock the phone.
Now excuse me while I run away before he tries to unlock it.
More exciting stories on the time we learnt to call and type, later.